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A photo of loohopefull94 loohopefull94
Hey I was just wondering what is the difference between the three are, average salary, and what do you have to do in order to become each designation, finally good schools to go to for each. Thank you :)
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A photo of KingJW KingJW
This should be alot of good information.
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A photo of g93 g93
The CA designation is the oldest of the three designations, and has the highest standards. The designation isn't overly focused on one key area. The CMA designation is focused on management accounting, and the CGA designation is focused on technical skills.

In Ontario, until 2004, only CAs were allowed to audit public companies. Now all three can. That used to be a major distinction between the three. The CA designation is the most well-regarded and internationally known, and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the various provincial institutes spend a lot of time/money on marketing the designation (especially the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (the ICAO)). Some have suggested that the gap between the three is narrowing and such. All three of the Canadian institutes have been considering merging to form the Canadian Professional Accountant (CPA) designation (not to be confused with the American CPA designation). They have had similar talks before though with no results. CAs can also write a couple exams to get their CPA (American) designation, while I don't believe such options exist for the other two designations.

CAs represent the largest group in Ontario, with I believe CMAs shortly behind, and CGAs last. Supposedly CGA is the fastest growing. You might want to check those statistics if you care.

As for salary, CAs, on average, earn the most, followed by CMAs, with CGAs bringing up the rear. Average compensation for CAs is $181,203, for CMAs is $119,400, and for CGAs is $100,514 (based off of 2010 national statistics).

CA Salary Report
CMA Salary Report
CGA Salary Report

In Ontario, to become a CA, you must attain a university degree (usually an undergraduate degree), either in a fully-accredited program or in a program that allows you to complete the 51 credit hours required by the ICAO. You must write three exams, the CKE, SOA, and UFE (the hardest of the three). You also must complete 3 years of work experience at a certified CA Training Office. There are a few more little things I did not include, but that's essentially what you need to do. Check out guidetorulingtheworld.ca for more information, or search this site.

CMAs need to complete and undergraduate business degree. If you go to an accredited program, you can go straight to writing the exams and getting experience. If you go to one that covers all required topics, you can skip a few steps, and if you go to one that doesn't, you have to go through a special program or complete those topics, then proceed to the other steps. There's also an opportunity to achieve the CMA designation if you are an experienced professional, and a couple other things. For more information, see http://www.cma-ontario.org/index.cfm?ci_id=7770&la_id=1

To become a CGA, you must complete an undergraduate degree, write a few exams, and then get some work experience. They call it the PACE program I think, part of their "CGA Competency Framework". Go to http://www.cga-canada.org/en-ca/Programs/Pages/ca_become_CGA.aspx for more information, if that's not the right link then google it.

Programs for a CA: all of the fully-accredited programs are probably the best, anything that offers the 51 credit-hours works (save yourself the hassle and go to a fully-accredited program). The "best" that most people refer to are usually Waterloo AFM (and its other accounting programs) and Schulich BBA, as well as Laurier BBA, Brock BAcc, and Queen's Commerce. A case could be made for pretty well any of the fully-accredited programs.

Programs for a CMA: any of these programs that are accredited are your best bet: http://www.cma-ontario.org/index.cfm?ci_id=7773&la_id=1

Programs for a CGA: pretty well everywhere, although apparently they have accredited programs too: http://www.cga-ontario.org/Accredited_Programs.aspx

Feel free to ask for clarification or more questions!
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