#auditing#Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants#Generally Accepted Accounting Principles#Strategic Management Accounting Guidelines#The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada

Accountants Net Power via Generally Accepted Principles

|Aug 10|magazine14 min read
Proclaiming Canada’s top five, ten or 100 accountants is a futile undertaking and carries little validity among industry experts. Any list attempting to rank individual accountants will encounter intense scrutiny for its subjective properties.

The vast majority of accountants uphold themselves to lofty standards and unwavering ethical values. If that wasn’t enough, the three recognized Canadian bodies hold members accountable.

Instead of limiting our scope to a small consortium of accountants with debatable merits and qualifications, we at Business Review Canada have extracted the general information you need to know to make educated and strategic decisions regarding your accounting departments. Let’s crunch the data…

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)

Representing a membership of approximately 75,000 CAs and 12,000 students in Canada and Bermuda, the CICA has developed the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) within Canada since its incorporation in 1902 by the government. CICA researches current business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business. CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).

While the CICA primarily concerns itself with assisting members, many of the CICA member resources can be just as useful to businesses evaluating current accounting operations. The CICA lists a searchable database, the Chartered Account Firm Directory, on its website. Executives and Chief Financial Officers can search the directory of CA Firms by firm name, location, firm size or industries. Only registered firms will be listed in the search results.

Every year, the CICA recognises the best models with the Chartered Accountants of Canada Corporate Reporting Awards, which are the only national awards program that recognizes excellence and best practices in corporate reporting. TSX and Venture traded companies, Federal Crown corporations and Provincial Crown corporations are eligible. 2009 big winners included PotashCorp, TD Bank Financial and Nexen Inc.

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI), Toronto CFA Society and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are the 2010 judges. The 2010 awards are held at the end of the year, and although the submission deadline has passed, companies implementing more transparent and effective accounting models can use the 2011 awards as a platform.

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA)

Representing 73,000 members and students living and working in Canada, and more than 80 countries around the world, the CGA-Canada was founded in 1908 as a self-regulating, professional association. CGA clients range from major corporations and industries to entrepreneurs, and their expertise is valued in the public sector, the government and the corporate world.

In addition to researching and supporting social policy, regulation and standards-setting, the CGA also produces near-monthly reports on all things financial. Many of the reports are business oriented and provide valuable insight into trends and developments.

An April report detailed the state of the Canadian pension system and the escalating funding deficits. The CGA also proposed what it believes to be crucial reforms to maintain viability. And last month the CGA released a report jointly authored with CPA Australia regarding small and mid enterprise potential. The report was based on discussions with government and business leaders held May 21, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia and June 9, 2010 in Gatineau, Canada.

Like the CICA, CGA-Canada recognizes outstanding service and performance by both members and students. Members receive the Fellowship (FCGA) Award for exceptional service. Students can receive the Awards of Excellence academic achievement.

The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)

CMA Canada is the third recognized accounting body with 50,000 certified members around the world. CMA Canada would be the most appropriate of the three organizations for executives to reach out to for their accounting needs. CMA Canada’s mission is to lead the advancement and integration of accounting, management and strategy to optimize enterprise performance. CMA Canada chiefly represents professional accountants in management.

CMA Canada devotes a considerable portion of its website to business resources. CMA Canada's Strategic Management Accounting Guidelines contains management guidelines to help institute industry-recognized best practices. The Management Accounting Practices section focuses on optimizing internal accounting operations and methods to give shareholders a better understanding of an organization's performance. The volume is staggering and can position a company to win a Chartered Accountants of Canada Corporate Reporting Award.

With greater emphasis and importance placed on trust and ethical practices, many corporations covet accounting awards and other recognition of transparency.

Working closely with the three recognized bodies, especially CMA Canada, can account for significant gains.