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invested more than three years developing the Common Final Exam (affectionately referred to as the CFE), which replaces the exam processes of the three pre-unification accounting bodies. “Our approach from the beginning was holistic,” says Batstone. “We began with open minds, building on the strong, unique parts of each of the legacy exams and best practices of similar exams around the world.”


The backstory The unification of Canada’s three legacy accounting bodies began in spring 2011. By January 2012, the creation of a new education and certification program was identified as one of eight key requirements. On April 1, 2013, CPA Canada


assumed operations of CICA and CMA Canada; CGA-Canada joined in October 2014, completing integration of the three legacy organizations. Since 2012, the education services team has focused on de-


veloping the new program. According to Kevin Dancey, presi- dent and CEO of CPA Canada, it’s all about education, examina- tion and experience. “The CPA certification program combines elements that ensure its graduates finish with a strong founda- tion of knowledge and skill as professional accountants,” he says. “It’s based on the methodical problem-solving approach articulated as the ‘CPA Way.’ When you practise the CPA Way, you learn how to integrate diverse pieces of information, see situations more accurately and apply reasoned judgment.”


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | CPA MAGAZINE | 35


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