(Montreal) The Order of Chartered Professional Accountants of Quebec is separating from CPA Canada “to better meet the needs of the accounting profession”. Accountants would be better served by “a unified voice” to work on major international issues, responds the pan-Canadian association.

The Quebec and Ontario orders have initiated a process that will end their official relationship with CPA Canada in 18 months. Divorce would amputate more than half of CPA Canada’s 220,000 members. The Order of Ontario has 100,000 members and that of Quebec 41,000.

The president and CEO of the Quebec order, Geneviève Mottard, said in a press release that the decision will “better meet the needs of the accounting profession”. “Quebec’s economy is unique in its professional environment, its culture and its language. »

The president and CEO of CPA Canada, Pamela Steer, deplores the decision of the two provincial orders while the accounting profession must deal with issues of international magnitude. “It’s important to have a unified voice so that we can take our place on the international scene,” she pleads in an interview in French. If there is a hassle, we risk losing our international power. »

She gives examples of artificial intelligence, the fight against international crime or the development of ESG accounting standards. The presence of a unified voice would have contributed to the decision of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to establish an office in Montreal, she suggests.

Ms. Steer says the Quebec and Ontario associations wanted to have more say in the governance of CPA Canada. Such a decision would have had the effect of marginalizing the other provinces, according to her.

It was not possible to obtain the version of the Order of Quebec, which declined our interview request.

Discussions between the parties have been going on for five years. CPA Ontario president and CEO Carol Wilding says the positions were “too far apart and got to a point where the status quo was no longer possible.”

CPA Canada was created in 2013 following the unification of the various accounting designations (CA, CMA and CGA). In Quebec, it took five attempts spread over a period of 40 years before adopting a single title (CPA) for the entire profession.

CPA Canada says it welcomed the proposals from the two provincial orders. The association offered to hold discussions with a conciliator, but the proposal was refused, Steer said. She believes that an agreement is always possible.

“Proud member of Ontario,” Ms. Steer is “very disappointed” with the decision of her provincial college and that of Quebec. “It was a decision made by the boards without talking to their members and that, to me, is disrespectful. »