As some of you know, I am a Chartered Accountant. This is one of the three accounting designations in Canada.
Recently there were talks of the merger. Actually the talks have been ongoing for the last year and a bit.
This post is not about whether I agree or not with the merger. Rather, I am here to talk about the significance of a designation.
I’d be the first to admit the process to obtaining the CA is one that is tough. The UFE process recognized as one of the hardest exam process in the world. Furthermore, getting into an CA certified firm is equally hard, given that the majority of the hires comes from the Big 4 (EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC). Of course, hires also comes from the middle tier firms as well.
As such, I understand why there would be so much anger towards this merger amongst the members.
However, merger or no merger, I have a couple of thoughts I’d like to share with new CAs (and new designated individuals with their respective CMA or CGA)
Designations are just letters at the end of the day
CA is prestigious, and I fully support that notion. I think it’s one of the best designations you can get. However, it does not mean the other designations are not good either.
I know CAs, CMAs and CGAs that are intelligent individuals, whom hold high management positions in various companies.
As such, the designations that you obtain is merely justification that you are knowledgeable in the accounting field. It will help a lot if obtaining the first few opportunities early on in your career.
But after that, it’s going to be your track record that proves your worth.
A CA that has a great history of performing at a high level, delivering quality work of course will outshine the CMA and CGA.
But equally, a CMA/CGA that also has performed at high level can easily outshine a CA as well.
At the end of the day, these are just letters. What matters is the actual individual, and what they do with their letters.
I will have to be honest here. During my search for employment, the CA is recognized as the equivalent of CPA. I have not encountered any CMAs or CGAs so far in Hong Kong. As such, I will have to say there is international recognition of the CA (at least in Hong Kong).
However, I also know of people that are doing equally well in HK, but do not have an accounting designation.
So CAs you should be proud of the international opportunity. But you should also know, those opportunities can also be taken by people that are willing to work hard well.
It’s always best to be humble.
Over the last few months, there has been a lot of bickering between the different accounting bodies. This includes at the leadership level.
It’s quite disappointing, as we are all suppose to be professionals.
I hope it does solve itself soon.
Remember, the letters opens doors for you. Whether you can enter and hold on to that opportunity is up to you!
I am like a struggling doctor, no patience