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Ontario CMAs to join national merger talksSTEVE COLE - christie & cole stu/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The association for Certified Management Accountants in Ontario has agreed to join talks aimed at unifying the accounting profession in Canada under a new CPA designation.

CMA Ontario says its board of directors has concluded that unification with Canada's Chartered Accountants "is in the best interests of the public, as well as CMA Ontario and its members."

While CMA organizations in most provinces have indicated willingness to work toward a merger with CAs, CMA Ontario has previously been a holdout, leaving a potentially major gap in the combination of the two accounting bodies.

The two organizations have proposed creating a new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, streamlining a complex array of professional designations.

The national bodies for CMAs and CAs have already reached an agreement to create a new organization as of Jan. 1 to oversee the CPA Canada designation. Because accounting is provincially regulated, however, accounting bodies in each province must also agree to merge before the CPA designation can be adopted in each jurisdiction.

Canada's third main accounting body – Certified General Accountants – is not participating in the merger in most provinces, but CGAs in Quebec have already merged with CAs and CMAs in that province.

The four accounting designations – CA, CMA, CGA and now CPA – will all be in existence for some time as the mergers unfold, and as long as any provinces do not join.

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