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PACE: It is synonymous with CGAs 

What distinguishes Certified General Accountants from other accounting professionals? The depth of CGA-Canada’s PACE (Professional Applications and Competence Evaluations) certification courses and exams, and the breadth of its practical experience options.

CGAs are broadly skilled and trained in financial management and business analysis. Most importantly, they can apply what they’ve learned – and know what it means to be strategic.

CGAs have sector-specific know-how, deep technical knowledge, and the skill and desire to lead.

Knowledge, leadership skills and professionalism

CGA’s PACE program is rooted in 130 distinct competencies in three areas: Professional knowledge, leadership and professionalism.

PACE certification courses and exams – thorough and demanding

PACE enables students to specialize in one of four financial management career areas:

  • Government and not-for-profit,
  • Corporate and small to medium-sized enterprises,
  • Information management, or
  • Public practice.

Students must successfully complete two career elective courses and examinations, followed by two capstone courses and exams:

  • Issues in Professional Practice; and
  • Strategic Financial Management.

Thorough and demanding, PACE courses challenge students to integrate their acquired knowledge, leadership skills and professionalism and apply them to real-world situations. 

36 months of full-time work experience – 24 of those months at a senior level

Finally, students must complete 36 months of approved, full-time work experience. Twenty-four of the 36 months of job experience must be at a senior accounting and/or financial management level. Students can gain this experience in any business sector and in a variety of fields, with the exception of public practice which must be done at a public practice firm.


Professional knowledge
  • Financial accounting and reporting
  • Management accounting
  • Assurance and related services
  • Finance and financial planning
  • Business environment
  • Information technology
  • Taxation
  • Strategic and organizational leadership
  • Individual and team leadership and development
  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Stakeholder focus
  • Ethics and trust
  • Integrative approach
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Professional development
  • Professional self-evaluation

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CGA-Canada | Last Updated: March 5, 2010