Sunday, April 26, 2009

CA, CMA or CGA designation?

The three musketeers.

I won't turn this into a bashing contest. Most CA's I talk to seem to have a superiority complex.

This is what any CA will tell you...CA>CMA>CGA

I will just give you a very, very brief breakdown about how to get each designation. You can easily do a google search if you want something more detailed.

To get a CA, you need to do your undergraduate in accounting in one of the CA approved institutions. Then, unless you come from Waterloo, you have the CKE and SOA. Everyone is required to write the challenging 3 day UFE and pass which marks the end of the formal education. You'll also be required to complete 3 years of training at a designated firm. Of those 3 years, you must have a certain number of hours in each field such as audit, tax, etc.

To get a CMA, you need to do your undergraduate consisting of the CMA required topics (this is a Bcomm for most people). Then you have to pass the CMA entrance examination and go through the strategic leadership program. In the strategic leadership program you will need to pass the case and group project. You will also need to have the work experience.

For a CGA, you will need an undergraduate in any field. There are about 2 years worth of CGA courses that you must take through correspondence. There is an extrance exam and usually 2-3 years of work experience.

Note there are exceptions to the exact requirements of each designation. But again, I won't waste your time with that. This information is easily found on google.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about the pros and cons of each designation.

Now the first thing, any CA seems to tell you is that CA> all. Is this necessarily true?

CA

Pros:
Out of the three designations, the CA is the most internationally recognized. The CFA which I will talk about in future posts is actually an even better international designation. But compared to the CMA or CGA, the CA is more internationally recognized and respected. There is no arguing here.

So if you are planing to work internationally, the CA will bring you more benefits than the other two. +1 point for the CA designation.

The CA designation also won't close down any doors for you in the corporate ladder. You can basically do everything the other two designations can do, and things like "signing off" which they cannot do. People at top heavy positions in companies also tend to be CA's which is why they want to continue to hire CA's.

Employers also like hiring CA's so much because they understand the training process. CGA's and CMA's can get their designation in a variety of ways. For CA's, 90% of the time, they did their articling experience in public accounting and prospective employers know that they can handle the pain of long hours when crunch time comes.

Think about it like this. CA's or CGA's may be better or worse trained than CA's. With a CA, you know what to expect especially Big 4 CA's. Sometimes prospective employers just need someone who can get the job done, and avoid gambling looking for a "diamond in the rough."

On average, CA's also tend to be paid more than CMA's and CGA's.

Cons:

The major con of the CA designation is the time investment and torture you must go through to get it.

Also the fact that the CA designation is very narrow and focused in terms of what you do to acquire it. You do have a competitive edge over CMA's and CGA's in "some" areas, but not ALL. We are only talking about the top top level positions.

You get paid more than the CGA or CMA but you will pay your dues with much longer hours.

CGA

Pro:
For a CGA designation, it is the easiest to get out of the three designations. On a cost benefit analysis, the additional boost in money you get compared to the time investment is very nice. If you have no interest in climbing the corporate public ladder, I highly recommend the CGA. It is a nice credibility booster. For example, if you start your own business, and you're attracting clients, the CGA is very nice. The work experience is also very broad. There are many different ways to fulfill this requirement as opposed to something like the CA for example

You are also allowed to audit in some provinces.

Cons:

It is not as well respected as the other designations. Among the accounting world, CA's and CMA's tend to look down at CGA's. If you planning on climbing the corporate ladder, the CGA will put you in a less favourable light compared to a CA or CMA.

It is also the lowest compensated of the three designations.

CMA

Pros:

A nice balance of two other designations. Not quite as hard as the CA designation. Much more respected than the CGA designation. You don't have to go through the CA articling "hell". Many people in top positions hold the CMA Designations. I like to think of the CMA's as the jack of all trades.

You get to work directly in industry and get much more interesting work. You are not specialized in accounting and auditing, but you understand enough about what needs to be done.

Cons:


You can't sign off on audits. There are certain jobs that do require a CA, and you may be turned down for some positions in favour of a CA. For example, items like audit or tax, a CA will be more prefered to than a CMA.

Conclusion

If I were able to choose a free designation, I would pick the CA designation.

However, life is about opportunity costs. There is no point having a truck license if you only ever intend to drive a car. It is pointless to have a CA designation if all you need is a CGA designation or CMA Designation, or no designation at all. CA designation is the more respected and higher paid "on an average basis" but they also work longer hours and go through much harder material.

So, I will conclude by saying:

CGA: Very much acheivable. Any professional designation will give you a boost over the guy with just an undergraduate. On a cost-benefit analysis, I would highly recommend this designation if you haven't started any other designations. It is much more easier than the other designations. This is also for people who already finished university or are looking at changing fields. If you are just starting your university, I recommend one of the other two designations.

Advice: Ignore the CGA bashers most likely coming from CA students, or CA's. They hate their lives.

CMA: A very nice Jack of all trades designation. I like to think of this as an mini-MBA. You understand enough about industry to manage and do some damage. Highly respected, and you don't have to go through CA articling hell. If you know public accounting is not for you, consider this your choice if your just starting university.

Advice: Ignore the CMA bashers also likely coming from CA students, or CA's. They hate their lives.

CA: The "God" of the accounting designations. Be prepared to work extremely hard getting the designation. After you get it, the world is yours. Not really. You are more respected than CMA's and CGA's in many areas. Your average salary will also be higher. You can continue the CA superiority complex with your newly minted CA's and laugh at the CA's and CMA's.

Advice: Don't bash CMA's and CGA's cause you hate your life.

Goodbye.

4,232 comments:

  1. Not a bad summary, I'll probably just send people over here next time they want a quick and dirty breakdown of the three. :)

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  2. Actually, CMAs and CGAs can perform assurance work in most provinces. My province, Quebec, just basically leveled the playing field for all accountants. But let's be clear: CMAs have zero experience in audit, so this little experiment is an exercise in futility. And CGAs... hah!

    CA > *

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  3. This post is terrible! Very weak arguments (and I am a CA!) the author has done very little research or even proof read his article before posting.

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  4. Said like a true CA. The article said you would say that. I am amused.

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  5. "There are about 2 years worth of CGA courses that you must take through correspondence. There is an extrance exam and usually 2-3 years of work experience".

    Make better research! You can never do CGA in 2 years. And you have to have 2-3 years MANAGERIAL experience to become a CGA.

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  6. If you had a business degree, you'd only have to finish 2 years (part-time) of CGA courses. The "managerial" experience required is quite loosely defined and you only need 1 year of it and 2-3 years work experience in total.

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  7. "If you had a business degree, you'd only have to finish 2 years (part-time) of CGA courses. The "managerial" experience required is quite loosely defined and you only need 1 year of it and 2-3 years work experience in total". How in the world can you do all the remaining courses of CGA even if you have a business degree in 1yr and as far as experience goes you would need more than just an entry level you have to be climbing up the ladder and getting promotions before you can qualify for the designation.

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  8. Hi, im a university graduate from the UK and I plan on moving to Vancouver real soon..my problem is whether to do CGA or CMA? Im looking at potential future earnings here and opportunities for career advancement.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks guys!

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  9. http://iwanttobeaca.blogspot.com/2009/04/ca-cma-or-cga-designation.html

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  10. The article is not true. To date, CGAs have the same Public accounting rights in all Provinces and territories in Canada except two provinces (Ontario and to a limited extent in Quebec). Legislation has been passed in these two provinces to allow equal access to Public Accounting licences to all designations.

    There are more CMAs who have obtained the CGA designation and given up the CMA (including my current supervisor).

    In every jurisdiction in Canada where CGAs have been allowed to compete fairly, they have superseded the CAs. A good example is Manitoba and British Columbia. The CA monopoly in public accounting in Ontario and Quebec is only maintained through outdated Government legislation.

    There are so many public accounting firms in Canada that have CAs and CGAs as employees and Partners. You can do an internet search on public accounting firms in Canada and click on the list of partners to check their respective designations. If CGAs were inferior why would CAs enter into this partnership?

    To counter CGAs growth, the CA UFE standards have been lowered as evidenced by the increase in the percentage of their pass rates compared to the 1980s. On the other hand, CGAs exams have been increasingly getting more complicated.

    CGA through their strategic partnership with ACCA (UK), CPA (Australia) and CPA (Ireland) provides their members with more enhanced international designation portability than CA or CMA.

    It may help to do your research before you misinform the public.

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  11. CA - Lack of accounting operations experience and training. They may held a higher level position but lack of these foundations, will lower levels look up on them or do they need a strong assistant to help them to stay floating?

    Audit - all CA, CGA and CMA can do audit in Ontario now

    CMA has mutual recognition agreements with CIMA (UK), CIPFA (UK) and CPA Australia. More to come ! So is it global enough? btw CPA designation is a CA designation, so Canadian CMAs can be Australia CAs, no problem !

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  12. There is no way CGA is easier than CMA,
    Most CMA’s take the accelerated program, basically in 6 months you learn what a CA and CGA take YEARS to learn. This means there are inevitable holes in a CMA’s general knowledge. CMA is also probably the most expensive designation to attain out of the three.
    90% of the transfer courses from my University are identical between CGA and CA. If you look at most provinces’ required marks for transfer courses for CGA and CA you’ll see the SAME cut off mark for both (usually around –B or B depending on grading system). So in my eyes……. CA>if not = CGA>CMA

    P.S. I was in the CGA stream of accounting but have now completed by CA (last year)I still think very highly of CGA's.

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  13. My first choice is the CA designation. If it doesn't work out then I will go for a CMA designation.

    The CGA designation is too easy to obtain, I've wokred with so many CGAs who have NO business holding a professional designation. They lack higher competencies and skills. I guess my biggest problem is that the CGA Program does not screen out the hacks. Anyone and their dog can obtain the CGA designation.

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  14. You are just wrong. Not anyone and their dog can get the CGA. I'm sure you can't do 2 + 2. Wchich one do you have?

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  15. I think all three designations are just fine. What matters is the personal knowledge of each individual...if you are good at what you do, and quick at picking-up things, any designation will do. CA might be highly viewed in auditing (since the other ones are emerging), but in private companies, any will do. In fact, some companies ask for CMAs or CGAs specifically because they need someone with more management experience.

    My advice: don't sweat it. Think of what kind of work you'd like to do and go for designation that most suits the field. Then just be good at it. Also, learn extra stuff!! It's not because you are a CA or CMA that they will hire you eyes closed...learn many accounting softwares and non-accounting ones, study your Excel at a sophisticated level, etc etc....things like these will make a difference, not the M or the G in your title.

    Good-luck all!

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  16. I am a CGA and have respect for all 3 professions. However, to whoever wrote that grabage, do your homework first before misleading people.
    As a director of a very large corporation, I had to fire CA's due to their incompetence. Kids, do not listen to the garbage you hear or read. The profession you choose like everything else is a lifestyle decision. Just because you obtain a CA, CGA or CMA title, it does not automatically make you great. Greatness comes from within and not a title.

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  17. Hi

    I came across this post and I thought I should ask this...I'am a recent CGA graduate with 3 years healthcare industry experiance. Do you think I should go for a CA now? I would have to switch jobs and with no public practice experiance take about a 10K pay cut is it worth it in the end though? I dont mind giving things up if a CA will pay off better

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  18. I wrote that CGA comment and it is not garbage.

    I've been working in industry and public practice for the last 4 years and have returned to school to complete my last 3 accounting courses so I can enter the CASB program.

    I eventually want to open up my own public practice one day. My first choice is the CA designation; if it doesn't work out then I'll opt for the CMA route.


    In my experience, the CGAs I have worked with weren't exactly the sharpest knives in the drawers. In fact, they were more like spoons.

    My main problem is the dilution factor and the screening process of the CGA program which allows mediocre people to gain a professional designation. To reiterate, anyone and their dog can obtain the CGA designation.

    Ask a CGA why he/she didn't go into the CA program and they'll explode into a tirade. Things would be a lot simpler we adopted a unitary designation/professional standard like the CPA moniker.

    Like it or not, there is a caste system of sorts in professional accounting in Canada. I just don't want to be associated with the lower rung.

    Food for thought.

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  19. This posting is just awful. Do your research before writing such garbage.

    The CMA requires a degree; however, it doesn't have to be a degree in accounting. It can be any degree in any field. Also, CMA was the last organization in Canada to require a degree prior to obtaining a designation. The degree requirement for CMA didn't come into effect until 2006!!! So I wouldn't be too high and mighty about CMA.

    Also, CMA is the easiest designation to obtain. It takes about 2 years. While CGA can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years depending on how many prerequisite accounting courses you have.

    CA is a good designation; however, for those who don't want to lock themselves into a crappy firm for crappy pay for three years should consider one of the other 2 designations.

    CGA practical experience is 1 year junior and 2 years senior type experience and its courses focus heavily on accounting and auditing. The CGA course curriculum was so good, that the CASB began adopting some of its testing methodologies and course materials to integrate it into the CA program.

    As for CMA, it focuses less on accounting and more on management. Its "final exam" consists of a group oral presenation - which is quite lame.

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  20. to the post above

    CMA takes about 2 years? maybe if you have all the pre-requisites. CGA can also take 2 years if you have most of the pre-requisites.

    It can also take an individual more than 2 years to get the CMA, depending on transfer credits.

    Also, oral presentations are never lame. It tests one's personality and is considered an invaluable skill in the industry.

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  21. Personally, I have experience with all three designatoins in some way. I was brain washed in University to think CA was the only route and worked for a CA firm for 1 year before I realized that I would get no training other than audit. So, I changed career paths and went into the CGA route with my 51 course hours. Please note that you cannot do a CGA in two years even if you have the maximum exemption as I did. It will still take you at least three years.

    My girlfriend is a CMA and she took the accelerated program. I can tell you that it is challenging but in no way compares to the course load of the CGA and the number of exams a CGA has to write. She was amazed how much more I had to study for a CGA than she did for her CMA.

    Anyways, its not really a competition. In the end, I congratulate anyone who can do either of the three designations.

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  22. I don't speak on behalf of CMAs by any means. However, based on those who I'm either friends with or work with, almost none really care to refer to themselves as "accountants". Myself included.

    Those who are in the SLP with me don't really see becoming the "world's greatest accountant" as their endgame. As far as the d*ck measuring contest goes with respect to which designation creates the best accountants, I'm sure that the CAs and CGAs can squabble over that amongst themselves.

    So no, CMAs don't focus all of their energy on "technical" accounting. And yes, the process of becoming a CMA is sort of like doing a mini-MBA.

    There are some very valuable qualitative skills that are nurtured and enforced in the CMA program. Skills that, in my opinion, result in an employee being considered more valuable than those who pride themselves as being more technical and "quantitative".

    Again, these comparisons of which designation is the "best" really don't go very far because everyone has their own definition of "best" and "worst". But I just wanted to give my own reasons (as well as the reasons of my peers) as to why I can't be bothered to be involved. I can't help but to roll my eyes every time I see someone try to associate doing something "technical" as being better or more difficult.

    Chances are, your CFO isn't more technical than the Sr. Accountant who has been in his role for 12 years. Nor is the CIO or CTO more technical than the software developer who has been writing scripts for the past 8 years.

    It's not about being "technical".

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  23. All the above said..... Whenever I see job postings looking for a certified accountant, it's always "With a CA, CGA, or CMA"

    Which suggests to me that alot of the employers think of all these designations as one and the same. CAs thing they are better than all. I have worked with all three doing the same position and there really isn't any difference.

