CGA Position on Possible Accountancy Merger
Dear members and students,
I am writing to tell you that CGA recently participated in exploratory discussions with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) to consider opportunities for a national merger of the accounting profession in Canada.
We recognize the potential value of bringing our profession closer together and these talks were initiated with the interest of all accounting professionals and the public in mind. CGA was determined to explore all possibilities for a three-way collaboration towards a single national designation and hoped that we could have succeeded. However, throughout our preliminary discussions we were unable to resolve a number of key issues. Therefore, the three-way national talks have now ended, and CICA and CMA Canada have moved on to two-way merger consultations.
As part of the initial discussions, CICA and CMA Canada set out a number of pre-conditions which CGA was required to agree to before full negotiations could commence. The following terms were unacceptable to us:
- Members of the proposed body would be required to identify their designation of origin alongside a new designation for at least 10 years in a process called "tagging." For example, a CGA could be referred to as CPA-CGA. New members who completed their education under the merged organization would only display the new CPA designation. We believe that the 10-year window is too long and would have increased the likelihood of discrimination and bias against CGAs. Tagging would have also introduced four accounting designations into the marketplace adding more confusion than exists today.
While not part of the direct terms, we were also not able to address other issues that were a source of concern. New provincial legislation would have to be enacted before the new designation could be used in the marketplace – a process that would likely take several years. And while CGAs would have participated in the new governing body, CA members would have likely formed the majority, which given our competitive history was a concern.
- Immediate cessation of our support for national labour mobility for CGAs, including the current deliberations underway between provincial governments on mobility under the Agreement on Internal Trade.
While CGA recognizes the potential value of bringing the three Canadian accounting bodies together, we are also committed to protecting the rights and opportunities of CGAs and our students now and in the future.
Most recently, we communicated our principles for further discussions to both the CA and CMA bodies in order to resolve some key issues that we felt were a barrier to further progress. The CICA and CMA Canada were not prepared to modify their terms and terminated discussions.
Whatever the outcome of any further discussions between CICA and CMA Canada, CGA has always been, and continues to be, open to opportunities within the profession in Canada. We continue our commitment to protecting the public interest, contributing to matters of public policy and to shaping the future of the accounting profession.
Gordon Ruth, FCGA
Chief Executive Officer
|For comments or feedback, please email [edowning#cga-bc,org]Edward Downing, Director, Marketing & Communications.