Chartered Management Accounts Ontario’s (CMA Ontario) board of directors has said it supports the move to merge the country’s three institutes into one professional body under the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) designation.

This process reached a milestone earlier this year when the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), the Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) and the Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA Canada) presented their members with a unification framework.

The unification framework specifies the transition for Canadian accountants to the CPA designation and subsequent CPA certification programme.

"When unification ultimately becomes a reality, the new CPA Ontario organisation will bring together the strengths of both the CA and CMA under a new and stronger designation," CMA Ontario said in a statement.

The decision to merge the bodies follows the experience of Quebec where CAs, CMAs and CGAs chose to unify under the common CPA designation.

CMA Canada and the CICA are currently working towards launching CPA Canada in January 2013 and several provincial bodies have now signed merger agreements and integration plans.

The professional body looks forward to engage with its counterpart the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO) but it said in the meantime the CMA brand will be supported both by CMA Ontario and CMA Canada.

ICAO president and chief executive Rod Barr welcomed the decision from CMA Ontario board and said the CPA banner is in the best interests of the public and the profession as a whole.

"It is important the ICAO is able to follow through on our commitment to join CPA Canada and make an orderly transition to CPA Ontario," Barr added.

ICAO has issued CPA designation guidelines according to which members are free to use the new CPA designation in conjunction with CA until 30 June 2013.

However, from 1 July 2013 the use of the CPA designation in conjunction with CA becomes mandatory.

Related links

CMA Ontario

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario

CPA Canada