    Most of the differences come in personalities. Some are introverts and some are extroverts. The most successful, regardless of the designation, are those with the people skills.

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  24. Very helpful! Thanks.

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  25. The above is 90% wrong! Please get your facts straight before posting copy and paste answers. Here is the truth:

    CGA is the hardest to get! You have to be self diciplined and be able to balance work and studies at the same time. The CMA program simply does not teach anything. Read the book called "Creative accounting exposed" CMA program is simply dying and they are giving this designation like candies to kids just for the sake of having more grads and students. When it comes to financial accounting CGAs are equal to CAs if not better. CMA focuses on management accounting which I would say nothing but common sense. An engineer is most of the time a better cost accountant than a CMA-CA or CGA. CGAs know taxation much much better than CMAs.

    The whole point boils down the CICA hand book. CICA handbook is the base of Canadian GAAP and dominated by CAs. They are never going to let their power go and share the pie with the other two designations unles CGAs challange them. We all know that CMA do not have the power to challange.

    I am a CGA student and my controller is a CA. I find my accounting knowledge equal if not better than him. He usually consults me when he is confused and he is most of the time confused. One day he asked me a question and my answer shocked him! He avoided me for over 1 week simply because he was embarrassed.

    CGAs also hold the public interest over and above everything. I would say we have a better understanding of ethics!

    Look at the number of people who enrolled with all the 3 programs! Only 20-25% of CGA students can get their designation! CGA is an extremely respected and hard path.

    Please tell me something a CA can do and CGA can not! You can not simply say CAs are better! This is only a claim without a base. Prove your point or respect the CGAs!

    When it comes to CMAs I can only laugh at them!

    CGA is getting bigger and biger every year! CAs started feeling the heat about 5 years ago and wanted to get their little sister CMAs on their site and fight againts CGAs. It did fail as we all know.

    By 2011 there will be only one GAAP in the english speaking world. It will be interesting to see CAs coming up with funny explanations why they think they are better than CGAs.

    Please also note that CGA is the only designation advocating for the financial statements for our planet and finding the beta for each company in the big picture. In my opinion this is the only way we can solve most of the gigantic problems like environmental and ethical...etc.
    In my opinion CGAs are equal to CA in many ways and better than them in understanding the bigger issues. CMAs are not even in the same league. They are in their little niche world. I know many CMA students thinking about switching to the CGA program as they think they are not learning anything!

    Government jobs hold all 3 designations equal and they do not discriminate them. The pay rate is the same for all 3 designations. I had a professor and he was saying they all end with letter "A" meaning accountant. You have earned it! Simple as that. There will be always good and not so good accountants! CAs can keep telling themselves they are better than the CGAs. I know they are not! They also deep down know they are not any better! Times are challanging for CAs. I say bring it on! CGAs are always confident and up for a challange!

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  26. I wonder how many CAs or CMA can pass a typical CGA exam! CGA exams are KILLER! Period!

    CGA designation takes much longer than 2 years! I have never ever seen anybody getting their designation in two years. It is the CMA that takes only two years not the CGA program. CGA designation can take up to 10 years if you are not coming from an accounting back ground. Here is the CGA program:

    There are 5 levels and you have to do every single level:
    Level 1 to 3: There are 4 courses in each level
    Level 4: There are 6 courses
    Level 5 (Pace Level): 2 courses and 2 exit exams.

    You are only alloved to take one course or exam every 3 months. Each course requires minimum 25 hours of self studying per week plus several quizes and exam blue prints and cases!

    If you are starting from scratch you are looking at 22 X 3.5 months. Even if you do not fail any course (almost impossible) it will take you years!

    When it comes to CMA it is the easiest. Once you are in the program you are looking at only 2 years! If you want a quick incompotent designation go with CMA if you want to be a real acountant go with CGA. If you want your buble to be burst within a few years when you are challanged go with CA.

    CMA do not know financial accounting and taxation they are in their little world.

    CAs are big in auditing. But auditing is not accounting! I challange all CAs and CMA please download a typical CGA national exam and dare it!
    You will take your hat off to CGAs!

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  27. I think Management Accountants hence the CMAs are the reason of the collapse of the auto industry in North America. They are poking their nose into the job of engineers. For the sake of minimizing costs they are costing the company its name and reputation. If you are driving a crappy american car you can blame the management accountants! Accountants should never limit the engineers. Their job is nothing more than capturing the performance of the company and communicating it! I wonder why CMA designation do exist. They do more damage than good.

    CGAs and CAs are both good and valuable designations....Things are changing in the favor of CGAs though!

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  28. I have 2 degrees in business and it still will take me over 3 years to complete my CGA. Where did you get the information that CGA is a 2 year part time program? May be you meant the CMA? Even Revenue Canada considers the CGA program as a full time program and gives advantage to CGA students of being enrolled in a full time program. I can understand being wrong here and there but the above argument is all wrong! How could you be so bad and mis-informed!? And you are attempting mislead the public?!

    Please do not mis-inform the public. I am guessing that you are a professional and you can not mis-inform the public. I wonder what you would do if you have the power to run a company! May be create another Enron or world.com? The above argument has no base. And it is a lie!

    I have seen many CGA and they look down the CAs and CMAs. I find the CGAs more competible than the other two designations. I have seen CGAs firing CAs for being incompotent.

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  29. What does "competible" and "incompotent" mean?

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  30. Sorry for the typo, what I mean is:

    competible: Consistent with the needs of the public. CGAs hold the interest of the public over and above everything. They have a better understanding of ethics in the profession

    incompetent: Failing to meet the minimum required obligations....

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  31. To Anonymous:

    You make some valid points regarding the technical superiority of CGAs. I am a CA student, and I do agree that CGA is a very tough process, and is actually harder to get than the CA. I don't think I would be able to pass the CGA national exams because of the technical difficulty. That being said:

    No matter how you put it, you cannot change the fact that in Ontario CGA is still considered as the least respected accounting designation. CA, as always, is the most prestigious. CMA is right in the middle.

    Again, I concede that most of your points about CGAs' strong accounting foundation are valid. But what I said above is simply the perception of the general business community. You can cry afoul any way you want -- but you KNOW that CA are more respected than CGA, period.

    This may be due to CICA's stranglehold on public accounting, or their handbook, or whatever... facts are facts, and the world is just unfair in that way.

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  32. > I have seen many CGA and they look down the CAs and CMAs. I find the CGAs more competible than the other two designations. I have seen CGAs firing CAs for being incompotent.

    Yeah well, both CAs and CMAs and the general business community look down at the CGAs. Their perception is that CGAs are the typical accounting workhorse/nerd who are well-versed with technical accounting details but not capable of handling higher-end roles.

    Again, this may be stereotypical and perhaps a lot of CGAs are competent even outside the realm of pure accounting. BUT THIS IS THE GENERAL PERCEPTION and you cannot change it no matter how you argue in favour of the CGA.

    As an analogy, it's kind of like Ryerson University vs University of Toronto. I've taken courses at both Ryerson and U of T, and I found Ryerson's accounting courses to be much harder. Yet reputation-wise, Ryerson pales in comparison to U of T in every way.

    You can go on endlessly arguing how Ryerson students' academic prowess is superior to that of UT students. But when the time comes to find a job, with all other variables being equal with the exception of the candidates' schools, a UT student would beat a Ryerson student hands down.

    CGA would be Ryerson, and CA would be UT.

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  33. Sarduakar; CGA is the fastest growing accounting designation. Things will change soon (very soon) in Ontario too. When you leave Ontario all designations are equal! When you get a government job all designations are equal. Now it is time to burst the bubble and EDUCATE THE EMPLOYERS! I think it is time for them to understand the fact that CGAs deserve more credit and they are second to nobody.

    I still have questions about the CMA designation though. May be they should change their name to Certified Manager...etc. They do not know accounting; Period!. Go ask a tax question to a CMA or try a financial accounting question.
    Once again I am asking every single person who thinks CGA is an easy path. Just dare a national CGA exam! (And please ask a CGA marker to mark your exam)
    I wish employers made an accounting exam mandatory to apply for a job. CGAs would shine!

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  34. Anonymous,

    I never said CGA is an easy path. In fact, I personally think it is the *hardest* path, because it's a tough process to get the designation, and even afterwards they get less recognition than they deserve.

    Given 2 people with the same abilities and demeanor, a CA is just worth more than a CGA. Whereas a client may think a CGA charging $300/hr is expensive, a CA charging $300/hr may be more than reasonable to him. This has nothing to do with actual abilities. It's a perception. You should know as well as I do that this is generally true in the business community.

    Yes, in the government all 3 designations are equal. But that's the government. In the private sector where most young accountants are interested in, CA still reigns supreme (all other variables staying constant).

    You can try to educate the employers all you want, but it will definitely be an UPHILL BATTLE for you. Once a perception is entrenched in the minds of business community, good luck in persuading them otherwise. Also, top CFO positions in corporations are still dominated by CA's, and as a matter of course they are heavily biased towards CAs when it comes to recruiting. Good luck changing that as well.

    It's not all about "being technical" in the real world. Sure, CGAs are very technically capable... so they can damn well handle the low-level grunt accounting work.

    Lastly, let me ask you a question, Anonymous: since you know so much more accounting than your boss, and your boss frequently needs to seek your wisdom in accounting questions... THEN WHY IS HE YOUR BOSS? Again, it's not all about "being technical" in business.

    Before convincing the world that CGA is superior to CA, first convince your own company that you should be in your boss's seat. Once you accomplish, we'll talk about educating the employers about the true value of CGAs.

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  35. Anonymous,

    Regarding your opinion on CMA, read my post above made on January 27, 2010 9:36 AM.

    You may be the nation's greatest accountant and know the most GAAP inside out, but that's still not enough to get you so far.

    Again, you need to realize that it's not all about "being technical" in this real world.

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  36. I have been the industry for awhile and based on my experience, CA is definitely superior in 2 areas: 1. extremely strong working knowledge of GAAP compared to CGAs or CMAs 2. recognized internationally
    These are one of the main reasons why a CFO of a public company is usually a CA.
    That said, there are other factors that will contribute to one's success as a prof accountant.
    Advice: any one of the designations is better than nothing. please pursue it..it's a life insurance.

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  37. Hi Sardaukar;

    My boss is a designated CA and I am still a CGA Student! So you are kissing goodbye your mighthy matching principle here! I thought I had made this perfectly clear!

    Once I get my designation if I do not move up to at least an equal position I am out the door. The world is at my doorstep. I can get a job where CGAs are not discriminated for being better than CAs. Like I said CGA is the fastest growing accounting designation in Canada. We all know that if you are a CGA you would hire a CGA and if you are CA you would hire a CA. What does this tell you: CGA IS THE FASTEST GROWING DESIGNATION IN CANADA?

    In 5-10 years there will be more CGAs in the managerial positions than CAs. Yep... More CGAs will be hired than CAs... Things are changing fast. Please take a look at what happened in Quebeck in the last 6 months! The same will happen in Ontario soon.! (unless you already know, the bubble of CAs have been burst and CGAs have the equal rights now)

    I do not want to be in my boss's seat! I know I am better and I know I am more knowledgable and I know I am worth more. We as CGAs are up for a challange and hope CAs are ready too!

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  38. European Union, Japan, China and Singapore fully recognize CGA. I hope this is international enough.

    The company I work for is CA dominated hence the reason I know the designation well... CAs are all about internal controls and auditing. Accounting is so much more than that! I wish there was a comprehensive accounting contest between CGAs and CAs! From ethics to GAAP!
    It would be nice to see the all mighthy CAs squeezing their tail between their legs and taking their hat off to CGAs!

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  39. CGAs are recognized in the Euro and Yen zone. Hope this is international enough!

    No wonder why public accounting is dominated by CAs. Let us face it CAs have stolen the rights of CGAs practicing public accounting in Ontario for decades. Is this how they serve to the public? By creating their own monopoly? Why is it so hard to allow the CGAs have the same rights? If they are not qualified they will fail and the public will punish them and they will lose their reputation... I guess the question is: What if they are even better than the CA?
    By creating your own monopoly you can only delay the change you can not avoid it! I strongly believe that the society will benefit from a competition between CGAs and CAs.
    CMAs can keep playing in their little niche sand pool....

    ReplyDelete
  40. I’ve worked for an oil and gas company in Calgary for 3 years. The company has several accounting departments: Crude, LPG, Financial Reporting, Tax, Regulations, Fixed Assets, Processing, etc. Here is what I have observed throughout the years:

    1. VP: CA
    2. Controllers: CAs & CGAs
    3. Managers: CAs, CGAs, CMAs
    4. Two CMA managers were fired in 2009 and 2010 due to being incompetent.
    5. Recently, several managers in the company (CAs, CMAs, and CGAs) applied for a new management position only offered to internal candidates (I think); one of them got the offer. She happened to be a CGA and is favoured by both the VP and CFO.

    I, however, still prefer CA over CGA because if I got a CA designation, I would be hired by another CA. That’s the way it goes because most of VPs and controllers are CAs.

    I’m just an accounts payable accountant :(.

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  41. Well... In january 2011 the CICA handbook will be history and the IASB will be the new sheriff in the town. So no more CA monopoly!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Sophia;

    I think CGAs and CAs are murging under the name ACCA.

    ACCA will be more powerful and they will be making most of the rules. Please read below. As far as I know CMAs are out of the equation...


    Canada
    ACCA announced a Mutual Recognition Agreement with CGA Canada effective from 1 January 2007.[1]
    ACCA is recognized by Canadian government as an eligible qualification to audit federal government institutions in Canada [2]
    As of 2006, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, World Education Services (WES) and the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor indicated that the evaluation recognized ACCA as having the Canadian equivalence of a Bachelor's Degree (four years) in Accounting.[3]
    The Canadian branch of ACCA is pursuing recognition for statutory audit purposes in the province of Ontario under the province's Public Accounting Act of 2004
    As of 2006, ACCA has 1,100 members and over 400 students residing in Canada, the largest concentration of which live in Ontario.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Do you guys not know what the difference between the 3 designations are? They have their respected strengths. All you ppl that are arguing are trying to place all 3 in the mixture. It's like comparing different martial arts skills. Which is better than which? You can't fairly compare all of them.

    And for the idiot that commented at CMAs know dick all about tax. That is true. And that shouldn't surprise you AT ALL because they are not specialized in TAX at all. They just need to know the basic understandings. So please do some REAL research before bashing designations you don't know anything about. Again, each designation has their own strengths. That's why there are 3 designations!!

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  44. Yes CMAs excel at putting the companies in deep shit! They do not know accounting! The next 5 years will be between CGAs and CAs... CMAs are already out of the equation. They should learn accounting 101 first!

    ReplyDelete
  45. This was great, thank you!

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  46. The biggest accounting body in the world is ACCA and they give give full recognition to CGAs and CAs. They do not recognize the CMAs.
    Sorry to burst your bubble CMA fellas!

    ReplyDelete
  47. if you have a b.comm, and will have many transfer credits for the CGA and CMA program... which program will be the shortest?

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  48. CMA is always the shortest. They are dying and they need more students and grads. So they are giving away the CMA designation like candies to little kids... Go for it if you want a quick BS designation. CMA takes 2 years max! The CGA takes minimum 3 years...

