Ontario accountants complete final merger
June 27, 2014

Various businesses, at some point in their life cycles, merge with other companies. This might be because one of the entities was going under financially, or perhaps leaders of the two simply thought that combining would allow for better sharing of resources.

This was essentially the case recently in Canada, where Certified General Accountants of Ontario agreed to merge with Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. They will now share the CPA moniker. 

Response was favourable
According to The Globe and Mail, former CGA members were very much in favour of this move, with 97 percent voting to merge. That being said, 74 percent of CPAs agreed with the merge. 

While the situation has been sussed out now, the newspaper noted that there was some initial pushback due to particular terms. After negotiations, all sides are generally happy and excited about the merger. 

"Our position had always been that we thought unification made sense under the right circumstances," stated CGA Ontario CEO Doug Brooks, as quoted by the news source.

As The Globe and Mail pointed out, 185,000 accountants - formerly known as either Chartered Accountants, Certified Management Accountants or Certified General Accountants - are now CPAs, with access to the same resources and a greater ability to share data and ensure compliance across the board. 

This shift is being hailed as basically accomplished. Some provincial governments still need to issue final approvals, but CPA Ontario Chief Executive Rod Barr doesn't foresee any opposition by leaders, the newspaper asserted.

What happens now?
So what does this shift mean for Canadian accountants affected by the new policy? The hope is that by uniting these professionals, the industry will be able to take a more collaborative stance on issues and have more of a say in terms of regulations and other elements. Moreover, this means that professionals can abide by one set of sector rules, which should make compliance - as well as making tweaks to such laws - inherently easier. 

"This is a significant achievement, one which brings the opportunity for a united accounting profession to speak on behalf of the public interest and its members," CPA Ontario Chair Robert Scullion stated. 

This will affect individuals who are trying to break into the accounting business as well, The Globe and Mail reported. The source detailed that students with this designation will become CPAs after graduation, while current accountants can still identify themselves as CPAs and CAs, CGAs or CMAs until late 2022.

Nexus: G-WEBCD3