The ACAF program is made up of 11 courses: six technical courses and five applied courses. Each course has six to eight weeks of study, followed by a study week and a final examination with the exception of Accounting Software Application, which requires the completion of an entirely self-paced learning component and an online final examination.
Prior to enrolling in any technical courses, students must have successfully completed the following five entry courses, typically covered in an accounting diploma program:
- Introductory Financial Accounting
- Introductory Management Accounting
- Intermediate Financial Reporting 1
- Intermediate Financial Reporting 2
- Business Law
Learn more about the entrance requirements.
Course summaries can be found on the CPA Canada website.
These six courses build on the typical two-year college accounting diploma program, providing intermediate- to advanced-level technical content in financial reporting, corporate finance, audit and assurance, taxation, management accounting and information technology.
Note: All entry courses and technical courses must be successfully completed before enrolling in any applied courses. You may take entry and technical courses through the CPA preparatory courses or from a post-secondary institution.
These five courses enhance your existing accounting education and experience with the additional technical knowledge, IT applications, communications and workplace skills needed to progress in your career.
- Ethics and Workplace Skills introduces students to the business scenario analysis framework, which is the problem-solving approach used throughout the applied courses in the ACAF program. The framework underscores the importance of business and accounting ethics.
- The elective courses provide more depth in areas of particular interest to employers and students, such as external audit, personal and corporate taxation, public sector financial management and not-for-profit management.
- The Business Applications course requires students to apply the ACAF business scenario analysis framework to a single comprehensive business scenario, tying the program together.
Courses range from six-to-eight weeks with a three-to-four-hour final examination. Each course features a combination of quizzes and weekly assignments.
Expected time commitment
ACAF entry and technical course requirements taken online through the CPA profession typically require a minimum of 12-15 hours of effort per week over 8 weeks. Individual time commitment will vary.
The applied ACAF courses typically require a minimum of 10-12 hours of effort per week over 10 weeks with the exception of Ethics and Workplace Skills, which takes eight weeks, and Accounting Software Application, which is self-paced and requires a total of 12 hours of study time.
There is no work experience requirement for ACAF. Those who successfully complete the program will earn a certificate from CPA Canada.