    ReplyDelete
  49. the SLP program is 2 years for CMA, so CMA takes 2 years MINIMUM

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  50. I am in year one of the SLP program and my experience I can tell you that the CMA will take me minimum 3 years if I get the required practical experience concurrently. First you have to qualify to take the entrance exam. That means you either took the accounting stream in a B.Com degree or went through the Accelerated Program. Even if you did get all the required university courses to qualify for the EE I believe you are at a serious disadvantage in passing the EE without taking the AP. The AP is geared to cover all material that will be on the EE. The AP itself is no cake walk either; oh you also have to qualify to be allowed entrance in the AP. To qualify you will likely have to have taken a B.Com in some other stream. The AP compromises of 26 weeks of five hour lectures and four exams. Once you pass the AP you can no write the EE. Again I highly suggest if anyone is interested in the CMA to take the AP I can’t see you passing the EE without it. The EE itself is a monster and once you pass that you can now take the SLP. Year one of the SLP is preparing you for the case exam, year two is a group project where you build an extensive business case report to submit to the board, your group also has to present your case report to the board.

    I went the CMA route because it aligns more closely to my career goals of a project controls analyst within the construction/engineering industry. I have no use to gain extensive experience in auditing financial statements or applying the appropriate tax treatment.

    The designation you choose should complement your chosen career path. The way I see it CA are for people who really like financial accounting, tax and auditing. CGA seems to be for someone looking to work in an accounting department as an accountant. CMA in my opinion are for individuals interested in analytical roles that uses management accounting and finance.

    Oh basing your designation on earning potential is completely ridiculous. Pick the designation that you feel will help you in the career you want.

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  51. I am a CGA finalist. I just took the entrance exam of CMAs (without studying it)
    I got 85%! It was a walk in the park.

    I find the CGA national exams much much harder and the way they mark your exam in the CGA program is not forgiving!

    CGAs can do whatever CMAs and CAs if not more.

    Please also note that the biggest accounting body in the world does NOT recognize CMA. They do however recognize CGAs and CAs.

    The biggest accounting body in the world is ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). They are over and above any accounting designation in the entire world. Fully recognized in 170 countries and still growing. If you get your CGA you can also get your ACCA just by applying and passing a single law course. If you are CMA you are not even allowed to apply to get your recognition because you are not recognized!

    Why does this matter? Simple: Starting from 2011 January Canada will accept the International GAAP. We are already highly converged but ACCA will be running the show not the CICA or CAs.

    Whoever said above that CGA is for people who wants to work in the accounting department of a company, please note that I am already working in the accounting department of some company and I am not studying 30+ hours a week to keep my role in this department. I aim the highest and I know my designation has given me the wings as far as I want to go.

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  52. My CMA friend you are saying that:
    "I went the CMA route because it aligns more closely to my career goals of a project controls analyst within the construction/engineering industry. I have no use to gain extensive experience in auditing financial statements or applying the appropriate tax treatment"

    I will tell you two things:

    1) Without understanding the tax portion and financial accounting of accounting consept you will always be lacking one foot! How do you know which type of lease is the best for your company? Which has the highest tax and depreciation advantage without understanding the taxation and financial accounting?

    2) You are saying you are working for an engineering company, I bet an average engineer can come up with a much better analytical argument than a CMA. At the end of the day they are hands on people and they can see more than you can possibly see.

    Really... What is CMA good for? Taxation? NO! Financial Accounting? NO! So what is left? Analyzing the performance and coming up with ratios? Like I said any engineer or an accountant can do this! It is all about what you want to see. Management accounting is NOT rule based! There are no rules...

    Here is the question: Do you know why the big 3 auto makers failed in North America?

    Yep! You got it! It is because of the CMAs. They have been poking their big nose into the job of engineers and telling them how to reduce the costs! This is what happens when you let a bunch of poorly designated individuals run a multibillion dollar company!

    If you are driving a crappy american car, you can blame the CMAs and other so called big analysts!

    Anybody can do analysis, even a 10 year old kid. If you do not see the big picture, you will always fail though! CGAs see more than numbers. I think it is the most qualified designation in Canada! CAs are all about auditing and internal controls... CGAs can do both by seeing the big picture.

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  53. Wow what a post - clearly CGA's beside apparently being the best take mentally de-ranged students. Hopefully the Psycho ward will cut off your internet access shortly so this can go back to an intelligent conversation on the differences between the 3 designations.
    P.S. BTW I like my "crappy american car"

    ReplyDelete
  54. Read again and learn something CMA or go back to your sand pool and come up with more meaningless ratios...

    Or even better.... Go beg the ACCA for recognition! They will tell you first go and take financial accounting 101.2.3.4 and then do the same with taxation... And then reapply...

    By the way, I heard that CMAs reduced their passing mark from C+ to C-!

    Haha... Dying and in need of more not so bright grads?

    Not so smart move!

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  55. This pissing contest between accounting designations is really unhealthy.

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  56. Let me tell you what not so healthy is:

    - Monopolizing the information production
    - Not being up for a competition
    - Assuming that you are better than the other designations
    - Not giving up your power even if it hurts the public!

    I believe that a leveled field between all accounting designations is a must. CAs are hurting the interest of the public!
    CMAs must accept the fact that they are incompetent in financial and taxation accounting.

    CAs have to explain how come the big auditing companies are ignoring the interest of the public and holding their clients' interest over an above everything. A credible auditing can only be achieved by credible auditors who hold the public interest highest. I see CAs are far away from this. A little competition with CGAs can help them to get back on track!

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  57. As an Australian CPA I have a choice of Mutual Recognition as either a CGA or CMA. Strangely only the CGA requires me to do further study, whilst CMA recognition depends on my work experience to date, from this perspective CGA is harder to achieve.

    Given the apparent bias towards CMAs over CGAs by employers (from what I can read on the Net) I'll probably seek that mutual recognition. Nonetheless I am still doing the CGA required courses for recognition as I feel I am doing myself a dis-service by seeking work in Canada without some training into the differences with Australia.

    In Australia the CA bias also exists, but given each have the same requirements to begin as both courses average fail rates between 20%-30% and at the end of a day partnership depends on the fees you bring to the firm it's half a dozen of one and six of another.

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  58. At the end of the day we are all accountants counting someone elses money because we don't know how to make it ourselves. We are esentially qualified parasites

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have gone through this blog. Ifound it very interesting and helpful. nowadays I am completing my online degree course from home. So this blog is really doing great for me.

    bachelors degree

    ReplyDelete
  60. I was just going through the taxation courses to get an exemption for CMA. It looks like for taxation it is really easy to get exemption. All you have to do is passing one single course. However CGA requires passing 2 courses and in most cases this only qualifies you to write a challange exam. I think it is safe to say that CGA is a much more demanding program...
    Thoughts?

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  61. CGA is winning.

    Poor CMA, you only need a C- to pass. For CGA, you must have C+ to pass.

    CGA is more challenging and demanding than CMA.

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  62. It is interesting that the whole discussing is under a forum called "I WANT TO BE A CA"
    I am not surprised that this bozo is discriminating CGAs and CMAs.

    To whoever started this discussion:

    GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT! YOU OBVIOUSL DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE CGA AND THE CMA PROGRAM.

    Especially the CGA program is becoming more and more popular among the employers!

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  63. CAs feel threatened by the growing popularity of CGAs. To be fair, each designation has strengths and weaknesses.

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  64. CMA only require 60% pass rate on their course.
    They also have 2 years of group assignments.

    A lot of CMA's do not have much Financial Accounting experience. All managers in finance in my company are either CGA/CA's

    The company also prefers to hire CGA/CA's at all levels.

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  65. A monkey could pass a CGA course. High school students that take accounting are as competent as CGAs.

    CMAs are even less competent than CGAs.

    CAs have their heads stuck so far up each others ass that they have lost track of reality, although they are the most competemt.

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  66. If you have nothing to say please say nothing!

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  67. first off for all you retards, in order to get your CMA, you have take university courses in a university, compared to CGA, where anyone from College qualifies to take the exams. Since CGA is allowing people from College to enter the profession, clearly these students were not smart enough to enter unviersity. University is way more challenging than College. Any idiot can pass a college exam. But CMA and CAs, they have to take university courses in order to qualify for their professional exams. CGA is the easiest to get for any forigners. I went to a CGA information session it was mostly people from india and china (the people who cant speak english very well). This is because all the chinese and indians know how to do is do number curnching. They dont know strategy at all or even communicate to the client anything. CGA is very simple,yeah it might take you up to 10 years to do it, thats only because the pool of students that are writing their CGA are from college. (again any idiot can pass courses in College). I went to university, and i did all my CA courses and passed all of them, and i had an A average. I passed the CKE and SOA and failed the ufe. I hated working for a public accounting firm and every CA hates their job becuase of the long hours, the stress, and the money isnt that great compared to the number of hours inputted. Most CAs go work in industry once they get their designation. When CAs work in industry, they end up doing a CMA job anyways. CGA is a joke and its full of college students and forigners. Currently im doing my CMA, and the case exam is very complicated with lots of issues and financial analysis that need to be analyzed. Yeah we dont do tax, but its up to the CMA to take tax courses. A CMA can do tax if they want, anyone can do tax. Im currently working for a tax Firm and all i DO is tax. So it depends alot on your experience and where you work as well. CA>CMA>CGA. CGA is for a bunch of college students that were too retarded to qualify for a university.

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  68. To the idiot above!

    I have two degrees and I am aworking on my CGA designation. I went to the best schools in Europe and my English is perfect. I find the CGA program the most challanging education program ever! Hands down! Period!

    Let's talk about facts instead of bull if you will:

    1) I am taking CGA courses through a university. We have both CGA and CMA students in the class. For a CMA student C- is a pass but for a CGA student you have to get C+ to pass! Same course same prof. same school! How are you better than the CGAs? Here is your difference right there!

    2) For taxation CMAs have to pass one single course but CGAs have to take another advanced taxation course on top of what CMAs have to pass. Again the passing mark is C+ VS C-. Here is your difference right there again!

    3) CGA requires a university degree to be qualified as a CGA. A university degree is not mandatory for entrance but it is a MUST to get your licence. There are no CGAs in Canada without a university degree! Get your facts straight!

    4)CMA is not internationally recognized. They are not even qualified as accountants outside of Canada. ACCA only recognizes CAs and CGAs! Again please get your facts straight before you give misleading information.

    5) The CA>CMA>CGA is not true at all! CGA>=CA. CMAs are not even in the same leage as CAs and CGAs.

    6) If you are claiming that CGA is an easy program please do yourself a favor and dare a national CGA exam! You can download it from CGAs website! I am challanging you to take a CGA exam! When it comes to advanced corporate finance CGAs are better than CAs and CMA. When it comes to auditing and financial accounting they are equal to CA and light years ahead of the CMAs! If you do not agree just download an advanced corporate finance exam or an advanced consolidated financial accounting exam. DARE IT!
    Trust me you will take your heat off!

    7)CGAs now have equal rights in Quebec with the CAs. CAs offered Quebec CGAs to merge but Quebec said no.

    8)Why do you think CAs tried to merge with CMAs a few years ago against the CGAs?
    Simply because they felt threatened! And they should be threatened because a fully licensed CGA can see more than numbers

    9) Statistically only 20-25% of the CGA students can get their licenses! If it is an easy program how do you explain these stats?

    10) If you are right then how do you explain the fact that CGAs have equal rights with CA in all over Canada except for Ontario (Which is about to change sooner than you think)

    11) You are talking about experience and hands on accounting knowledge! Please know that to be qualified as a fully licensed CGA you have to have years of hands on accounting experience! This experience has to be progressive and needs to be proved and documented by your employer!

    12) To become a CGA passing all these 20+ heavy courses is not enough. You have to have your professional experience and you must satisfy TWO EXIT EXAMS! Not one but TWO!

    Never ever lie again and say CGA is the easiest or CA>CMA>CGA! This is simply not true!

    I believe I have just educated your CMA ass. Now it is upto you to burry your head into sand and act ignorant or accept the facts as they are!

    Do yourself a favor and ask your association why ACCA does not recognize them?!

    Now you know!

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  69. I'm a CA but I've experienced both programs. I took a CGA course and finished top of my class. CGA was like "memorize and regurgitate", much like any university course, whereas the CA program is way more in-depth than the CGA progam and I think it breeds a better professional as it trains you to be a critical thinker. In my mind CA>CGA forever.

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  70. To the critical thinker above:

    You are conflicting with yourself. If you really believe that CA>CGA why would you take the CGA course? In the CGA program there is no class! You do not know the other people's marks you can only see the stats provice wide...Next time come up with better lies!

    I am working with CAs who are recognizing unrealized gains and revenues through P&L and income statement! They are the ones writing the CICA handbook and again they are the ones breaking the rules. CAs think that they are better than anybody until they get a chance to work with a fully licensed CGA.
    All levels of governments put a stop to this nonsense and they said all designations are equal and they can audit all levels of governments including the federal government. The pay scale is the same for all CGA, CA or CMA if you get a government job.
    However I know from experience that fully licensed CGAs are really on top of the food chain (not the students but the actual members)

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  71. CGA is not memorize and regurgitate.
    Even if you take all CGA courses through universities do not forget the fact that you still have to pass TWO EXIT EXAMS.
    Each exam is 4.5 hours and case study.
    These exams are designed to prevent memory dumping but measure your critical and analytical thinking! I wonder how many CAs can pass these exit exams!

    I understand that the problem is people are comparing the CGA students to other designations. CGA students are only students. 75% will never see their licenses!

    Do not compare designations without getting a chance to work with fully licensed professionals!

    Tip to CAs: The audit society is bleeding to death due to accounting scandals. get back to your ethics or let people do the job who know what they are doing!

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  72. answer this, whose more respected. CA, CMA, or pathetic CGAs

    Answer: CAs are the most respected, and CGA doesnt even compare to CAs. Try going to the SOA and UFE. The SOA is 2 days long, the first day is a 5 hour exam, the second day is a four hour exam. All case analysis on everything in accounting (tax, accounting, audit, IT, governance). Or try doing the UFE. CGAs are want to be like CA but they cant. Most CGA probably wanted to be a CA but couldnt because they cant thing critically. All CGA can do is do journal entries and general bookkeeping. I see alot of CGA doing that stuff.

    Who gets compensated more: CA,CMA, or CGA.

    CMA and CAs make alot more money than CGA, go look at the surveys online from CGA, CA, and CMA. answer that.


    Do you all realize that 90% of the replies are from CGA, because they got nothing better to do that to prove to people they should be respected. It will never happend, just give up. You want to be like the CAs, but CA can step all over you and you cant do nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  73. hey check out my blog on these three designations at
    http://accountingdesignations.blogspot.com/

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  74. http://accountingdesignations.blogspot.com/

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  75. Here is the CA designation for you... You are saying the exam is two days but it is actually 9 hours in total just like the CGA exam.

    I am sick and tired of seeing CAs overlooking CGAs. I am taking my courses through a respected university all of our profs are CGA. You are saying that you see the CGA doing journal entries and book keeping! This is a lie! What you see is the CGA students. There is no CGA on this planet only doing journal entries. They are far more educated than this. If you think CAs are better go apply for an auditor position in a government or go get a job at revenue canada and tell them that you are CA and you want more money than the CGAs. They will tell you screw you! CGAs and CAs are equal. After working with all the CAs and seeing the CGA program I can tell CGAs have deeper accounting knowledge than CAs. CAs are all about auditing and we know where all these accounding scandals are coming from. When you see a job posting it says CA, CGA or CMA... The employer makes its decision based on the individual candidate not on his designation. All designations are equal and individuals different.

