Effective Elective Planning: Part 3

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Jan 28, 2022
Photo credit: VectorMine/Depositphotos.com
In Part 1 of the Effective Elective Planning mini-series, I discussed registration elements, including the “order of operations” of pre-and-co-requisites for CPA PEP’s education program. In Part 2, I discussed items to consider when selecting which electives to register in. In Part 3, I will end the Effective Elective Planning mini-series by discussing FAQs specific to elective modules and licensure. 

1. What is “licensure”? 

Licensure is a sub-set of the CPA designation, allowing someone to sign off on various assurance and/or taxation engagements. 

Candidates can complete their education licensure requirements while completing their CPA PEP studies. To do so, they must pass both the assurance and taxation modules, write their CFE Day 2 in the Assurance role, and achieve depth in Financial Reporting at the CFE. Note, there are also work requirements a candidate must attain. Questions regarding the work experience required for licensure must be directed to your provincial CPA body. 

2. If I completed CPA PEP without licensure, is it possible to get it after?

Yes! It is possible to become licensed once you become a CPA. This is referred to as “Post-Designation Public Accounting” or PDPA. Depending on what type of licensure activities you want to pursue and which province you would like to work in, the steps to get there will vary. For more information, visit PDPA licensure requirements

Bonus content: a word of advice

It is normal to want to do things “just in case” – we are accountants and therefore want to reduce what we perceive as risk. Here is a scenario I come across a few times per year with candidates: 

What if I want to become a partner of a firm and become a CPA without licensure - Should I complete the licensure requirements “just in case” I want to be a partner of a firm later? 

Short answer: No. Don’t do it. Many of us think we want to become partners one day and decide not to pursue that path, and I can speak to this from personal experience.    

Attack your elective modules

Now go on, attack your elective modules with confidence knowing that you are where you need to be now. You have done so by utilizing effective elective decision-making. See you in the next post! 

Do you have feedback on this post or a question you’d like answered by an experienced CPAWSB educator? Please contact your facilitator or send a question to the General Topic in the Candidate Discussion forum. 

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA, is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB and a Senior Instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education. Read more of Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.