The Certified General Accountants Association was founded in Montreal in 1908 by John Leslie, Assistant Comptroller of the Canadian Pacific Railway, to help accountants enhance their professional skills. The association enjoyed considerable popularity and in 1913 was federally incorporated.
The Program of Professional Studies
The Program of Professional Studies began in 1910 as a series of courses to sharpen members’ skills. The program evolved over the next four decades and, in 1950, a standardized, nation-wide curriculum developed with the University of British Columbia was introduced.
Today, the program boasts more than 26,000 students. Competency-based learning through online education allows students to earn while they learn and attracts mature students, university graduates, and those just finishing high school. Partnerships with major universities and colleges that offer students and members online university degrees are an added incentive for those looking to fast-track their career.
The association grew significantly in the first half of the twentieth century and with that growth came unique regional and national requirements. The provincial and territorial branches received their own government charters beginning in the 1950s. In 1991, an Affiliation Agreement between the national organization and the provincial and territorial affiliates further defined their respective roles and responsibilities. This agreement has strengthened the association, allowing it to better meet its mandate on all fronts. It also provided the foundation for the federation as a whole to work toward the goal of full practice rights for CGAs in every province.
Speaking Out for Members and the Public
As the national and international representative for the CGA designation, CGA-Canada contributes to accounting standards through its relationships with accounting organizations in Canada and abroad. CGA-Canada also works on behalf of its members to raise issues of concern and to advance the public interest.
Today, CGA-Canada works closely with its provincial, territorial and offshore CGA affiliates to ensure that CGA is recognized as a leading national and international accounting designation and that the principles laid out in the national association’s mission statement successfully carry it into a second century of service.
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