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  76. I have been reading these comments for some time. I must say that some are true some are not so true. I am a CGA working as a CEO and I had to terminate two CAs in the last 6 months. It is not about your designation but about who you really are. You must be a good fit to the organization. This is all it matters. All designations are very valuable. If you get one the world will be at your door step. If you are looking for international recognition I would suggest the CA or the CGA program as they are more recognized. If you are willing to stay in Canada and work for private companies especially in the manufacturing industry CMA would be the obvious choice. For public accounting CAs run the show but CGAs are catching up really fast. CMAs simply do not focus on public accounting or taxation (in my opinion this is not a very good thing). For government jobs they are all equal.

    It is all about the corporate culture of the company. Some companies are CA some are CGA and some are CMA dominated. As long as you are a good fit you will do well. Designation is just the key to get in the company. The rest is upto you not to your designation.

    Hope this helps and good luck to everybody!

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  77. I was in the CGA program but I failed too many courses and was forced to leave the program so I transferred to the CA program and passed on my first attempt. That included the CKE, SOA and the UFE.

    Personally I think the CGA program is much tougher and I know others who feel the same way.

    When I wrote the UFE I found the questions very entry level accounting and not technical at all. CGAs are deinately technically superior to us CAs.

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  78. I am a CGA finalist and I would like to ask a question to all CAs:

    In USA after the worldcom and ENRON scandals SEC steped in and formed a new accounting body. This is called Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). This accounting body has the ultimate power to apply and enforce the sarbanes oxley act knows as SOX. PCAOB is independent watch dog funded directly by SEC. They have the ultimate saying about GAAS (Generally Accepted Auditing Standards)

    The canadian response to SOX was made through CPAB (Canadian Public Accountibility Board).

    In my opinion we need a smilar system in Canada and class action law suits must be encouraged agaist the auditors and corporations! CPAB is funded by the chartered accountants. I can totally see that this is ethicallh very very wrong! A self governing profession is like a ticking bomb! Especially when you monopolize the information production (Accounting) and Auditing functions at the same time! This is a shame! And in my opinion CICA is to blame! They have to understand the fact that they are not serving to the best interest of the society by monopolizing everything.

    Hopefully the parlement, and Canadian securities commission will step in and tell them to back off before it is too late!

    There is a difference between lobying and abusing. CAs better see this quick before it is too late!

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  79. I just did my evaluation with CGA, they gave me level 3, but i am not stupid, i will never finish my cga like most of the people, they just need your money to fund their orgainization and pay for the stupid ads on tv.

    I will rather consider CMA or CPA (U.S), btw, i am new immigrant here.

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  80. Who gets compensated more: CA,CMA, or CGA.

    CMA and CAs make alot more money than CGA, go look at the surveys online from CGA, CA, and CMA. answer that.


    Do you all realize that 90% of the replies are from CGA, because they got nothing better to do that to prove to people they should be respected. It will never happend, just give up. You want to be like the CAs, but CA can step all over you and you cant do nothing.


    100% AGREE

    BRAVO CA & CMA

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  81. Haha! What an idiot!

    Respect is earned not given my friend! Most CGAs are running their own practice and making more money than you can possibly comprehend. These people are excluded from those stats. Most salaries are not disclosed for privacy reasons as well... I have 2 friends in the CGA program and they both think those stats are nothing but lie! CMAs are not even accountants. So called strategic thinkers! They should change their name to CM (Certified Manager) as they are not accountats. I would never ever hire a CMA or a CA!

    When it comes to respect I do not think CGAs need any respect from a moron like yourself. They are recognized in 170 countries! They can get into auditing, do public accounting, specilize in taxation, get into teaching, be a controller or run their own company. What can CMAs do other than getting lost in their little world?
    Instead of hiding behind bogus stats why do not you accept the facts? Go ask ACCA why CMAs are not recognized. Go ask CAs why they can not sleep at night because of their fear of CGAs?
    Go ask both WHY THEY WANTED TO MERGE AGAINTS CGAS A FEW YEARS AGO?

    Face the truth!

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  82. PUBLIC PRACTICE
    The biggest difference between a CGA and a CA is auditing. Chartered Accountants are usually the ones hired to preform an audit. Although CGAs can perform audits, CAs generally do them. I don't have a source but I remember in my auditing class we found some study that stated of the big accounting firms in Canada (the big 4), auditing only accounts for ~10% of their revenues. It would be even less for small/medium sized firms. Therefore, WORST case, CGAs don't share in that 10% of the business. But in fact they have the same rights as a CA in Western Canada; where CGAs are just as dominant as CAs.

    PRIVATE PRACTICE
    In Western Canada, I don't think there is a real difference between CAs and CGAs. I know a lot of successful CGAs that make a lot of money. I also know a lot of successful CAs that make around the same amount of money.

    OVERALL
    I think CAs make more than CGAs in public practice. In private practice the sky is the limit on how much you can make. CEO, CFO, COO... you could find a CA or CGA in any of these positions.

    PERCEPTION
    Someone posted about perception and I wanted to comment on this. In Western Canada, I think the general consensus is that CAs are =/> CGAs and CMAs are somewhere at the bottom. I know, in fact, that the consensus is different in Eastern Canada. CGAs don't hold the same respect in Eastern Canada as they do in Western Canada. And in Eastern Canada, CMAs are > CGAs. Although I think CGAs are gaining reputation in Eastern Canada as of late.

    NOTES
    - I live in Western Canada and only comment on what I have heard from the accounting professionals here. If anyone knows differently please respond.
    - I didn't even comment much about CMAs because they really aren't a respected accounting body in Canada.

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  83. The aduting business is nothing but a joke!

    Investors do not trust the management and they want the financials to be audited by an "independet" 3rd party. This so called independent 3rd part is the auditor. However it is the management who can hire and fire the auditor! Funny eh!

    And have you ever seen an audtit report? It only gives a "reasonable assurance" not 100% assurance. And if you sue and auditor he can always defend himself by hiding behind GAAP and GAAS. The auditors also argue that it is not their job to detect fraud. I think it is damn their job to detect any froud and blow whistle at it! It is the CAs who do not want to take enough responsibility. And they are scared to death for getting sued. Personally I find CGAs technically better than CAs. CMAs even do not know what auditing means. They should have their own auditing board first before they are even entitled to say something.

    I think CGAs rock! This is what I have seen in my prof. experience.

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  84. i am a CA & CFOMay 21, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    The reason the general public thinks that all Accountants are just number crunching people (machines with no brains), is because of the people here who thinks that 'booking keeping', 'financial accounting' and 'auditing' are important. Thanks to these people, all 3 designations are just garbage compare to MBAs. Let's look at CGA, good practice with financial accounting, true, but that's only needed 20 years ago. The world has changed!! It's the information age now. You need management leaders to expand the company; NOT machines to read #s.

    As an employer, here's what we think of the 3:

    CGA=good record/book keeping
    CA=good accounting practice and taxation knowledge, as well as record keeping
    CMA=good use of information from CGA/CA for strategic planning

    So if I were to choose a team of accountants for my company, i would choose 1 CA and 1 CMA.

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  85. WTF is with the CMA=miniMBA those shit heads up there talking about. In the banking industry, CMA is above MBA and below CAs. This is by ranking of salary and positions. Higher ranking officers are mostly CMAs, and they're in command of MBAs.

    ps. CGA losers, go fuck a dog and you'll get your status in the news.

    i'm a CA btw.

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  86. To the low class poster above.

    You said you're a CA but you talked like a uneducated low class piece of sh!t.

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  87. I meant..."an uneducated"

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  88. I have a question to all CMAs:

    Once you are in the program all you do is case study. You dig into cases and come up with strategic solutions. Which is great. I can see the value there. However my question is people are passing the entrance exam of CMA by just studying 3-4 months. How is it possible to learn all accounting (financial, taxation, auditing) in 3-4 months?

    I am with CGA. In the CGA program only accounting 101 takes 3-4 months. To become a CGA you have to pass 22 national exams, 88 case studies, countless quizzes and two exit exams. And you also must have years of progressive hands on accounting and managerial experience. You also have to have a degree. If you want to go for your masters it is just additional 6 courses. I have two CMA friends at work they have admitted that they are not hardcore technical accountants. Hence the reason why they are not recognized internationally.

    Going forwards it is all about IFRS who cares CGA or CA or CMA? Having said that I find CGAs technically much superior to other designations. When it comes to strategic thinking B.S. I have seen illiterate people who are better strategic thinkers than many so called educated people. It is either you have it or you do not have it. I think CMAs are not only fooling the public by calling themselves accountants but also fooling themselves. They have no idea how to do consolidated accounting or auditing. They are behind in GAAP and IFRS.
    I have respect to CAs but they are not any better than CGAs. I can do whatever a CA can do if not more.

    I do not see the value in MBA. If you have one of these designations you are already there. Unless you are planning to get into teaching at a university I would say MBA is nothing but waste of time energy and money!
    Many employers feel the same way. MBA has turned into business for the universities. And they have watered down the quality of education way too much.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Many thinks that a CA is the best, but let me tell you all CAs out there: you fucking CAs can go kiss my ass. CGA is the best in this world. CGA learns a lot more shit than any of you CAs and we all study very hard every night and day to just pass 1 exam. I've spent 10 years studying in high school and then took college courses to just pass the first CGA exam. So which is harder? CA or CGA? A lot of my classmates from CGA are all from other countries, and we all have studied very hard to get into CGA. We had difficulties studying english, but we can still pass CGA. I'm earning a lot more than what you CAs make now (35k). Go Fu*k yourselves and quit CA then re-study CGA, you dumb fu*Kin-CAs

    ReplyDelete
  90. This quote is, well, deserving of a good raspberry.

    "I hated working for a public accounting firm and every CA hates their job becuase of the long hours, the stress, and the money isnt that great compared to the number of hours inputted."

    Pfft.

    I enjoy my job, thank you very much. ;)

    Three other tips or points to share:
    1. To the kiddies on the board, if one of your opening points as you wade into a flame-war references your superior education and "perfect English", please do remember to spell correctly.

    2. Rather than make rabid accusations, do some research. To the CPAB ranter, here's a starting point: http://www.cpab-ccrc.ca/EN/content/Letter_to_RI_2010_Annual_Participation_Fee_Eng.pdf

    3. To the activist calling for 100% assurance, I invite you to re-take your university statistics course. Or figure out the difference in achieving 99.999% vs 100% purity/uptime/anything. Cheers.

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  91. To the pffft above:

    1) Why do not you accept the fact that self-regulating profession is simply not working. Unles you are aware this is post Enron world! CAs are so greedy they do not want a similar regulatory body like the SEC in USA! What are the CAs waiting for? More class action suits against the auditors or more accounting scandals? Hiding behind bill 198 is not helping much eh! Ontario Securities Commission is also a joke! I wonder what else is going on under the table!
    2) A lot of valid points brought up in this forum. Why do not you think about them? How mature is it making fun of others' english rather than addressing the serious concerns they are bringing up? Oh yeah right! You are a CA!
    After your pffft I am 110% confident that CGAs can do whatever CAs can if not more.

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  92. Well seeing as you so charitably assumed to know what I'm thinking I suppose I should respond to your questions.

    1. Who said we shouldn't have a national securities regulator in Canada? That'd be fantastic - go talk to the other provinces and sort it all out. I'm not sure why you're dragging the OSC into this though - CPAB is the regulator in question.

    2. I'm not making any claims to be more mature than anyone else, nor am I making fun of anyone's English. I'm politely pointing out, however, that if you do bring it up as a factor in conversation, you should stand by it. Sort of how you want to meet the standards you've set for yourself if you want someone to audit you against them.

    If you'll re-read my previous comment, you'll note my raspberry was directed at someone who claimed that all CAs hate their jobs - I'm sure you have a very enjoyable position as a CGA which gives you plenty of time to spend responding to comments on CA student blogs, and I congratulate you on that.

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  93. Krupo;

    1) Simple! in USA the law suits against auditors has exceeded 20 billion! Scary is not it? In Canada CAs still want the common law to apply. Why? because common law is based on compensation not punishment! If you can prove the auditor was negligent and there was breach of duty all you will get is compensation! CAs want to keep it this way! So they can keep their liability insurances low and make all the money without the risks! Sweet huh? I think it is time to demand for a statutory law to replace the common law. Self regulation is not working and it is a ticking bomb! You tell me why we do not have a similar body like SEC in Canada? Saying it would be fantastic does not cut! If it would be fantastic why do not we have it? Who is running the show in Canada? CAs right? So this is the question that need to be answered by the CAs again. In my opinion the answer again is simple: The auditing board is managed by the CAs as it is within CICA however the majority of the members are CGAs and CMAs. This is done just to prove that they are not monopolizing everything. However the board is being funded by the public accounting firms which are mostly CAs! Do you see the conflict of interest here? It is nothing but a joke!

    In USA it is upto SEC to decide what GAAP is. In Canada though it is upto CICA. Let me tell you this: CICA is using a designated authority in an abusive way! this has to end!

    Hopefully IFRS will solve many questions. Going forward it is all about IFRS. If CICA decides not to adopt a specific portion of IFRS they better come up with a damn good reason. If not we will be all over them!

    I am not a CGA by the way, just a CGA student.

    ReplyDelete
  94. it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

    Accounting Dissertation Proposal

    ReplyDelete
  95. "I have a question to all CMAs:"...

    Are you really this dense? you think CMA's learn everything accounting in 3-4 months? What about the university courses/ AP program they are required to take? Those surely span more than 3-4 months. The 3-4 months is where you REVIEW everything you have learned over the past few years and STUDY in order to pass the entrance exam.

    The one thing about the CGA is you can be enroled in this program concurrently with university/college studies. Where as the other two designations require overlap.


    "I do not see the value in MBA."... you're a Fucktard. You think all there is to an MBA is financial accounting? What about running a company?

    Get your head out of your ass.

    Reading the comments on this blog makes my head hurt. All these CGA apologists are not shining any bright lighht on the designation. It seems like you guys are trying to compensate for your lack of credibility. I was at the 2009 CGA convocation, just peeking around at the recent grads and superficially judging, the most of the CGA grads look as if they didn't even shower beforehand. Mostly all non-english speaking immigrants. Go back to your "technical" monkey-grunt accounting work; leave the real economic-based decisions to the big boys.

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  96. CGA's now can do audit work and sign on audit letters. There is technically no difference between a CA and a CGA.

    CMAs are not even recognized internationally. They can not sign on audit letters in Ontario. Only CGAs and CAs can. The future will be a fight between CAs and CGAs. I think they will eventually merge.

    When it comes to MBA. It used to be something 7-8 years ago now it is not that important. Companies are looking for techncally superior designations like the CGA, CIA or CFE...

    Running a company is all about your vision and your visdom! No education or designation can give you that. You either have it or you do not have it. Education can only polish it up!

    You think you can run a company just because you have an MBA? Does it get any tragic than this? OMG!!!

    I can show you many people who have started and run successfully international or global companies who had no MBA. Some are even drop offs...

    CGAs and CAs add value. CMAs are overstated...

