On March 8, 2013, the Sauder School of Business, in partnership with the Beedie School of Business at SFU, and the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at UVic, hosted the 9th annual Business Career Expo, BC’s largest business-only career fair.
For Business Career Expo 2013 Platinum Sponsors, the Chartered Accountants & Certified Management Accountants of BC, the event offered more than the chance to talk to some enthusiastic students about employment opportunities. It allowed them to spread the word about a new accounting designation – one that will soon become the preeminent program in Canada when it launches later this year.
The new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is the result of a forthcoming merger between two existing accounting designations, the Chartered Accountants (CA) and the Certified Management Accountants (CMA).
“The CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) will take the best elements of the existing programs to create a flexible program that will be internationally recognized,” says Katie Hensrud, Business Development Officer at CMA. “Students will come out of CPA PEP with an excellent understanding of all facets of business – they will be well-rounded individuals and business leaders, well equipped to work in both public practice and in industry.”
Hensrud and her colleague Jennifer Weintraub, CA Recruiter, were present at the Business Career Expo 2013 to answer students’ questions on the new designation and raise awareness about the forthcoming merger.
With the first intake into CPA PEP set to start in September 2013, the opportunity to participate in the Business Career Expo 2013 as Platinum Sponsor proved to be extremely timely – many of the students in attendance at the 2013 Expo will go on to form the first cohort of the new CPA program.
“The merger is particularly exciting for students in their final year, as they have the chance to become the first graduates of the new program,” says Weintraub. “The CPA PEP is the best program that could possibly have been built here in Canada. As the CPA is the largest accounting designation in the world, students will be getting a designation that is respected and transferable both across Canada, and internationally.”
CPA Canada will also offer a Prerequisite Education Program, for students who did not major in Accounting in their undergraduate degree. The Program will ensure that all participating students have the knowledge and prerequisites to tackle the CPA program, regardless of their background.
Weintraub and Hensrud are no strangers to the Business Career Expo, having both attended in previous years. At previous Expos, a typical interaction at their booth would involve giving advice to students on sourcing job opportunities and completing the steps necessary to enroll in one of the professional accounting programs. And while this year is no exception, the merger has added an extra responsibility to their role this year.
“The Business Career Expo is a great way for students to see what job opportunities are out there, so we are excited to be a part of that,” says Hensrud. “A lot of the employers present at the Business Career Expo today will be employing CPA candidates and designated CPAs in the future, so this is a great opportunity for us to support them and ensure that all students and employers are fully informed about the new CPA designation.”
“Events like the Business Career Expo expose students to an element of business they cannot learn any other way – one that is just as important to their career as their studies,” adds Weintraub. “The Expo combines the three top universities in the province, and we are always amazed at how well informed and knowledgeable the students that approach us are. Each year we find great candidates, and this year was no different. We are proud to hold the title of Platinum Sponsor this year and we look forward to continuing to support the Expo in the future. ”