Learning the Lingo

Below are terms and acronyms unique to CPA education that you are likely to encounter while enrolled as a CPAWSB student or candidate.

ACAF (Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance): A certificate program offered for someone seeking an intermediate career in accounting or finance. It combines technical and softer skills required for junior and intermediate business and accounting roles.

Candidate: Anyone enrolled in CPA PEP is referred to as a candidate.

Capstone Modules: The final two modules of CPA PEP—Capstone 1 and 2—are designed to prepare candidates for the CFE. The capstone modules are offered in the months before the CFE.

CFE (Common Final Examination): After completing six modules in CPA PEP, candidates are eligible to write the national, three-day CFE. Passing the CFE signals completion of the pre-professional education required for certification as a CPA. Candidates must also complete the profession’s practical experience requirements and any other provincial requirements before being granted the designation. The CFE is written at least once annually.

Core Modules: The first two modules of CPA PEP—Core 1 and Core 2—each consist of weekly online learning and a weekend workshop. Candidates also attend an orientation workshop before starting Core 1 online learning. Core modules are offered multiple times annually.

CPA Canada: Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) is a national organization to which all CPAs, candidates, and students belong. CPA Canada develops the curriculum and develops and marks exams for the ACAF, CPA PEP, and CPA preparatory courses.

CPA PEP (CPA Professional Education Program): The nationally-developed pre-certification education program that focuses on applying professional knowledge, values, and ethics in a professional context. The program consists of six modules (two core, two elective, and two capstone) and finishes with the CFE. To become a CPA, candidates must also complete the profession’s practical experience requirements.

CPA preparatory courses: A collection of courses designed to provide the prerequisite knowledge for entry into CPA PEP or the entry and technical courses required for the ACAF.

D2L (Desire2Learn): Online content for ACAF, CPA PEP, and CPA preparatory courses is delivered via D2L. It’s also the online space where students and candidates interact with their facilitators.

Elective Modules: After completing the core modules in CPA PEP, candidates select two of four elective modules to complete. Anyone seeking a license to practice public accounting must choose the Assurance and Tax modules; the other modules are Performance Management and Finance. Elective modules are offered multiple times annually.

Fast-track Scheduling: An option to schedule the two core CPA PEP modules concurrently followed by completing two elective modules concurrently. Read more here.

HEP (Harmonized Education Policies): The CPA profession has developed policies that are harmonized across the country for the administration and administration of the CPA PEP, ACAF, and CPA preparatory courses.

Module Zero: A set of resources made available to CPA PEP candidates to refresh prerequisite knowledge.

My CPA Portal: When students and candidates decide to enroll in education delivered by CPAWSB, they first create a profile in My CPA Portal. They return to the portal to request a transcript assessment, apply for a program, register for courses, update their contact information, and more.

PAR (Performance Analysis Report): Candidates who are unsuccessful on the CFE can choose to order a PAR, which provides specific feedback on their performance in the exam and commentary on how to improve their performance in the areas where they failed to meet the expected standard.

SecureExam: Students and candidates write all ACAF, CPA PEP, and CPA preparatory course exams on PC-based laptops that use a special software to limit what can be accessed during the exam. In the weeks before exams, students and candidates are required to test their systems to ensure compatibility with the software.

Student: Anyone enrolled in CPA preparatory courses or ACAF is referred to as a student.