    ReplyDelete
  97. LOL@ above poster.

    Don't lie. CGA is a second rate designation. You and every other CGA on earth would trade those letters in for CA.

    "CMAs are not even recognized internationally. They can not sign on audit letters in Ontario. Only CGAs and CAs can. The future will be a fight between CAs and CGAs. I think they will eventually merge.

    When it comes to MBA. It used to be something 7-8 years ago now it is not that important. Companies are looking for techncally superior designations like the CGA, CIA or CFE..."

    Prove any of this.^^^

    You make LARGE question begging claims, back that shit up.

    "There is technically no difference between a CA and a CGA."

    Well I bet the ICAO and CICA beg to differ. Both designations have been around about 100yrs, if they haven't merged by now, what makes you think they will?

    You must be a recent immigrant CGA, I will grant you amnesty.

    Have fun in your accounting clerk position, bonehead.

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  98. If you were to assess the strategies of each designation, who would be the low-cost competitor, and who would be seeking differentiation?

    CGA- low cost, low investment

    CMA/CA- Differentiation.

    Have you ever witnessed a CA studying to get a CGA? No.

    Have you seen a CA studying to get a CMA? Yes. I am a prime example.

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  99. "Have you ever witnessed a CA studying to get a CGA?" YES, I have seen a few. Stop saying stupid things w/o fully investigating.

    CAs are the best.

    CGAs and CMAs are second and third.

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  100. ^^^^

    So you're saying their is added value for a CA to pursue a CGA?

    What exactly is that value?

    ReplyDelete
  101. HISTORIC DAY FOR CGAs!!!
    Enough have been said in these forums. Now it is the time to face the truth! A CGA passed 20 national exams, two exit exams, submits over 80 killer assignments! An average CGA studies 20-25 hours a week beside his/her full time job! Now it is time to celebrate boys!!!

    It was obvious that CGAs have always been technically better! Now as of today (June 23rd 2010) they have equal rights with CAs. Read below and face the truth. The meaningless discrimination is over:


    Toronto, ON (June 23, 2010) – The Certified General Accountants of Ontario (CGA Ontario), the self-governing body that grants the exclusive right to the CGA designation, has been granted the authority to license certified general accountants (CGAs) to practise public accounting. The Certified General Accountants of Ontario and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario are the only two accounting bodies in Ontario authorized to license their members to practise public accounting.

    Those seeking the services of an independent accountant will now have more choice and better access to those services.

    “Certified general accountants can now be licensed as public accountants — which includes the right to issue audit reports in Ontario — a function CGAs in the rest of Canada already perform,” says Doug Brooks, FCGA, chief executive officer for the Certified General Accountants of Ontario. “Our authorization to issue these licences speaks to the professional expertise and skill that CGAs bring to their work in all sectors of the economy and to the rigour of the professional requirements that they must meet.”

    The Association is proud of its contribution to reforms in the regulation of public accounting, resulting in licences being awarded based on qualification, not designation, and better access and more choice for those who use public accounting services.

    “CGAs offer a broad range of services to clients and employers in all areas of professional practice,” said Frank Mensink, FCGA, chair of the board of directors, CGA Ontario. “The fact that CGAs are entitled to fully practise in whatever segment of the profession that they choose is a significant point in history, one that will benefit the province of Ontario.”

    CGA Ontario continues to build on its strengths and to explore new opportunities for CGAs, while working with the other accounting bodies on public policy and standard setting, both nationally and internationally.

    About the Certified General Accountants of Ontario:

    Certified General Accountants of Ontario is the self-governing body that grants the exclusive right to the CGA designation, and controls the rigorous professional standards of accreditation and professionalism in accounting for its 20,000 CGAs and 8,000 students who are working towards their CGA designation in Ontario, in protection of the public interest.

    For more information, please contact:

    Amy Mulhern, Manager, Public Relation, CGA Ontario
    Phone: 416-544-4781 or 1-800-668-1454, ext. 8311
    Mobile: 416-606-5860
    Email: amulhern@cga-ontario.org

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  102. Allowing CGAs to give audit opinions in Ontario has just decreased the high standards of this Province's accounting profession.

    Now those that require an audit opinion can go to a second rate accouting body (CGA) for that opinion. (Its analagous to getting a loan from Money Mart instead of a reputable bank).

    Individuals that can't speak english and/or make it through the hoops required to become a CA can issue audit opinions! What a disgrace.

    I would never invest in a comapny that was audited by a CGA. It will however allow clients turned down by CAs to access a lesser profession for their needs.

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  103. I am a CGA who has worked in public practice (first as a staff accountant for a CGA firm, then a partner in a CGA firm and now principal of my own CGA firm) in Ontario since 1999. I have utmost respect for CGAs, CMAs and CAs.

    The CGA educational process was exhausting and comprehensive - courses and examinations covered the full spectrum - financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, law, statistics, auditing/assurance, etc. - and that was back in the 1990s. From start to finish it took me 6 years and I never failed a course nor took time off. I know that it takes about 1 year longer now. I am fully designated but my education still continues as I am presently working on another business degree through Laurentian University - not because I have to but because I want to continue to expand my knowledge base.

    The experience requirement was no walk in the park either. Even with my full-time 'staff accountant' experience in public accounting, I was not approved on my first experience assessment (which I was fully expecting to pass!). I actually had change positions to enable me to gain sufficient requisite senior managerial experience to fulfil the experience requirements.

    I find the comments from obviously pro-CA individual(s) disgusting and shocking - but perhaps that was the intention. Fortunately I have enjoyed extremely positive professional relationships from all other CAs which I have encountered. As a matter of fact I just paired up with a local CA (partner with a national CA firm) to co-present a seminar about the upcoming HST to local businesses last week. I was very respectful of the CA and he was extremely respectful of me. We are planning on presenting seminars together in the future.

    Thankfully most individuals (other accountants and clients) are intelligent and not biased.

    I have enjoyed a very successful career in public practice as a CGA and now that CGAs can be licenced to audit in Ontario, the future looks even brighter.

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  104. I just can not believe how ignorant the 2 above person who said:
    "Allowing CGAs to give audit opinions in Ontario has just decreased the high standards of this Province's accounting profession"

    BY making these ignorant comments you are only provng that You are too insignificant to influence the course of events that surround you.

    CGAs have been issuing audit reports in other provinces. They have completely dominated BC. Many clients prefer CGAs over CAs. What is your problem? Why would you insult the CGA designation? We are talking about a designation which takes a good 6 years! Recognized in 170+ countries through the ACCA partnership! Who cares about what you think? The truth is there!

    I am a student and I am studying 5-6 hours a day. I am also working full time. I am working VERY HARD for my designation and it takes giving 100%. It took me over 5 years to get where I am now. I am planning to write my first exit exam this year. I am really getting offended when ignorant CAs make ridiculous and baseless comments! Please watch your words or keep quiet! CGAs now can do whatever CAs can including in Ontario. CA monopoly never helped ontario. Now CAs will have to improve themselves and there will be fierce competition between the CAs and CGAs. I think the public will benefit from this. At the end of the day are not we all working for the public? So what is the problem then? I am really getting offended and disgusted by the ignorant comments.

    BRAVO CGA!

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  105. You said:

    "Allowing CGAs to give audit opinions in Ontario has just decreased the high standards of this Province's accounting profession.

    Now those that require an audit opinion can go to a second rate accouting body (CGA) for that opinion. (Its analagous to getting a loan from Money Mart instead of a reputable bank).

    Individuals that can't speak english and/or make it through the hoops required to become a CA can issue audit opinions! What a disgrace.

    I would never invest in a comapny that was audited by a CGA. It will however allow clients turned down by CAs to access a lesser profession for their needs"



    How ignorant, stupid and narrow minded some people can be. Maybe you should crawl out of your cave and LEARN something new without having a predetermined conception.

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  106. Well said! I think this individual should learn how to spell first before blaming CGA for not being fluent in English!

    CGAs have always been technically superior to CAs. I would never change my CGA designation to a CA designation! Why would I? I can do whatever they can and I am technically superior! This war is over!

    CGA>CA>CMA
    Period!

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  107. first off for all you retards, in order to get your CMA, you have take university courses in a university, compared to CGA, where anyone from College qualifies to take the exams. Since CGA is allowing people from College to enter the profession, clearly these students were not smart enough to enter unviersity. University is way more challenging than College. Any idiot can pass a college exam. But CMA and CAs, they have to take university courses in order to qualify for their professional exams. CGA is the easiest to get for any forigners. I went to a CGA information session it was mostly people from india and china (the people who cant speak english very well). This is because all the chinese and indians know how to do is do number curnching. They dont know strategy at all or even communicate to the client anything. CGA is very simple,yeah it might take you up to 10 years to do it, thats only because the pool of students that are writing their CGA are from college. (again any idiot can pass courses in College). I went to university, and i did all my CA courses and passed all of them, and i had an A average. I passed the CKE and SOA and failed the ufe. I hated working for a public accounting firm and every CA hates their job becuase of the long hours, the stress, and the money isnt that great compared to the number of hours inputted. Most CAs go work in industry once they get their designation. When CAs work in industry, they end up doing a CMA job anyways. CGA is a joke and its full of college students and forigners. Currently im doing my CMA, and the case exam is very complicated with lots of issues and financial analysis that need to be analyzed. Yeah we dont do tax, but its up to the CMA to take tax courses. A CMA can do tax if they want, anyone can do tax. Im currently working for a tax Firm and all i DO is tax. So it depends alot on your experience and where you work as well. CA>CMA>CGA. CGA is for a bunch of college students that were too retarded to qualify for a university.

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  108. "This is because all the chinese and indians know how to do is do number curnching. They dont know strategy at all or even communicate to the client anything"

    Wow Bob real inclusive there bud. I am a CA, but guess what i am Indian, and better yet i know of many Chinese and Indian partners in my firm. Just to let you know that "WE" can do more than number crunching, and "WE" can number crunch.

    Its people like you that do not know what living in a diverse envrionment. How dare you call college kids retards? I did not go to college, but i respect them equally.

    Learn to be respectful in a open forum like this.

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  109. Bob

    You need to learn to make your point, but in a more respectful manner. In your post you seem to head in the right direction with your analysis, but i am unsure what calling people "retards" accomplishes. Furthermore by picking on those who attended college you display a blatant disregard for those who have worked hard, got their CGA's, and are value adding members of society.

    I am a CA, and i agree only we should be signing off on audit reports, but in no way do i feel "better" than any other CA,CMA or CGA.

    Lets try and respect everyone (even the Indian's and Chinese you say who have no soft skills. Trust me a lot of them do, i do business with them daily)

    AP

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  110. I would like to say couple things to both BOB and AP:

    BOB: Why is it so hard to face the truth? CGA is now a more valuable designation than CMA and it is equal with CA. The reasons are below:
    - CGAs are fully recognized by ACCA. Meaning they can work in every single country as certified accountants. CMAs are not recognized. Once they leave Canada they are dead meat. They are only recognized by their sister CMA organizations in other countries.
    - CGAs now can issue audit reports in all over Canada including Ontario. As of June 22, 2010 CGAs were able successfully penetrate into the auditing market which was dominated by CAs. Now a CGA can do whatever a CA if not more! CGAs are very smart and knowledgable people. Most of them take their courses through Universities. To be qualified as a CGA you have to have a university degree! There is no CGA in Canada with College diploma! Most of these immigrants you are making fun of are very smart and educated people. They are bilingual and have at least another university degree other than their Canadian degree. I think you need to learn to respect people first. Without respecting other professionals you can not serve the public! I hope this is clear! CGAs do more than number crunching, they make strategic decisions in a ore informative way than CMAs. Simple because they have an upto date knowledge about IFRS and they know both taxation and financial accounting. CMAs are behind in all these. You can not take strategic decisions without knowing all these facts. If you do you may end up with breaching GAAP and when a CGA audits your company he will give a qualified report in your hand!

    AP: What makes you think that only CAs should be signing off on audit reports? CGA program is at least as hard as the CA program. It takes minimum 5 years! They have to pass 20+ national exams submit countless assignments, finish their university and pass TWO exit exams! And finally have 3 years of managerial experience. If you are missing any of these you can not be a CGA. We both know that CGAs are technically superior to CAs. Hence the reason why CAs and CMAs attempted to merge against CGAs a few years ago! Thank God it failed now things are equal. I have seen CAs not knowing how to do consolidated financial statements! I also know for a fact that most CA firms are abusing the CA students as cheap labor! They work 50-60 hours a week towards their designation but all they do is reconciliation. Since when adding A+B and checking if it comes up to C is considered as accounting and profesional experience? I have some respect for CAs but they should understand the fact that they are not any better than CGAs. CGAs now have their own version of handbook and auditing standards and an auditing board. It is the CMAs who are not in the same leage as CGAs and CAs. The legislation and the statutory law confirms these facts.

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  111. I am an immigrant and the reason why I chose CGA was the fact that it is internationally recognized. CMA is not recognized internationally therefore I did not want it. I have also seen people in the CMA program who were not happy about the program. They said they are not learning anything in CMA program. I am now in level 3 with CGA and I am hopping to be all done within 3 to 4 years. I am also very happy to learn that CGAs now can issue audit reports. My CMA friend told me to go with CGA and I think it was a golden advice. CGA is very demanding and long program though.

    Best Regards
    M.

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  112. Ok i am assuming everyone here believes in a free market economy. If what the last two posters are saying is correct that CAs and CGAs are the same thing, then why does the AVERAGE CA make more then the CGA? Dont come running and give me salaries of some controllers who are like 40 years old and have CGAs, i am 24, a CA and i make 89K per year. Sorry i have a lot of friends who are CGAs (and i respect them a lot, and the work they do is outstanding), but theres a reason CAs and CMAs make more the CGAs.

    Ohh and to the second last poster who said "We all know CGAs are more technically superior than CAs", i suggest you no type nonsense just because you are of a certain designation. CAs and CMAs are more technically superior than CGAs. If you cant swallow that, then too bad, but theirs no need to make lethargic claims like the one above.

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  113. Randy;

    CMAs do not take advanced taxation or financial accounting courses. CGAs do! This is the reason why CMAs are not recognized by ACCA. And you are right CGAs historically made less than CAs but now as of June 22 2010 CGAs can do whatever CAs including issuing audit reports. And CGAs can do more than CMAs. CMA is not an internatinally recognized designation but CGA is! And do not forget the fact that CGA has much much more members than CMA. If you really were a technical person you would know that the extreme salaries are scattered because of the largeness of the population. If you compare the top 5-10% of both designation you will see that CGAs are making more money. Especially international organizations prefer CGAs or CAs. In my opinion CMA is joke program. It only takes 2 years! How is it possible to learn entire accounting in two years? Only the exit exams of CGA take almost 9 months! I have heard this from a CMA friend who said: "CMA is dying and they watered down the program so much, they are now giving away the CMA designation like candies to little kids. They are trying to have more members and more students so they can survive, the only way they can have more members is watering down the program"

    I think it is very easy to prove which designation is superior. Why do not you dare a national CGA exam? Just download it from CGA's website or ask them to send you a blue print.
    CMAs think that to be a strategical thinker they do not need to understand the technicality behind financial concepts and taxation implications. We as CGAs know and experience this everyday and we know that this is wrong, very wrong! They are fooling themselves by ignoring the financial and taxation side of the accounting concepts.

