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The CA Advantage: Marketing the profession

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Canada has recently launched a new ad campaign extolling the virtues of the designation. The campaign shows CAs joining various sports teams and helping the team. The message: CAs can complement your business’ existing expertise.

Here’s the copy from one of the print ads:

Sometimes even great teams need more skill and more ability. That’s what you get with Chartered Accountants. CAs bring superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight and leadership to become an integral part of the team. Give your team an edge. The CA advantage.

Hmm. Sounds similar to how the CMA designation is promoted. Certified Management Accountant is a competing designation here in Canada. Direct from CMA Canada’s website:

CMAs are leading strategic financial management professionals who integrate accounting expertise with advanced management skills to achieve business success.

So it appears both professional bodies have identified the primary area of growth for accountants being strategic business/financial expertise services. But is there room (and enough work) for both designations? Are we destined for more merger talks in the future?

6 replies on “The CA Advantage: Marketing the profession”

Funny you should mention the ad campaign – this month’s Air Canada inflight magazine En Route has bilingual ad copy from both the CMAs (newspaper boxes) and CAs (soccer kick)! :)

I have nothing but respect for CMAs, but fact is, the CA is still a tougher designation get.

I don’t think CAs and CMAs will do a merger in the forseeable future. I have asked a few CAs about this, and basically they are saying it will happen when “Hell freezes over”. I think the main issue is that they don’t want CMAs to get a CA without having to go through the UFE (new CMA/CAs would have to, but existing CMAs would be grandfathered in). And CMA accountants quite naturally feel there is no need to endure another exam process, so they would insist on being grandfathered in. Its an impasse that cannot be resolved.

Just to commment on what Krupo said, it is harder to get a CA than a CMA, but the barriers are somewhat artificial because provincial CA associations restrict where you can get your work experience, whereas CMAs do not. Aside from this, the academic and experience requirements are roughly equal

I think it’s harder to get a CA due to the exam process. The work experience is probably not much more difficult, just different. I get the feeling (this may be reflective more of a marketing problem) that CAs place a greater emphasis on integrity and ethics… The “pervasive qualities.”

Although I was thinking in particular about the UFE, Harlequin does however make a good point about the work issue.

The CICA recently expanded where you can get experience, reducing the magnitude of this issue, but thinking about some friends from school – if you didn’t get an offer from one of the Big 4 and couldn’t find a job at a smaller firm, you did find yourself “out of luck” with respect to a CA.

It’s a funny scenario when you consider how badly firms need people, but doesn’t seem so strange when you also see how many applications firms also receive.

It’s both humbling and ego boosting when you find out how lucky you are to get in, and what that does or does not say about you.

It’s “both humbling and ego boosting”? Aside from the normal-sized ego boost you get when you find a job, I didn’t feel anything particularly special because it was a CA firm. :P

[…] The CA Advantage – marketing the profession The profession debuted a new ad campaign highlighting the skills a CA can bring to an organization, and I compared it to the successful marketing of a rival designation here in Canada, the Certified Management Accountants. accounting standards, blogosphere, ethics, Google, income trust, profession, terrorist, UFE resultsPopularity: 14% [?] […]

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