The Certified General Accountants
Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) is celebrating its 100th
anniversary this year.

In 1908, a trio of accountants at the Canadian Pacific Railway in
Montreal formed a new accountancy organisation – the first of its
kind in Canada. According to CGA-Canada’s president and chief
executive, Anthony Ariganello, the objective of this organisation
was to “encourage improvement in skills and job performance, and
support professional development” for those working in the
accountancy profession. The organisation initially called itself
the Canadian Accountants Association (CAA).

Anthony Ariganello, CGA-Canada

After slow but steady growth over the next five years, the CAA’s
membership increased to 83, and the body was then renamed the
General Accountants Association. By 1945, membership had grown to
1,253 and the number of offices had also increased. There was one
central office based in Montreal and 12 affiliate offices, one in
every Canadian region. Ariganello explained: “CGA-Canada is the
national association. The other 12 offices are our affiliate
associations. Together they all form a federation and have distinct
roles and responsibilities.”

CGA-Canada’s membership stands at 68,000, including its
affiliations with countries including Bermuda, Hong Kong and China.
Ariganello describes the institute’s development as an evolutionary
process. “I believe it was 1977 when CGA-Canada became a member of
the International Federation of Accountants,” he explained. “But
after that time, and even possibly some time before, the
association decided that it would be in the best interests of its
members and the public to develop a strong international presence.
And we’ve been extremely successful in this. The same association
that started life as a small group of professionals, primarily
concerned with numbers and being restricted to limited aspects of
the Canadian accounting economy, has now extended to an
international association that sets standards, develops education
programs, publishes professional materials, advocates on public
policy issues and represents CGA’s nationally and

CGA-Canada has launched a search for 100 CGAs who have made a
difference. Ariganello commented: “There is no better way to
celebrate our achievements in the first 100 years than to honour
100 CGAs who are exemplary citizens, who have given themselves to
their communities and others.”

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To be eligible, CGAs must have made a significant, positive impact
on their community, government, service organisation, profession or
humanity for a minimum of five years. Ariganello added: “We have a
list and nominees must have achieved at least five aspects of it.
These include, for example: breaking new ground; contributing as an
agent of change; service beyond what is ordinarily expected of a
socially responsible citizen; demonstrating self-motivation,
dedication and commitment in pursuing the service; making a
conscious effort to involve and inspire others; showing service to
the community; demonstrating acts of courage, bravery and
selflessness; demonstrating leadership, foresight, creativity, or a
passion for life for people; and having risen above adversity. As
you can see, each one of these is very significant in its own

“Once we have all the nominations in, and I believe the deadline is
16 May 2008, we will decide on the winners. These will be announced
in the fall”.

Ariganello is adamant that the future is bright for CGA-Canada. He
said: “As we celebrate this special anniversary year, we hope that
CGA-Canada will continue to enjoy broad national and international
recognition. This spring time we will be moving our Vancouver staff
into a newly-built office space. We hope that this will be a
prudent investment that will invigorate the organisation and
accommodate future growth. Overall though, CGA-Canada has grown and
prospered and it truly has been a remarkable first century.”