    I have seen CMAs and CAs reporting to CGAs and getting fired by CGAs. It all boils down to individual qualities. Having said that I think it is perfectly clear now that by law only CGAs and CAs can give the audit report which is the highest level of assurance. CMA education system fails to meet these standards therefore they are not allowed to express an audit opinion. And the biggest accounting body in the world, ACCA only recognizes CGAs and CAs.
    If a CGA wants to get his PA, CIA, CFE it is a walk in the park however for a CMA it is a challange. I know from experience that CMA program is over rated and they have watered it down too much. They are now paying the price by failing to be internationally recognized and being denied to express audit opinions.

    By the way your salary is half of my annual bonus although I am a 40+ year old CGA.

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  114. Randy; you must be a new CA at that age. A new CA makes about 70K. There must be a reason why you are making 20-30% more than a new CA. It is only you who knows the reason. And please stop comparing CMAs to CGAs or CAs. Just go to workopolis.com type CGA and count the job offerings and then do the same for CMA. You will see that employers looking for CGA is more than employers looking for CMA. The reason is the taxation and auditing knowledge/skills of CGAs.
    From every single angle, quality, statistics or data CGA is equal to CA and better than the CMA.
    It is a shame for the CMA program not to get the ACCA recognition!

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  115. C'on people, please stop fighting! Don’t you think it’s so silly?

    All designations require a degree to complete the programs. NOBODY is better than others. I’m a CA, who has had wonderful opportunities to work with other CA’s, CGA’s and CMA’s for several years. I’ve gotta tell you that everyone has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. A very close friend of mine, she had taken CA before getting married and giving birth but decided to take CGA due to family commitments. She said CGA program was flexible enough for her to fulfill her responsibilities. Does it make her “LESS INTELLIGENT”?
    To the guy with the racist comments, I found your arguments were simply hateful, ignorant, idiotic and inane. You need to GROW UP!

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  116. "By the way your salary is half of my annual bonus although I am a 40+ year old CGA"

    Umm yea kind of sad if you ask me bud. If Randy is a CA at 24 making 89K, and already making half your bonus, im quite sure he will be making way more than you at 40+, i wouldnt boast to heavily that your making more than him.

    Ok then as a CA (i have the CGA too) can i ask all CGAs one thing? Pick a company on the Dow Jones, TSX or London Stock Exchange. If any ONE of those companies are audited by a CGA firm, then i will concede that CGAs and CAs are equal. Because the way i see it now, all the CGA people are saying their better, and i whom am i to disagree. But you needs facts to back it up. If CGAs are equal to CAs, then why do all these companies go to CA firms, and not just get a CGA firm to do it? If your argument will be that no big CGA firms exist, then how about the smaller funds? Why do they go to mid-size or smaller CA firms, can't they just go to a CGA and get audited?

    Also just a bit of background about me, Im a CA and CGA. Did my CA first and found the CGA program much easier. I did the CGA to try and get the letters to be honest, and i really enjoyed the program and people. However it hasnt added much value.

    And to the poster gloating about making more than the Kid, i am 36 and my Salary is 5 times Randy's, i wouldnt go comparing salaries between CAs and CGAs.

    Finally i would like to TOTALLY AGREE With the poster above me, but its one think to respect everyone (which is important), but its another to make statements that are not true, just to one-up someone else. I am sure all designations are good in their own right, but i just dont see why the CGA folks keep knocking on CMA's and CA's? We have valuable designations too

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  117. Rick;

    You are confusing me! If you are a CGA and a CA at the same time you should know that the right to express audit opinion has just been given to CGAs a few weeks ago! So your question of asking for a publicly traded company being audited by a CGA firm is baseless! Now all big four auditing companies asking their CGA staff to leave and start their own company. So in the very near future starting this year end you will be seeing Earnst and Young, PWC or another big one auding a TSX company through its CGA partners!
    CMAs can never get to this poing because they are not allowed to do audit and express an opionion. By Law CGA is superior to CMA and equal with CA!

    I am also curious about your compensation calculation. If somebody is making two times more than another person just through his bonus this should tell you that this person's compensation is at least 4 times more than the other person! Are you really a CGA and a CA at the same time? I find it hard to believe!

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  118. All you guys are a joke. I don't care if your a CA, CGA, or a CMA.

    I'm nothing and for 5 years I've run my own tax preparation business. Sales for me last year were over 3 million and 1/4 of that is pure profit.

    I have designated people working for me each year and I find they are no better or worse depending on his/her designation.

    When it comes to making money the only thing that matters is whether or not you can sell your services to a willing buyer. Now quit your pissing contests and enjoy your designations.

    PS. Rick L. you sound like a complete idiot to me.

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  119. I have been reading the comments in this forum to continue my exploration into the each accounting designation.

    I am a Business/Systems Analyst who has worked professionally in the IT field for 11 years now (Computer Science background). The constant battle to stay relevant in the computing field incredible and gets old after awhile. I would assume accounting is a bit less daunting to stay relevant and competitive. And besides who knows of a 55 year old programmer - I don't (I'm sure there are some out there and hats off to them for sticking it out).

    I'm strongly considering a jump into the accounting profession. Got a couple University courses already covered off. In regard to picking a designation - that's a tough question. As an outsider to the accounting profession (and residing in western Canadian) I grew up thinking that CA's are were the entrepreneurs who opened up their own firms. CMAs were in manufacturing, and CGA's were more of the bookkeeper type. Over the last few years I've come to understand that my understanding was wrong.

    As to which designation I'd go for. It doesn't much matter, but I see the CA and CGA as accomplishing the same thing and the CMA as a different beast all together. I'm sure as I continue down the road I'll increase my understanding of each and how relevant it is to me. I figure all three designations will be challenging in their own right. This is due to the stage of life I am in - Age 35 and a growing family to support.

    From the discussion here I'm leaning toward CA and CGA. By the time I finish all my university courses I'll be 40. This is 5 years from now. Things could change - mergers could happen between the designations and so forth (all speculation of course). At the moment I can't foresee a 40 year old man articling for 3 years working 50 -60 hour weeks with 3 kids to support (my brother in-law did it and survived - so I suppose anything is possible although he was 25 when he chose accounting - He's moved out of public accounting and into banking). Call me naive, but it seems like the CGA would work-out the best according to my personal circumstances. I assume those of you who are in the middle of attain your designation would have a better idea which I'd like to hear.

    To the poster who has two designations (CA and CGA). Do you suppose that since you already had a background in accounting via your CA designation that this foundation provided and easier time for you to attain the CGA designation?

    - Computer Guy

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  120. I have been reading the comments in this forum to continue my exploration into the each accounting designation.

    I am a Business/Systems Analyst who has worked professionally in the IT field for 11 years now (Computer Science background). The constant battle to stay relevant in the computing field incredible and gets old after awhile. I would assume accounting is a bit less daunting to stay relevant and competitive. And besides who knows of a 55 year old programmer - I don't (I'm sure there are some out there and hats off to them for sticking it out).

    I'm strongly considering a jump into the accounting profession. Got a couple University courses already covered off. In regard to picking a designation - that's a tough question. As an outsider to the accounting profession (and residing in western Canadian) I grew up thinking that CA's are were the entrepreneurs who opened up their own firms. CMAs were in manufacturing, and CGA's were more of the bookkeeper type. Over the last few years I've come to understand that my understanding was wrong.

    As to which designation I'd go for. It doesn't much matter, but I see the CA and CGA as accomplishing the same thing and the CMA as a different beast all together. I'm sure as I continue down the road I'll increase my understanding of each and how relevant it is to me. I figure all three designations will be challenging in their own right. This is due to the stage of life I am in - Age 35 and a growing family to support.

    From the discussion here I'm leaning toward CA and CGA. By the time I finish all my university courses I'll be 40. This is 5 years from now. Things could change - mergers could happen between the designations and so forth (all speculation of course). At the moment I can't foresee a 40 year old man articling for 3 years working 50 -60 hour weeks with 3 kids to support (my brother in-law did it and survived - so I suppose anything is possible although he was 25 when he chose accounting - He's moved out of public accounting and into banking). Call me naive, but it seems like the CGA would work-out the best according to my personal circumstances. I assume those of you who are in the middle of attain your designation would have a better idea which I'd like to hear.

    - Computer Guy

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  121. To the poster who has two designations (CA and CGA). Do you suppose that since you already had a background in accounting via your CA designation that this foundation provided and easier time for you to attain the CGA designation? I mean no disrespect. I say this because from my experience as a software developer I remember it being far easier to learn a programming language once I mastered the first one.

    - Computer Guy

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  122. Hi Computer Guy;

    All these designations are like another full time job, with 3 kids and a growing family it will be a huge challange. I am a CGA student and I know the average CGA student age is 33 years old. Average member age is 42.

    In the world of accounting things do not change much. We have a big change coming up in January 2011. Canada will be accepting IFRS standards. We are already highly converged so I do not see it being an issue. Do not worry about you age. You are already an established person, so getting your designation will only add you value... CMA takes only 2 years once you are in the program, CGA takes at least 4 years plus 6-9 months for the exit exams. CGA is also looking for 36 months work exprerience (24 months clerk + 12 months at manager/prof. levels)

    If you want to get in the publick accounting you should go with CGA or CA; if you want to work for a plant or get into manufacturing CMA would make sense. CGAs though can do all. The letter G stands for a reason. However it is a VERY DEMANDING program. Each course takes about 20 hours of studying every week. You can take only 4 courses through CGA per year. If you want to take more you have to take them through universities. Like I said do not worry about your age but be aware of the statistics! Historically only 1 out of 4 students can get their designation! Know what you are getting into! It is a challange but if you have the passion for accounting I say go for it...

    Good luck

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  123. CA = bright students
    CMA = average students
    CGA = Special needs and remedial students.

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  124. Phew ohh George what a shitty post. By your logic lets just all not go to school, or get letters and open up our own businesses and we will be rich like you. Ohh how i envy you bud, what an idiot i am, i went 4 years to the top school in the nation, have a CA and CMA (and have utmost respect for CGAs as my dad is one), and i only make 90K.

    I think you sound more like an idiot that Rick. At least Rick is making some sort of argument, you dont even seem to belong here. And by the way why are you browsing this forum when your not interested in either designation?

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  125. You guys have way too much ime on your hands

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  126. I think enough have been said already about these designations. I agree with the fact that both CGAs and CAs are above the CMA by law. CMAs can only audit governments. CGAs and CAs can audit not only all three levels of governments but also they can audit publicly traded or private companies. By law CGAs and CAs are public accountants. CMAs are not allowed to serve the public. Expressing an audit opinion is a huge privilege and it is given only to CAs and CGAs. And let's not forget the fact that only these two designations are international not the CMA. From personal experience I find CGAs more competible in terms of their accounting knowledge and technicality.

    I hope this clarifies everything.

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  127. Well I am a CGA with a degree in mathematics, does that mean i trump all of u people? Compared to mathematics, accounting is for special ed kids right?

    Comeon people, why are u comparing this is better than this, or that is better than that, each of these designations are respected and those that compare are really not worth much, too bad, u wasted so much money on an education, u forgot the part about not being stupid!

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  128. If you are comparing math to accounting you have a problem! Accounting is a communication tool which uses math and it is based on principles not strict rules like math.
    Accounting is full of estimations, interpretations and the desire to satisfy the reliable information needs of financial data users. We use math as a tool. Math are accounting are different animals.
    Einstain once said the hardest thing in the world is understanding the income taxes :)
    Hahah :) Can you blame him for being stupid?

    By the way CGAs rock!
    Peace!

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  129. Yes, i do agree with u that CGA's rock. But, u did not understand my point. It was not to compare math and accounting, as yes they are clearly different....but yes...those in the math community...from a reputable university (no colleges, sorry) know that if u cant cut it in the math department...switch to accounting...

    And its silly to take Einstein's quote literally...he isnt known all around for solving his income taxes, HA!!

    Its cool dude, we are both CGA's and i was only trying to stop the comparisons, i too like u am out only for peace! ;)

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  130. Wow going through these comments I just have to stand back and chuckle.

    Seems there are a lot of butt hurt CGA's in this forum trying to defend their designation.

    I have nothing against CGAs and I am sure there are many who are far more competent then a lot of CMA/CAs.

    With that said, CMA or CA is the route to go (depending on your career interests). If you go the public accounting route, the CA will almost always be on top, and if you go the industry route, CMAs/CA's will always hold the senior positions.

    In University I completed almost all the required courses to do a CA/CGA which included the second audit course and the second tax course. The knowledge that is gained from these additional courses simply is a small stepping stone from what you learn in the main first courses.

    I wasn't that large of a fan of tax and audit, and really enjoyed the intermediate and advanced management accounting courses so I went the CMA route.

    Now that i'm working in an accounting field with CGA's and CA's I don't find my knowledge of tax or audit to be worse then them. In fact, I have a greater knowledge of internal control policies then many of my accounting co-workers.

    I do feel that they (CGA/CA's) are way too caught up in the little accounting things, like journalizing every little thing, accrual entries etc; all the little clerical stuff, while i'm concerned with the strategy of my organization, and how we can operate efficiently something that my SOs of notices. That is why I am satisfied with my decision.

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  131. Here is another bullshit fed moron!
    CGAs are not trying to defend their designation as they do not need to! Do yourself a favor and call your CMA charter at:

    Direct: 905-949-4200 Toll-free: 1-800-263-7622 Fax: 905-949-0888

    Ask them these questions:
    1) Is that true that the designation is melting and they are giving the CMA designation like candies to little kiddies so they can have more members and they can survive?

    2) How come the CMA program does not give enough education about IFRS, Taxation and Financial Accounting?

    3) Where do they get those salary surveys from? Can they provide phone numbers of the members?

    4) How come CGAs and CAs are allowed to express an audit opinion but CMAs are NOT???

    5) How come CMAs think that they are better than CGAs but they can only ASSIST the audit led by a CGA/CA?

    6) How come the CMA has such a fancy name but nobody gives a shit about it when you leave Canada? How come CGA and the CA designations are internationally recognized but the CMA is not? (only recognized by other CMA- how trajedic)

    7) How come CMA is not recognized by ACCA? If you are better and more knowledgable than CGAs how come CGAs/CAs are recognized but CMAs are not?

    8) Why do not CMA make public what ACCA told them about their bullshit designation?

    9) How come the CMA designation takes only 2 years while the CGA designation takes average 5-6 years?

    10) How come CGAs and CAs have their own version of the hand book but CMAs dont?

    11) How come CGAs and CAs have an auditing committee and a board but CMAs do not

    12) How come CGAs/CAs are consulted by the IFRS and international accounting standard setters but notbody gives a shit about the CMAs?

    Now put the strategy bullshit story right up your ass! You can NOT determine a strategy without knowing the tax and financial accounting implications? How are you going to know what kind of lease will bring you the best taxation advantage through depreciation? If you are working for an international company how are you going to convert your numbers to IFRS if you do not know financial accounting? CMAs are so bullshit fed and they think they have learned everything through their little bullshit case studies. Sorry to burst your bubble but you are INCOMPETENT as an accountant. There are waaay better designations than CMA for internal controls like the CIA or CFE.

