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The Difference Between An Accounting Professional And Chartered Professional Accountants

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Introduction
What is the difference between an accounting professional and a professional accountant? It seems that it is just a grammatical difference however the distinction is quite substantial. A professional accountant is an accountant with a designation recognized by the province in which he or she practices. Until recently, these designations were Certified General Accountants, Certified Management Accountants and Chartered Accountants. The three designations have merged across Canada to form a unified designation called Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA). There are rules of professional conduct associated with all of these designations and breaking them can result in a suspension or with the revoking of the Professional Accountant’s
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In 1887, the American Association of Public Accountants was formed with the first standardized tests coming out about a decade later (Zeff, 2003, pg. 2). In 1896, New York State passed the first law for Certified Public Accountants (CPA), which Zeff (2003) “marked the beginning of an accredited profession of accounting in the United States” (pg 2). In Canada, the first association began in 1902 with the Dominion Association of Chartered Accountants (Buckstein, part 1 pg 2). Buckstein quoted John L. Carey, the author of a paper outlining the history of the accounting profession worldwide stated “the reason for creating a full-fledged professional organization was to distinguish skilled accountants of integrity from self-styled accountants whose competence had not been demonstrated” (pg. 2) As Zeff (2003) stated with the passage of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 all publicly traded companies were now required to have their financials audited by independent CPA’s (pg. 4). This showcased the importance of having skilled and knowledgeable individuals produce verifiable and accurate information that the public (in all its forms) could rely upon. The combination of having professional accounting bodies and government legislations have attempted to establish…show more content…
4) . One of the largest bankruptcies in history was enabled by accountants hiding debt and destroying the evidence to avoid implication (Buckstein, part 2 pgs. 1, 2, and 3). These unfortunate events led to the need for increased scrutiny and regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Buckstein, part 3 pg 1). This legislation inspired the creation of the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) (Buckstein, part 3 pg 1). These changes have led to an increased awareness of the need for auditor independence as well as higher standards for accounting and business in general (Buckstein, part 3 pg 1). While these measures have helped to reassure the public, there is still the question of why Accountancy is not a protected