How To Earn CGA Certification

Certified General Accountants: CGA’s competency-based program.

What does a CGA do?

A certified general accountant’s main duty is to use their knowledge to guide a business or organization through the necessary accounting processes. Certified general accountants can assist with auditing, provide tax advice, and assist clients with reporting and financial analysis. This could entail preparing financial records at the conclusion of fiscal periods, making sure a company’s financial operations adhere to regulations, and assisting clients with tax return preparation. CGAs typically serve a wide range of clients in fields like finance, commerce, non-profit, and public practice because they can work in multiple industries.

What is a CGA?

A CGA, or certified general accountant, is a qualified accountant with experience in a number of general accounting disciplines. Finance, taxes, management, auditing, and business strategy are a few examples of such topics. Additionally, certified general accountants can work in a variety of sectors, such as finance, administration, business, or government. Many certified general accountants work for accounting firms or businesses that require assistance with their accounting processes, such as charities or non-profits. A CGA is frequently referred to as a CPA, or certified public accountant, in the United States.

How to become CGA certified

The following steps will help you become a certified CGA:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

Complete a bachelor’s degree program in accounting at a college or university. To ensure they receive the education and training necessary to succeed in the field, aspiring certified general accountants frequently major in accounting. Majoring in accounting can provide more opportunities to quickly fulfill this requirement because the certification process for CGAs also requires candidates to complete a certain number of accounting courses, some of which can be taken during undergraduate study.

You can research a particular school’s website, contact alumni, or perform an internet search to find colleges and universities with robust accounting programs.

2. Complete CGA courses

Take the required courses in certified general accounting. Planning which courses you want to take and when can be helpful because CGA candidates must complete 19 courses in CGA subjects. Many people who want to become certified general accountants finish the first 17 of their CGA courses while in college and then enroll in the final two after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Candidates can complete these programs while working, giving them the opportunity to obtain their certification and gain professional experience at the same time. Finance, accounting laws and regulations, and business leadership are common topics covered in CGA courses.

3. Pass the CGA exam

To register for the CGA exam, you must achieve a passing score. The CGA exam is a thorough examination that assesses candidates’ capacity to carry out various accounting tasks in a professional setting. A candidate’s background knowledge of accounting, including best practices and regulations, is also evaluated by the exam.

Develop your knowledge of fundamental accounting concepts, such as services, information technology, ethics, and taxes, as you study for the CGA exam so that you have a solid foundation from which to draw. Studying more specialized accounting topics like financial accounting and reporting, financial planning, or management accounting can also be beneficial.

4. Gain professional experience

Obtain general accounting work experience to meet the requirements for certification. Before becoming certified, CGA candidates must have at least two years of accounting-related professional experience to demonstrate that they can carry out the duties of the position. Candidates may submit their experience for approval in order to use their international experience, such as time spent working as an accountant in the United States. However, in order to be certified, candidates must have at least a full year of accounting experience working in Canada.

Working as an accountant in sectors like business, non-profit, industry, or public practice will help you gain professional experience that will help you prepare for CGA certification.

5. Maintain your certification

Continue your education to maintain your CGA certification. Certified general accountants must complete three years of continuing professional education to keep their certification. As CGAs must provide proof of at least twelve hours of CPE, there are numerous opportunities to find activities and events to fulfill the requirement. This could entail participating in activities that foster professional development and networking for accountants, attending professional development events, or finishing coursework for a master’s degree or other advanced degree.

You can look online or through the accounting firm you work for for opportunities for continuing professional education.

Tips for earning a CGA certification

Here are a few tips for earning your CGA certification:

Research options to fulfill requirements

Investigate on your own the various ways you can complete the CGA certification requirements. Researching what these programs entail can help you decide which path may be best for you because Canada offers programs that can assist general accountants in becoming certified.

Continue developing your expertise

Continue to look for ways to improve your abilities as a certified general accountant. You can work on enhancing your skills independently in addition to having the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of accounting procedures through the CGA certification’s continuing professional education requirements. You can accomplish this by speaking with other CGAs to learn about their procedures, investigating new accounting techniques or procedures, and soliciting client feedback on areas where your service can be improved.

Consider additional accounting certifications

Look into other accounting certifications that might interest you. For accountants, Canada offers a variety of certifications at various levels, so obtaining additional certifications can advance your career by demonstrating your expertise in additional fields and establishing your qualifications in those fields. The chartered accountant certification (CA) and certified management accountant certification (CMA) are two additional certifications related to the CGA that you might consider pursuing.


How do you get CGA certified?

How to become CGA certified
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. Complete a bachelor’s degree program in accounting at a college or university.
  2. Complete CGA courses. Take the required courses in certified general accounting.
  3. Pass the CGA exam. …
  4. Gain professional experience. …
  5. Maintain your certification.

What is the difference between a CPA and a CGA?

Accountants who have received certification from national professional organizations dedicated to accounting use the designations of “certified public accountant” (CPA) and “certified general accountant” (CGA). CPA is a designation currently in use. CGA is a designation formerly used in Canada.

How do I get a CGA certification in Canada?

An undergraduate degree, two or more years of CGA-related coursework, an entrance exam, and two to three years of managerial-level business experience were all prerequisites for CGA certification. One benefit of earning a CGA was the flexibility, which allowed students to finish the course work while working.

How long does it take to become a CGA?

A CGA must have an undergraduate degree. Students must have at least 24 months of supervised work experience, but typically they need 36 months. They could satisfy the experience requirements in a range of industries and professions.

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