    CGAs and CAs can go all the way to the top but CMAs can play in their isolated little world.
    CGAs and CAs are not journalizing every little think, they are going by the book! Financial accounting is based on rules and principles management accounting is based on NOTHING! Whatever the managers want to see they just focus on it! Such a huge MISTAKE! You have wasted a life by going down the CMA route now you are misleading others?? I am sick and tired of morons like yourself! If you are making a claim you have to back it up or I will make you swallow it! And I think I just did! There are verifiable facts and I have listed them above! If I were I would use my CMA designation as a toilet papers and go for CA or CGA. Be prepated to spend at least 4-5 years!

    Strategic thinkers! My ass!!!!

    If you were a strategic thinker you would not go with the CMA! You wanted an easy CHEATING designation. You do not have what it takes to be a CGA or CA!

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  132. I agree with the above! Just to add one more:
    CMAs are looking for recognition from ACCA in the next 3 years. They have started benchmarking and copying the CGA designation. They have also asked for help from CGA to update their curriculum of courses!

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  133. For the above poster who's strongly against CMA, you're obviously been ass-kicked by a CMA. To create so much hate, you must strongly agree that CMA is better than CGA in deep your heart. And if ‘your CGA’ is so much better than others, there’s no need for you to post such long and nonsense comment. We pity you, and your hopeless future.

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  134. I am surprised and dismayed by those who call others names and use inappropriate language on this forum. Please respect other people’s opinions and as accountants/accounting students we should not denigrate our peers irrespective of the accounting designation chosen.

    For the record, I posted my comments on this forum on NOVEMBER 5, 2009 2:18 PM.

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  135. I dont understand what the issue is here?

    Can CMAs give the highest level of assurance which is expressing an audit opinion? The answer is a big fat NO!

    Can CGAs and CAs do it? The answer is YES

    Is the CMA program recognized by other accounting bodies in the world? The answer is a a big fat NO!

    Are CGAs and CAs recognized internationally? The answer is YES!

    This story is over until CMAs update their program and catch up with the CGAs and CAs.

    I agree with the person who sum'ed up all points. I do not agree with his attitude but he has a strong point!

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  136. You guys have way too much time on your hands and take yourselves far too seriously. In the real world designations get you in the door and preformance, experience, soft skills (i.e. people skills & networking skills)and work ethic dictate success.

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  137. Your all idiots. Instead of respecting each other, you rather mock and have a shitty attitude.

    FYI all of you, respect is MORE important than letters after your name. The way people are behaving here, i would hate to see how some of these people deal with less fortunate members of our society.

    Grow up

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  138. WOW! This whole rivalry between the three fields is quite shocking. I am beginning my studies to become a CGA but thought I would try to research a little bit more between the three - and man! Does it look like I'm going to be in for a rollar coaster good time! Regardless of which is better, I agree with many other opinions I read - it's not the fancy letters behind your name, it's what you actually KNOW and can APPLY. And thank heavens for that b/c now I might be able to make my fellow CGA's proud (I hope :))
    Thanks for the laughs guys! I can't wait to be a part of the argument (knowledgeably!)

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  139. stop please!

    I found the arguments as stupid as saying:

    Asian are the smartest
    Next is White
    ......
    Black is at the bottom


    LOL

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  140. Indeed! This page is for useless and jobless people to argue their positions in society since they have lots of time.

    keep crying about it...please. Maybe go find a job?

    Whoever post after this is definitely jobless and no life...

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  141. Just a quick question.. how long does it take to obtain a CGA vs CA..?

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  142. I find that a lot of female CAs like it up the poop shute.

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  143. I would like to say a few words to the individuals that appear to have a very overprotective perception of their 'chosen' accounting brand. I have seen a number of postings being made, predominantly by CGA's, which attempt to denigrate CMA designation-holders and I would like to provide a brief synopsis of what this CMA holder, namely myself, does for a living.

    When I was an undergraduate student in university in the early 2000's, my passion lied in mathematics and physics. To be completely honest, I had a very rudimentary understanding of accounting, audit, or business principles in general. However, I was quite good with statistics and information systems programming and quickly landed a position in modeling financial instruments upon graduation.

    While posted in that position, I quickly realized that I required a greater understanding of finance and accounting. Unfortuantely, and this is not to be disrespectful at all, I had not studied accounting in university, moreover, I was earning a decent wage at the time (>$70K) and felt that it was not prudent to article for the CA.

    My choice was then limited to the CGA and CMA programs. At the time (early 2000's), the CGA brand was perhaps less recognized than it is today, so I decided to enrol in the CMA Accelerated Program while also studying toward a company-paid MBA part-time. All-in-all, the combination of those two programs filled by business knowledge gap and allowed me to excel.

    Today, I hold a number of designations: Hon.BSc., MBA, CMA, CIA, PMP, CISA, and CFE. I currently work in the field of financial instrument risk management as a Manager, Risk Services with EY and have been here for about 3 years. I have found in my short career that while working for a Big 4 implies that the majority of your co-workers will be CA's or CA students, anyone, with any designation, can work and excel in assurance, consulting or taxation if they are driven, cordial, professional, and focused on continuous improvement.

    Of one thing I can most certainly be sure - if one is so insecure that they must resort to namecalling, denouncement or childish comparissons, then that individual will never succeed in any business. Of this you can be sure.

    Best of luck to all those who choose to achieve any of the accounting designations and congratulations to those who already have.

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  144. To the CMA above:

    Yes you are right! In early 1990s or beg. 2000s CGAs were less recognized. This was simply because of the CA domination which was achieved by the CA politicians. Lets face it, about 20 years ago CA designation was given to high school grads. This is how they outnumbered the CGAs. And there were MPs at that time who happened to be CAs. This is how the CAs got the wind under their wings! We are talking about serious stuff here. Namely discrimination! CAs have monopolized everything and have stolen the rights of CGAs to serve as PAs.
    Now CGAs are equal with CAs. They have exactly the same right. Who is going pay for the stolen years? And lost careers? If this is not stealing than what is it?

    No offense but as a CMA do you know how to do consolidated accounting? Auditing? Taxation? I bet you only have an idea. You do not know them inside and out. But I do! Yet I still have to compete with the CMAs and tell the employers that CGAs are more knowledgable and they have more rights than CMAs. I have to study 20 hours a week just to pass one single course! CMA is all about case studies and only takes about 2 years. CGA program takes min. 4-5 years. How are we equal? Please tell me? Is not it obvious that Association of Chartered Certified Accountants only recognizes CGAs and CAs in Canada but not the CMAs? I think ACCA made the perfect explanation about the CMA designation. They have said CMA program is not providing sufficient training and education about financial accounting, auditing and taxation therefore they are failing to meet the standards of CGAs, CAs and ACCA's.

    Please do not tell me that CMAs are equal with CGAs. They simply are not! How would you feel if you made the same money with a co-worker who only works 4 hours a day and knows less than you do and less productive than you are but still calls himself a fulltime employee with identical benefits and pay plan! This is not fair.
    For decades CMAs lied to employer and they promoted their designation way too much. This has caused an over-rating in the market.
    Thank God know the government put a stop to this none-sense and told the CMAs to go back to the draving board. Somebody here said having a fancy name does not make you an accountant. I can not top that! In my opinion CMAs are not accountants they are just people trained to make strategic decisions who happen to have some knowledge about accounting. CGAs though they have the full package hence the reason why CGA takes 5 years while CMA takes only 2 years...

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  145. CMA here. Well, where do I begin...

    You said:

    "No offense but as a CMA do you know how to do consolidated accounting? Auditing? Taxation?"

    Actually, yes. I do. I'm not entirely sure whether it's your reading comprehension skills, or whether you simply have no idea what a Manager of Risk Services does at Ernst & Young, but "as a CMA" I do a whole lot of internal and external audits on both assurance and consulting engagements, which often require me to question or improve upon a company's accounting and taxation methods. Don't you remember me? I'm the guy that fixed that horrible accrual you made on last year's payables.


    "Yet I still have to compete with the CMAs and tell the employers that CGAs are more knowledgable and they have more rights than CMAs."

    I bet that annoys the hell out of him. It's no wonder you're still a payables clerk...


    "CMA is all about case studies and only takes about 2 years."

    Now bear in mind that I did not study accounting while engaged in my undergraduate degree. Given that, the CMA program required that I spend one year in the Accelerated Program, write two Entrance Exams over a six month preparatory program, and spend two more years in the Strategic Leadership Program. Correct me if I'm wrong since your accounting prowess is so much more developed than mine, how does that add up to two years?


    "How are we equal? Please tell me?"

    I didn't say we were. One of us is inferior. If you look in the mirror, you might see him.


    "Is not it obvious that Association of Chartered Certified Accountants only recognizes CGAs and CAs in Canada but not the CMAs?"

    Who are they? Do they pay my bills? Are they based out of Asia or something?


    "I think ACCA made the perfect explanation about the CMA designation. They have said CMA program is not providing sufficient training and education about financial accounting, auditing and taxation."

    I suppose the ACCA forgot to send that memo to the Big 4 because I have many CMA colleagues that work in each of the above-noted fields - myself included.


    "Please do not tell me that CMAs are equal with CGAs."

    Never did. I judge accountants based on their individual aptitude and personalities. For a fact, I know that you certainly fail in one of the two-noted attributes.


    "How would you feel if you made the same money with a co-worker who only works 4 hours a day and knows less than you do and less productive than you are but still calls himself a fulltime employee with identical benefits and pay plan! This is not fair."

    Actually, I can top that. How about working under someone who 'works' only 2 hours a day and needs an executive assistant to write an email? Where I come from, we call him/her "the boss". Get used to it.


    "In my opinion CMAs are not accountants they are just people trained to make strategic decisions who happen to have some knowledge about accounting."

    Some perhaps. Some, not so much. Does your designation define what you can do, or do you define what your designation can do?


    As a guy whose been around the block a few times, let me be very blunt here. Any designation is a wonderful thing to have and it should open many doors. But know this. Your designation does not define whether people will like you. And I can assure you that when you apply for more senior roles through whatever organization makes the utter mistake of hiring you, they will place far less emphasis on your designation than on whether you leave a positive impression on others.

    You should try taking social classes, rather than spending so much time on comparing brand images.

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  146. Well answered. This CGA person is a disgrace to CGA; We disapprove him/her.

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  147. I've seen so many posts about ACCA and see many posts that praise ACCA so highly.... I take another search and found this from ACCA website:

    "CICA has recently undertaken a review of some professional accountancy qualifications including the Association’s and has recognised the Association's qualification as being equivalent standard to a Canadian university degree."

    In addition, CGA is an equivalent of ACCA (from their mutual agreement in 2007)

    So.... using a logical expression:
    If CGA = ACCA
    and CA > ACCA (since you have to take modules and UFE to get CA eventhough you have ACCA).
    then CA>CGA.........

    Btw, I think CA is more internationally recognized than CGA... why?? I see my other co-workers (CA of course) who got seconded to Singapore, London, Mexico, Hongkong, Peru, and Argentina.............

    For the CMA above, I really like your post about ACCA...
    "Who are they? Do they pay my bills? Are they based out of Asia or something?"

    Discrimination about CGA...... I don't know what to say about this.... it is true that CGA courses and exams are harder than CA, but to get to article in a CA firm at the first place is another thing........

    FYI.. I am a CA student in a national firm

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  148. While all accounting designations are good depending on your requirement, the CGA designation training is different from CMA in several aspects. This can easily be verified by comparing the breadth of the CGA syllabus, the fact that CGAs can conduct/offer assurance services in all provinces and that most auditors of all levels of Government are CGAs (including majority of CRA tax auditors).

    The CMA designation syllabus only scratches the surface when it comes to advanced Financial Accounting (excludes associated taxation issues) and the taxation 1 course accepted by CMA at the University of Ottawa is light and not recognized by CA or CGA that only accept a more complex course (I know this because I took both courses). Furthermore, the CMA designation does not offer training in advanced finance, external auditing, advanced external auditing, audit practise set and advanced taxation,

    In addition, the CGA program is well integrated in the use of computerized information systems.

    For the CMAs, you all know that on the CMA website, they had indicated that they did not recognise more than six months of experience acquired working for a public accounting firm towards obtaining a CMA designation. In fact the CMA organization never claimed to train their members for public accounting and I don’t think that we should be making comparison with the CGA designation that has a heavy public accounting component.

    The syllabus of the CMA designation is closely aligned with the MBA program and hence the joint CMA/MBA programs taken in a short time to eliminate course duplication. However, public accounting is mainly a domain for CAs and CGAs due to their training, experience and professional designation orientation (as evidenced by their members in public practice across Canada).

    My understanding is the CMA public accounting program is being developed and once implemented, a possible future comparison would be in order.

    To the post about on ACCA, please note that there is a rivalry with ICAEW (the UK CA equivalent) that has a mutual recognition agreement with CICA. Consequently the CICA will adopt a political stance in dealing with ACCA. However, if you have ACCA you can obtain membership to the UK CA without taking any exam through their pathways. Then if CA(UK) = CA (Canada), CA(UK) = ACCA and ACCA = CGA (based on existing mutual recognition agreement) then…..please drawl your own conclusion and hopefully you will not let designation rivalry or political manoeuvring crowd your judgment.

    I hope that helps.

    ICAEW = Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
    ACCA = Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

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  149. It reads as though the previous poster considers public accounting to be the pinnacle of accounting practice. Last time I checked, unless you're parking partner, public accounting = public servant. Industry pays far greater returns per capita - especially in operations.

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  150. To the CMA dude:

    1) You are saying that you are conducting external audits as a CMA! Now you are full of B/S here! simply because CMAs are NOT allowed to express an audit opinion on publicly traded and/or private corporations. Your training through CMA is NOT enough to express an opinion. Meaning by law you are INCOMPOTENT! You can only assits a CGA or a CA and only a CA or a CGA can sign on the audit report not you! Get this fact straight!

    2) You have just said that you have no accounting background and it only took you two years to get your designation. Here is your difference right there. Even if you have a degree in accounting which I do have CGA still takes minimum 4 to 5 years. Only the two exit exams of CGA after you are done with these 4-5 years take an additional 9 months!

    3) WOW! You do not know who the Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)? ACCA is the association writing the IFRS! They are recognized in every single country as the highest level of ethics and knowledge where there is a claculator! No wonder why CMAs are not aware of them! CMAs have been literally begging for mutual recognition for years from ACCA. And what did ACCA tell them? They said you are not at the same level as CGAs and CAs. And you are failing to meet our standards!

    4) You are saying that you are working for EY! Is not that the company whose ass got kicked over the Lehman Brothers collapse! Who could let a 50 billion dollar sale go in one shot without ensuring the accuracy of it!? I would not be surprised if E&Y closes its doors just like Arthur Anderson did! They have breached the trust of the public and failed to whistle blow at an accounting scandal! May be you should start looking for a job? By the way did you know that many CGAs are leaving E&Y and starting their own practice. I wonder when CMAs will reach that level! I guess NEVER is the safest answer!

    5) Speaking of big 4s: Have you ever seen a CMA partner in ANY of the big 4s? NEVER right? Simply because CMAs are NOT allowed to do public accounting! Only CGAs and CAs can! CMAs are only hired to help the CGAs and CAs. They can not express an audit opinion! PERIOD & DONE!

    6) You are asking me if my CGA can define what I can or can not do? The answer is YES. Does you designation tell you what you can not do? I guess no! Hence the reason why you are talking so big without having all the facts! Lets educate your ass now! You can NOT do public accounting stuff! Got it? You can not go to a country where there is no CMA office and get a job as a certified professional. Got it?
    Now how do you feel when I tell you CGAs can do both? Inferior? Damn right! Sorry to burst the bubble but you have been living in a dream world. May be time to wake up?

