Challenges Facing International Post-Secondary Students Aspiring to become Chartered Accountants in British Columbia, Canada

By Amanda Flint.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Canada is in critical need of skilled and professional workers to sustain and build our economy. Due to an aging population and a declining birth rate, by 2011 immigrants will account for all new growth in the labor force. The need is felt particularly in the field of accounting where, over the past ten years there has occurred an enormous increase in accounting standards to protect the public from corporate fraud and many changes to standards in a move toward global harmonization of accounting standards.
International post-secondary students (IPSS) are a great resource, since they already have Canadian credentials (a degree from an accredited Canadian post secondary institution) and exposure to Canadian culture. Yet many IPSSs struggle to find jobs in their field. A coordinated plan to assist IPSSs attain Canadian professional accounting designations would not only benefit our economy, but also stimulate our post secondary education system since it would encourage more international students to come to Canada for education.
My experience as a professor, academic advisor for accounting students and organizer of accounting career fairs has opened my eyes to the continued challenges facing IPSSs when seeking a Chartered Accounting (CA) designation. For this reason I embarked on a study interviewing IPSSs and Canadian Post-secondary students (CPSSs) planning to become Canadian CA.s.
This study examines the challenges that IPSSs face in their efforts to become CAs in BC, recent improvements in recruiting practices of CA firms and in the immigration process and then provides recommendations to CA firms and IPSSs.

Keywords: Accounting, Chartered Accounting Designation, Diversity Initiatives, Integration, International Post-secondary Students

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 650.564KB).

Amanda Flint

Associate Professor of Accounting, School of Business, Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Ms. Flint is an Associate Professor of Accounting at Trinity Western University (TWU). She is a Canadian Chartered Accountant (CA) and former auditor with Deloitte and Touche, Vancouver, Canada. Ms. Flint’s has focused her research on assisting internationally trained accounting professionals (ITAPs) and international post secondary students (IPSSs) gain entry into the Canadian Accounting profession. Ms. Flint has recently completed three studies related to this topic: (1) A prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) Tool for ITAPs (with funding from the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers);(2)a website ( designed to help ITAPs determine which Canadian accounting designation matches their prior training, work experience and career goals (with funding from British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development); (3) Challenges Facing IPSSs aspiring to become CAs in Canada (with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada). Ms. Flint is now working with the Centre for Applied Settlement and Integration Studies (CASIS) and its founder, TWU Alumni, Steve Sutherland, on further projects related to foreign credential recognition and PLAR. Ms. Flint serves on the TWU Diversity Committee and has been nominated for a Diversity Award by the Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Committee at their annual gala. Ms. Flint is past President of the Fraser Valley CA Association and a member of Toastmasters International.


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