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mentor works well in the classroom, but these types of experi- ences are challenging to replicate in an online world.” Fortunately, current training providers such as GWL and

other employers are helping in this regard. “We don’t require [candidates] to do their education and practical experience simultaneously, but I’d like to see more of that so CPA candi- dates can leverage the academic studies with their practical experience,” says Hilton. Lauren Gallimore is a CPA candidate currently completing

her PEP while working full time at KPMG in Lethbridge, Alta. She feels the program is preparing her adequately for every situation in the workplace. “Aside from the technical competencies, the ethics and presentation skills are also stressed so you’re prepared to act in a professional way and make decisions,” says Gallimore, who started at the firm as an accounting co-op student. While she has no plans to leave, Gal-

limore likes the fact her CPA designa- tion will give her more freedom to move across the country and across busi- nesses. “You’re not stuck in a corner. And as a student just starting out, you don’t have to decide between designa- tions anymore.” Marshall Lang, who began the CGA program in Ontario, is now a financial accountant at the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., and is currently completing his practical experience requirements, with plans to write the final exam in September. Finding time for his studies while holding down a highly demanding job is a challenge, but Lang appreciates the more “holis- tic approach” the new program pro- vides. “There is always more than the numbers to consider,” he says. “CPAs have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to their employers and to the community at large.” With accounting standards changing, Lang says employ- ers will also be seeking CPAs who will guide them around regulations to avoid possible pitfalls. Lang expects the program will con-

tinue to improve as time goes on. “We have to take into consideration that this is a new program and it will evolve as the new CPA does,” he says. “For now, as I progress in my career, it’s giving me a good foundation as I don’t know where tomorrow is going to take me.”

Untitled-1 1 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | CPA MAGAZINE | 43 3/2/2015 8:01:04 AM

As the financial industry continues to transform in the face

of global competition and technology, GWL’s Henaire says it will be the forward vision of the new CPA that will be the profes- sion’s greatest strength. “It’s one thing to look in the rearview mirror to examine the numbers and quite another to look at how to push an organization in the future to bigger and better things.”

ROSALIND STEFANAC is a Toronto-based freelance writer



Have a university degree but lack the prerequisites to pursue the new Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) designation?

The UBC Diploma in Accounting program (UBC DAP) bridges the gap by equipping graduates with the foundation for success in the CPA Professional Education Program. Widely recognized by the accounting industry, UBC DAP can be completed in as little as 10 or as long as 24 months while candidates continue to work.

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