CPA Preparatory Courses

CPA preparatory courses are a suite of accelerated, intensive courses offered through the CPA Western School of Business and designed for those who:

CPA preparatory courses are offered in a semester system and delivered on a part-time basis through a combination of online learning and self-study. If you have taken any accounting or finance courses at a recognized post-secondary institution, you may be eligible for course exemptions.

transcript assessment must be completed first before being able to register for any preparatory courses.


Entrance Criteria

As of September 1, 2016, the academic prerequisite for admission to CPA preparatory courses is a successful completion of one year (30 credit hours) of post-secondary study or three years of relevant work experience. The 30 credit hours may be in:

  • Any discipline;
  • In diploma or degree programs;
  • Offered by any recognized post-secondary institution.

Relevant experience includes exposure to accounting and/or finance functions. Students are still required to complete a degree before admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).


CPA Preparatory Courses Descriptions

prerequisite courses


Course Schedule and Fees


Non-core courses

Non-core courses are offered on a self-study basis only. Upon registration, but no earlier than 12 weeks prior to the exam, students will be provided with all necessary study materials.

  • Introductory Financial Accounting
    An integrated introduction to accounting principles and practices, it covers areas such as basic financial analysis, the accounting cycle, financial statements, bonds, and investments.
  • Introductory Management Accounting
    Addresses items such as cost/volume/profit relationships, job-order and process costing, activity-based direct and absorption costing, labour, overhead, and other relevant costs. 
  • Economics
    Covers basic microeconomic principles such as supply and demand, pricing and resource use, as well as macroeconomic principles such as inflation, interest rates, and GDP. 
  • Statistics
    Focuses on statistical principles used in business such as probability and decision theory, statistical sampling, hypothesis testing, and forecasting.
  • Business Law
    Covers specific contractual situations arising in real estate, business and securities transactions. Canadian court procedures and business laws are addressed as well.
  • Information Technology
    An introduction to understanding the valuable role information systems (IS) play in business operations and management decision making.

Students must receive a minimum grade of 50% in order to successfully pass each non-core course.


Core courses

Core courses are offered with the following delivery options:

  • Self-study: students are provided with course material and resources such as recorded lesson videos. Access is also provided to a course discussion board which is monitored by a facilitator to answer questions from students.
  • Webinar: Students attend online, real-time classes facilitated by a CPA through a virtual classroom platform. In addition, students who register for this format will have access to all material and resources supplied to self-study students.

Students must successfully complete or have exemption from Introductory Financial Accounting, Introductory Management Accounting, Economics, and Statistics in order to enroll in a core course. Courses are listed below and must be taken in the order specified.

  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 1
    Builds on the introductory financial accounting concepts acquired in introductory financial accounting. This course focuses primarily on assets (cash, receivables, inventories, capital and intangible assets, and investments).
  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 2
    This continuation of Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 focuses on liabilities and equities, along with topics such as accounting for income taxes, leases, employee benefits, earnings per share, and accounting changes.
    Prerequisite: Intermediate Financial Reporting 1
  • Advanced Financial Reporting
    Covers advanced financial accounting topics such as consolidations, foreign currency, and not-for-profit accounting.
    Prerequisite: Intermediate Financial Reporting 2
  • Corporate Finance
    Covers items such as securities valuations for stocks, bonds and options, the time value of money, capital budgeting, investment decisions, weighted average cost of capital, and working-capital management.
  • Audit and Assurance
    Explores at length the nature and purpose of audit and assurance engagements, including planning, standards, documentation, risk, internal controls, audit reports, and current standards.
    Prerequisite: Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 & 2
  • Taxation
    Provides an introduction to both personal and corporate tax principles.
    Prerequisite: Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 & 2
  • Intermediate Management Accounting
    Covers a variety of intermediate management accounting topics such as pricing decision practices, cost behaviours, relevant costing, cost allocations, inventory, and product mix.
    Prerequisite: Corporate Finance
  • Performance Management
    Provides an introduction to performance management in a business context. This course covers governance and corporate social responsibility, the development of corporate mission, vision and values, strategy formulation and execution including environmental scanning, company, and industry analysis, evaluation of strategic alternatives, and measurement of their performance.
    Prerequisite: Intermediate Management Accounting

Students must receive an overall grade of 60% or higher in each core course in order to successfully pass these courses.