Training and Employment Readiness
What programs do the accounting bodies have in place to help me?
The Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia
The Certified General Accountants of British Columbia (CGA-BC) have prepared a multi-lingual fact sheet for internationally educated accountants. It can be found on the CGA-BC website and provides a wealth of information relevant to newcomers to Canada, including much of the information included in the previous sections on becoming a CGA in BC. In addition to English, the fact sheet has been translated into Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, and Tagalog.
CGA-BC and CGA-Alberta
Foreign Designated Accountants Fast Track to CGA
Members of foreign designated accounting organizations (ACCA, CPA, CA, CMA, etc) that are part of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) are eligible for advanced standing in the CGA Program of Professional Studies. Advanced standing varies from one country to the next and is based on individual assessment of your academic and professional qualifications and experience. More information can be found on the CGA-BC website or CGA-Alberta website.
Students of Other Professional Accounting Programs (Canadian & Foreign) Fast Track to CGA
If you are currently enrolled or were previously in another professional accounting program (Canadian or foreign) you may be eligible for admission to the CGA Program of Professional Studies. CGA awards exemptions for completion of previous post-secondary education and professional accounting education as it relates to the requirements of the CGA program. More information can be found on the CGA-BC website or CGA-Alberta website.
CGA International – Taking the CGA Program Outside Canada
Students in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Hong Kong and China can enroll in the CGA Program of Professional Studies. In addition, through an agreement between the Association and the University of Monterrey Technology, students in Mexico may also be able to enroll in the CGA program. More information for prospective international CGA students can be found through the CGA-BC website and then following the links for your specific country or region.
The Certified Management Accountants of British Columbia
CMA QuickStart and CMA Accelerated Program
The Certified Management Accountants of British Columbia (CMA BC) have developed the CMA QuickStart program, in consultation with the Immigrant Services Society of BC, to provide an introduction to accounting in Canada. This QuickStart Program provides new immigrants to Canada with CMA course credits for Introductory Financial Accounting and Introductory Management Accounting within a college environment (Langara College). Students will be in class with both students who are new to Canada and long-time residents.
Once the CMA QuickStart Program is completed, students can enter the CMA Accelerated Program. This program will provide the students the comprehensive course requirements to be eligible for the CMA National Exam.
The Certified Management Accountants of Alberta
CMA Accelerated Program for Internationally Educated Accountants
The Certified Management Accountants of Alberta (CMA Alberta) have modified their accelerated program to the needs of internationally educated accountants. Offered through Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, the CMA Accelerated Program for Internationally Educated Accountants provides training in accounting-specific topics, occupation-specific ESL upgrading, intercultural competence training, essential computer skills, and employment readiness.
Regular information sessions provide potential Accelerated Program participants with additional detail on the program and entrance requirements. Past programs have been held in Edmonton through the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, but for the time being Bow Valley College is the sole provider of this program. Continue to monitor the CMA program website for updates and future program locations.
CMA BC and CMA Alberta
Members of foreign designated accounting organizations (CIMA, CPA, CA, CGA, etc) are eligible for either mutual recognition or advanced standing in the CMA Program of Professional Studies. Advanced standing varies from one country to the next and is based on individual assessment of your academic and professional qualifications and experience.
Immigrant serving agencies
Where can I find help through immigrant serving agencies?
In British Columbia
This website provides a network for internationally trained professionals to help them in obtaining certification in Canada. The website provides basic information and links on topics such as credential assessment, skills training, language training, immigrant serving agencies and regulatory bodies.
(From the BC government website)
The primary goal of the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program is to see new immigrants secure jobs that fully use their pre-arrival skills, knowledge and experience. The program responds to current and long-term skill shortages by assessing and bridging skilled immigrants into the workplace in areas that complement BC’s growing economy with a focus on five key sectors of the economy: construction, transportation, energy, tourism/hospitality and, as of September 2007, the health sector.