    7) I do not think it is me who should take social classes but you who may be should accept the fact as it is! That fact is CGA>CMA! Not only by law but also from every identifiable angle!

    8) I have to admit that CMA used to be a GREAT designation but they watered it down way too much and they are heading to the wrong direction now! They are paying the price now by failing to get international recognition!

    Now you know MR.!

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  151. To the CA student above:

    With this kinda a logic you are not going anywhere. Your logic and if clauses are all wrong! And based on wrong info! Here is another logic for you:
    Did you know that if a CA applies to get a CGA license it takes him 2 years!
    Now you know MR.

    CGAs and CAs are by law equal although CGAs are better educated (and you have just admitted this by saying CGA exams are harder) So based on logic if a professional is getting his designation by passing harder exams can we say this individual is better trained than the other one? The "logic" leads to YES! What do you think?

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  152. Ofcouse the public accounting is the highest level! What is the highest level of assurance you can give? An unqualified audit report right? Can CMAs give this report? NO!
    Only CGAs and CAs!

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  153. I think the guy posting the above few comments may possibly be retarded.

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  154. Looks like CMA's can practice in public accounting pending some additional requirements. See below:

    http://www.cma-alberta.com/index.cfm/ci_id/13588/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0

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  155. The crazy CGA guy must be an immie...

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  156. It says CMA's are able to provide public accounting in all provinces except Quebec & PEI.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/148007928.html

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  157. CMAs can only audit governments CGAs and CAs can audt all including private and publicly traded corps.


    CMAs are not in the same leage as CGAs and CAs.

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  158. Why do not you prove him wrong instead of calling him names?

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  159. The links clearly show that CMA's can audit publicly traded corporatons.

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  160. That link says that CMA is working on that!
    They got a deadline of 4 years from ACCA to update their curriculum. I think they will screw this up too because their current policy is having more grads and students as much as possible just to be able to survive. The only way of achieveing this is watering down the program.

    In Ontario CMAs are nobody and once you leave canada they can only get a bookkeeper job unless there is a CMA body in that country.

    The Certified General Accountants of Ontario and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario are the only two accounting bodies in Ontario authorized to license their members to practise public accounting!

    Feel free to verify this...

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  161. http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/148007928.html

    CAN YOU READ?

    Paragraph 2:

    "CMAs are currently eligible to practice in the field of public accounting in all provinces and territories except Quebec and Prince Edward Island. The right to practice in public accounting is normally bestowed through provincial legislation. Some CMA Canada partners have established defined public practice rules and codes of ethics, and provide practice reviews to ensure the quality of the work provided by CMAs."

    Yes, they can practice. Read. I know English is not your first languasge, but please learn how to read. It's important for accountants to know how to READ.

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  162. The ACCA has no juridiction over who can or cannot practice in public accounting in Canada. The provinces each have regulatory bodies that determine the prerequisits for public practice.

    The ACCA has no teeth as long as someone intends to practice in Canada. Moreover, were anyone to practice internationally, they would probably have to get a CPA unless they're on a work-term.

    PS: I'm a CA in public practice with CMAs and CGAs that both sign off on financial statements.

    The person making the inappropriate remarks about CMAs is all wrong. The article says that CMA is working on a formal training program for public practice. It does not say they can't perform public accounting activities. They just do approved remedial work in order to get licensed (audit hours / training). Trust me, I eat lunch with a CMA that does it every day. His office is right next to mine.

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  163. Anybody can do audit but only CGAs and CAs are allowed to express an opinion in Ontario. I have seen some CMAs working in the audit team led by a CGA or a CA. At the end of the day CMAs are team members they are not qualified to issue a report! There are only two accounting bodies in Ontari who can issue audit reports and they are CGAs and CAs. I can always hire a high school grad to help me with the audit. Does this make him a public accountant?! Please do not get confused with working for Public Accounting firm and being a public accountant. Not everybody at a doctor's office is a doctor right? It is the same thing here...

    And you are right about the fact that The ACCA has no teeth as long as someone intends to practice in Canada. However ACCA is the biggest accounting body in the world with the most significant influence on IFRS. ACCA is re-writing GAP. So please do not be funny by saying what ACCA can dictate or can not dictate. If ACCA says something the wole world listens if CGA,CA and CMAs combined raise their voice and say something it is only heard in Canada.

    Here is the recent legislation about the CGAs and CAs being the only accounting bodies to express an audit opinion and writing an audit report: http://www.cga-ontario.org/About_Us/Media_Relations/Media_Releases/ADB_Status.aspx

    Just copy and paste please...

    Those CMAs you see and have lunch everyday will have to work for a CA or a CGA. They can NEVER get a license to open their own practice to issue an audit report.
    Doing review engagements or tax filings are not the same as expressing an audit report.

    Hope this helps...

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  164. You're wrong. Read Appendix A: Page 7.

    http://www.cmabc.com/index.cfm/ci_id/11605/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0

    The CMA can provide signoff of financial statements without having to work under a CA or CGA. The poster above is just posting CGA propaganda.

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  165. The ACCA is highly overrated. That organization's claim to fame is IFRS which is likely never going to fly in North America.

    Without America on board, nobody cares what Europe does to overhaul accounting. The US is stated to be on board with IFRS by 2014 and it is clear in 2010 that there has been little if any movement on the part of the Americans on shying away from GAAP - especially given the current European bank credit crisis. They will never make ther deadline and IFRS will die as a result.

    Trust me, not a single CPA is doing any work in IFRS. They know it'll never be adopted because it's an admission of failure and a succession of American finacial dominance to an inferior Europe. It's also alot of wasteful and time-consuming accounting. Come 2014, most people in North America will have no clue what IFRS is. Even many of the Big 4 are reducing their US engagements to train Americans in IFRS. I have seen this in my firm as well.

    For some reason, the CGA program is heavily invested in IFRS. Huge mistake really. Without the US on board, China will also lose interest, and Europe will be a banking turd-hole with a wasteful and useless IFRS program that will send them further in debt. ACCA will go back to being a "who are they" organization, where they rightly belong.

    GAAP is here to stay.

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  166. This should put the final nail in the coffin. I suppose being the partner of a CA public practice (who happens to be a CMA) is somehow not able to sign off and write opinions on statements.

    http://www.blackfishcma.com/about_us/peter_buurman.php

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  167. You guys have got it all wrong. Do a CFA and then we'll talk about who's better.

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  168. See this is what I meant by CMAs are being incompotent accountants... This dude who wrote this thinks that giving an audit report is the same as sigining off of financial statements!

    Hellooooo!

    CMAs can provide and prepare financial statements but only CGAs and CAs in ontario can give a qualified or unqualified report on these financial statements. Actually anybody get prepare financial statements...

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  169. Have you ever seen an audit report in your entire life? That report can only be signed by a CGA or a CA in Ontario. You can prepare the financial statements or you can do the entire audit all by yourself. Not a big deal at the end of the day if that piece of paper expressing an opinion on the statements has to be signed by a CGA or a CA. Otherwise it is just a piece of paper with no value!

    If you are a CMA you can be licensed to become a Public Accountant but you can NOT issue the audit report with a CGA or a CA signing on it! WHy is this so hard to understand?

    You can become a doctor but only a surgeon can do the operation not your family doctor. Got it? Clear???

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  170. To the above poster. Look at the links. Clearly, CMAs in some provinces can sign off on audit reports.

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  171. I can not believe that CMAs are talking nonesense about ACCA. Just because you have failed to get recognition from ACCA you should not be undermining ACCA. Your argument about IFRS not being so important is invalid. Canada is already highly converged and USA has a deadline by the end of 2013. The closes ally of US is Canada and even they said we are going with IFRS.

    I do not know what world you are living in but as of 2005 the biggest economic power in the world is The European Union. Put Canada and asian giants including japan on top of this. What I am saying is in the world of accounting USA is not number one anymore! And if EU and asian countries are going by IFRS including Canada and you are limiting yourself to USA I think it is a "strategically wrong move"
    Assuming that you guys are so called strategic thinkers may be you will find this meaningful huh? Even if you hide behind USA for how long can you do this? They have put a deadline on it they said we will adopt IFRS in 2014. So keep playing your little game may be another 3 years or so! Then you will have no where to go!

    I also want to know that if somebody can come up with a name and a phone number of a CMA who ever signed on an audit report in Ontario. Banks, shareholders, creditors would sue the ass of this CMA for doing this. I do not have any problem in seeing a CMA doing the audit or helping the audit as a team member but there is NO way a CMA can sign off of it or express an opinion on the audit.

    This is the key wording in the audit report and these words can only be said by CGAs and CAs. CMAs are not allowed to sign under these words:

    ************************************************

    In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of XYZ Company as of December 31, 20X2, 20X1 and 20X0, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in conformity with Canadian generally accepted accounting standards.

    Signed by
    CGA/CA



    CMAs can NOT sign this report. They can do the audit but they can NOT sign it. Simply because they do not know GAAP as much as CGAs and CAs...

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  172. I have just found this on CMA's web site which is self explaining:

    http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/7783/la_id/1.htm

    According to this CMAs can only get an advanced standing from CGA and ACCA while CGA and ACCA fully recognize eachother!

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  173. The individual who posted 7 entries up is right. ACCA is irrelevant in Canada and IFRS is dead.

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  174. There will be another world war before the USA adopts IFRS. Europe is a financial toilet and the ACCA is a turd just waiting to be flushed.

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  175. CA>CMA>CGA

    I should know. I'm a CA. The only CGAs I know are losers that either failed the UFE or took an accounting program at SAIT or some other turd community college.

    Face the facts. This is why the accounting profession has no respect for you and why you will always report to me at the office.

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  176. PS: Go get me a coffee.

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  177. To the poster who post CA>CMA>CGA.... well said.... from accounting program in my university... out of 600 hundred, only 50 got accepted to article in a CA firm and become a CA or fail the UFE and retake it... the rest... become a CGA (over supply of CGA --> lead to lower salary or earnings... an example --> in my firm : Senior CGA accountant only make slightly more than a first year CA articling student... what a sad fact....)

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  178. CGA = Glorified Clerk

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  179. By the lack of communications quality among many of the CGAs on this board, I believe CGA Canada should review their CBOK to include ESL courses.

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  180. I KINDA FIND IT INTERESTING AND SELF EXPLAINING THAT ALL CAS AND CMAS CAN NOT COME UP WITH AN ANSWER OTHER THAN CALLING NAMES AND BULLSHIT BASELESS LIES. GET THIS FACT RIGHT UP YOUR ASS:

    CGA>PA>CIA>CFE>......CA>......>DRIVER'S LICENCE>....CMA

    :)


    lol... peace...

    We are all losers counting somebodyelse's money

    :)


    But I still and seriously think that CMA is a bull shit designation and CA is over rated....

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  181. ACCA is not irrelevant in canada if it is how do you explain the fact that if you have ACCA you can audit all 3 levels of Canadian governments!

    If you do not know, make a research before you post something here!

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  182. CA= Certified ASS

    :)

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  183. CGA= Certified ASS-kisser.

    :)

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  184. You meant certified Ass KICKER?

    CGAs rock! Admit it! They know better and they are more qualified and they have more international recognition!

    Sorry to kick that hard but I just had to! :)

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  185. "Sorry to trick that hard..."

    Illiteracy: Speaks volumes.

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  186. Cry more CGAs....not going to change the fact that CA & CMA earn more than you!

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  187. It already did a few years a go! Wake up loser!

    You can not do an audit in ontario and you desperately need the signature of a CGA so that your audit report can come alive. And CMAs have just lost their international recognition.

    You are no body!
    Put your bullshit designation which only takes two years right up your ass! In two years you pass only one or max two levels in the CGA program and there are 5 of them! Stop comparing yourselves to us. We are not in the same league as you are... All CMAs are the equivalent of CGA level 3 students.

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  188. This fuckface low-class CGA above is obviously a moron. Did your dad not give you a brain when those garbage swim over?

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  189. Shut your hole up and go serve your CGA boss!
    Kiss his ass may be he will pay you more or even better pet you!

    CMA is a bullshit cheating designation which only takes 2 years with NO international recognition... They are not even recognized in Ontario as auditors or PAs... How pathetic these losers are and they are still talking bullshit...

    Can you do audit? NO! Are you internationally recognized? NO! NOW SHUT UP and PUT THOSE BIASED SALARY SURVEYS RIGHT UP YOUR ASS! Dont you even dare to compare yourself to the CGAs... They rule, you lose!

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  190. The only people that care about international recognition are immigrants. I'm a Canadian. My designation works fine in Canada.

    To the crazy CGA immigrant - I'll have a big mac combo with a diet coke please.

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  191. It is not only that... we should be discussing why CMA fails to get international recognition. What makes CGA acceptable in other countries and what makes CMA not so acceptable...
    The discussion should pinpoint the differnces betweet two designation... Oh may be I should have spoken CMA and said hey guys lets do a SWOT analysis :)

    CMAs are losers!

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  192. Last time I audit a company, the controller is a CMA and much to my surprise, he knows what he is doing. On top of that, he earns around 150K per year. the assistant controller, a CGA, she earns around 40K per year... my self... a CA manager in a national CA firm.... only earns $110K. All three of us are about the same age (with about 7 years of accounting experience)...

    Conclusion: if you are smart enough.... don't do public accounting.... unless you are a partner.. you don't make much money compared to controller or CFO.....

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  193. YOU LIE!

    There is no CGA in Canada making 40K!

    I am a CGA student making 60K+

    Applied for a new job looking for level 3 CGA student and paying upto 74K...

    I dont know where you are getting your numbers from? You ass may be?

    And you are right about being a partner Just like I am right about the CMA can never be a partner in a PA firm...

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  194. Ask about any CGA student in Vancouver BC... It's impossible to make 60+K as a student in Vancouver, BC... It is just impossible... CGA student in Vancouver only makes around 30 to 35K. If you don't believe, you can call CGA office in Vancouver (talk to Dan or Jas, the CGA recruiters....)...

    In the other hand... CA students in Vancouver starts at 36K (in big 4) - 42K (small CA firm) and goes up to high 50 before writing UFE....

    If you are talking about salary in AB or ON.. I don't know.. but this is the salary in the most livable city in North America...

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  195. The poster above is correct. I am in Nova Scotia and the average CGA student between L3 and PACE makes about 40K. Almost all of them are clerks or junior financial analysts. Most CMA students at the SLP level make about 50-55K (many work for government or in industry) and a CA student about to write the UFE usually makes around 45K until they pass the UFE. Once they pass their salary automatically goes up to 55K if they choose to stay with a national PA firm. Most switch into industry within a year of passing the UFE and make around 65K+. These pay structures are about the same in NF, NB, NS, PEI.

    Most Controllers here make about 75-85K but not much more than 100K. The real money is in consulting and operational management where accountants have done a few years of accounting but then transition into an operational management role.

    You're living in a pipe dream if you think that the average CGA student in Canada is making around 70K. Most don't make that with 5 years of post-designation experience.

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  196. Who says a CMA cannot be a partner?

    Look up this guy...

    Ron Jones, CMA, Partner, Jones & Associates
    Chair of the Public Accounting Committee

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