Profession Global

CPA mobility grows through pacts with India, U.K.

CPA Canada signs first MOU with Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2018 – CPA Canada has signed its first memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The announcement comes just two weeks after the national body for Canadian accoutants announced a reciprocal membership agreement (RMA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). While the two agreements are similar, there are important distinctions. 

The MOU was signed at the Toronto office of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada on November 17. In attendance were representatives of the Canadian profession and representatives from the ICAI and its Toronto chapter. 

"The global economy requires mobility for its finance and accounting professionals," said Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. "Providing a clear path to achieving credential recognition benefits members of both the Indian and Canadian accounting professions while giving both countries access to top talent."

"Canada is one of the most favoured destinations for Indian professionals loking to exploe global opportunities," said Naveen Gupta, president of the ICAI. "The MOU will lead to greater mobility of professionals at either end and herald a new dimension of professional opportunities for Chartered Accountants of both countries thus benefitting more than 1,000 CAs in Canada and the other ICAI members in India who wish to get international qualification."

Important Distinctions

Both the ICAI MOU and the ICAEW RMA specify the criteria by which members of one body are eligible for membership in the other. The agreements ensure that Canadian qualification standards are maintained while recognizing substantial equivalency in the core knowledge requirements of both countries. 

ICAI members looking to become Canadian CPAs will be required to pass CPA Canada’s common final examination (CFE). ICAEW members will instead be required to successfully complete the CPA reciprocity professional development course (CPARPD) within two years of one’s official membership admission date. The course consists of approximately 20 hours of online study in Canadian tax, law and ethics in a modular form. 

Similarly, for Canadian accountants looking to practise overseas, the agreements contain important distinctions. The ICAEW MOU, for example, requires legacy CGAs and CMAs to formally declare at least two years’ of a fairly wide range of skills and experience. Audit and other services that require registration or licensure in the U.K. are not covered by this RMA for any legacy designation. 

Access to audit rights and the ability to certify any document are also not a part of the ICAEW MOU and “CPA members may be required to meet further requirements to gain access to these rights.” However, the pathway to professional accounting in India requires an experience component and a requirement to pass the papers of Corporate and Allied Laws and Taxation

Chartered Professional Accountants have a substantial number of international opportunities through labour mobility agreements developed by CPA Canada. Canadian accountants should visit the “Canadian CPAs seeking international designations” webpage at

By Canadian Accountant with files from CPA Canada.Canadian Accountant logo

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