Many BC immigrants possess skills in occupations where there are shortages but face challenges in navigating a complex labour market entry system, language barriers, difficulty getting their credentials recognized and lack of employment networks.
The Skills Connect for Immigrants Program will:
- effectively assess the skills, qualifications and experiences of recent immigrants to BC
- enhance skills, qualifications and experiences to meet BC labour market standards
- offer workplace practice opportunities, such as workplace orientation (i.e. mentorship), that will help secure and sustain employment
- provide career assessment and planning
- support skills and other enhancements, including workplace language upgrading
Program services are delivered throughout the province by six organizations that have experience in the delivery of employment-related services targeting immigrants.
More information on the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program can be obtained by contacting one of the service providers.
- Career Solutions (Victoria region)
- DiverseCity (Surrey and the Fraser Valley)
- Multicultural Helping House Society (Lower Mainland also known as Metro Vancouver)
- Douglas College (Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley)
- IMM Power BC (all regions of the Province)
- Arrive BC (Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley)
Although the SkillsConnect program does not specifically focus on the accounting industry, accounting professionals who have been working in their country of origin within any of the industries that are included in the SkillsConnect program may be eligible for participation.
ISSofBC provides a full range of employment services in multiple languages and at various locations in Greater Vancouver. They include career planning assistance through interactive workshops, coaching, education and training resources. ISSofBC screens job applicants and matches them with employers in various fields including accounting.
Mosaic is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society. They provide multilingual career planning workshops, which cover résumé writing, labour market information, job search, workplace communication, workplace culture, employment standards, and interview skills to meet the needs of various job prospects including those in the accounting field.
Program for Internationally Educated Accounting Professionals
A partnership between EMCN and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), the Program for Internationally Educated Accounting Professionals provides assistance with the transition from an accounting career in your country of origin to a career as a professional accountant here in Canada.
The program helps with the professional accreditation and labour market access of internationally educated accountants through training which meets local business demand by developing participants’ English language proficiency and assisting in their adapting and improving of previously learned skills to Canadian standards.
Each partner contributes as follows:
- EMCN provides the English language training, First Aid training, Simply Accounting software training and the labour market/job search strategy training and supported job search.
- NAIT provides the fast-track accounting training for this specialized accelerated accounting program.
Business Communication for Professionals
The Business Communication for Professionals program is for immigrants with experience in accounting and who are interested in pursuing their career in Canada. This intensive program will help you move into your profession in Canada. It provides training in English, accounting courses from an accredited college, intercultural workplace skills, employment readiness, a six week work placement, and other benefits.
Business Employment and Training Services
The CCIS is a non-profit volunteer organization, which provides settlement and integration services to all immigrants and refugees in Southern Alberta. Although its website does not specifically offer information that would assist an immigrant accountant, it does have programs including enhanced language training and mentorship that are targeted to professionals, including accountants.
Employment Skills Services
Although not focused specifically on accounting professionals, the (CIWA) does offer introduction to accounting courses for women who may want to enter the field by starting in related support roles, such as a payroll clerk or bookkeeper. There is no specific information on accounting topics on this website, other than related to the courses offered.
CIES offers many programs and services to help new immigrants integrate into Canadian society and the workforce. While they do not provide accounting specific resources online, it does offer some very basic introduction to accounting courses.
Do any of the colleges or universities provide bridging or other programs for accountants?
At this time there are no other known programs offered exclusively by any of the post-secondary institutions in BC or Alberta. However, a number of immigrant serving agencies and/or regulatory bodies offer programs in partnership with post-secondary institutions (for example, EMCN and NAIT). Please see the section on Immigrant Serving Agencies for these programs. If you are a post-secondary institution providing programs or services specifically for internationally educated accounting professionals and would like to have your information added to this site, please contact the webmaster.
Are there any services privately offered for a fee that could help me become an accountant in Canada?
There are currently no identified private companies offering programs for immigrant accountants in BC or Alberta. If you are a private company with services targeted specifically at internationally educated accounting professionals and would like to have your information added to this site, please contact the webmaster.