School of Administrative Studies provides new pathway to CPA designation

York’s School of Administrative Studies (SAS) has received accreditation for its accounting program, which includes its Bachelor of Administrative Studies (BAS) Specialized Honours in Accounting and a new Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting, from the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Ontario. The graduate diploma, which consists of five courses that can be completed in one term, provides SAS accounting students with a new pathway to the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Students of the accredited program will tackle a variety of complex issues, from providing tax advice to a small business owner to developing a performance measurement system for a large organization, while at the same time completing four modules of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

“The graduate diploma builds upon SAS’ outstanding reputation for providing a flexible and accessible accounting program that prepares students for successful careers in accounting. SAS’ accounting alumni work around the globe in a variety of roles and organizations, including all the major accounting firms and even the United Nations,” says Professor Adriano Solis, director of the school.

“This accreditation is great news for our students,” adds Dean Ananya Mukherjee-Reed of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). “SAS is one of the largest undergraduate business programs in Canada, and the accounting program attracts the most students. The school has a commitment to both access and excellence, and design of this program demonstrates those dual commitments as well. I also want to thank the CPA accreditation team, led by Brian Leader, vice-president and learning advisor of CPA Ontario, who I had the pleasure to meet during their site visit to the school.”

A distinctive feature of the accounting program has always been providing high-quality accounting courses in various formats, be it in the traditional classroom, online or in a blended format, and at various times and semesters. SAS will be taking a similar approach to the graduate diploma, which will be available on both full- and part-time basis, and students will have a choice of day or evening classes.

Students of the school’s accounting program have the opportunity to gain insights into the profession from seasoned accounting professionals and academic faculty, several of whom who have earned the designation of “Fellow” in recognition for their contributions to the CPA profession in Ontario. Liona Lai, associate professor of accounting, who led the team that developed the accreditation submission, notes that the new diploma will deepen the students’ technical knowledge. More importantly, she says, with its emphasis on professionalism and integrative case analysis, it will foster what is referred to as the “enabling competencies” of a professional accountant, which include problem solving, ethical reasoning, communication, self-management, team-work, and leadership.

The new Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting is available to BAS honours accounting students or recent graduates of the school who have completed the required pre-requisites. Students who complete the program will be eligible to gain entry into Capstone 1 Module of the CPA PEP program. Students then advance to Capstone 2 Module and, upon completion, are eligible to write the Common Final Exam (CFE). The two modules and the examination can be completed in five months, which greatly accelerates the students’ goal of obtaining the CPA designation, an internationally recognized pre-eminent designation, which is a pathway to an intellectually stimulating career that can have a real impact. The first classes for the graduate diploma program begin in January 2017.