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

The academic prerequisite for admission to CPA preparatory courses is 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 required to complete a degree before admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).


CPA Preparatory Courses

prerequisite courses


Course Schedule and Fees


Course Descriptions and Prerequisites

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 (IFA)
    Provides an overview of the nature and purpose of accounting. This course covers basic financial analysis, financial statements, the accounting cycle, accounting for cash, receivables, inventories, capital assets, short- and long-term liabilities, bonds and investments.
  • Introductory Management Accounting (IMA)
    Addresses cost/volume/profit relationships, job-order and process costing, activity-based and direct and absorption costing in addition to budgeting for standard costs such as material usage, labour, overhead, and other relevant costs.
    Prerequisite: Introductory Financial Accounting
  • Economics (ECO)
    Covers basic microeconomic principles, such as supply and demand, pricing and resource use, and macroeconomic principles, such as unemployment determinants, inflation, interest rates, GDP and fiscal and monetary policy analysis.
    Prerequisite: May be taken at any time.
  • Statistics (STA)
    Focuses on statistical principles used in business from probability and decision theory, statistical sampling, and hypothesis testing to simple and multiple linear regression, and forecasting.
    Prerequisite: May be taken at any time.
  • Business Law (BUL)
    Provides an overview of the Canadian legal framework, tort law and contract law including law applicable to real estate, business and securities transactions, and laws governing insurance/guarantees, agency relationships, negotiable instruments, partnerships and incorporated businesses.
    Prerequisite: May be taken at any time.
  • Information Technology (ITE)
    Provides an introduction to understanding the valuable role information systems (IS) play in business operations and management decision making, and covers topics ranging from IS and IT concepts and e-business fundamentals to system planning, development, implementation and management.
    Prerequisite: May be taken at any time.

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


Core courses

Core courses are available via self-study with pre-recorded lectures or live webinar sessions. Each course is offered four times annually, though all delivery options may not be available each semester. The delivery methods are outlined below:

  • 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.

Registration opens approximately six weeks before the start of classes. Students must have completed or received transfer credit for Introductory Financial Accounting and Introductory Management Accounting before registering for a core course.

  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 (IF1)
    Builds on the introductory financial accounting concepts acquired in introductory financial accounting. This module focuses primarily on asset (cash, receivables, inventories, capital and intangible assets, investments).
    Prerequisites: Introductory Financial Accounting and Introductory Management Accounting
  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 2 (IF2)
    A continuation of Intermediate Financial Reporting 1, this course 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 (AFR)
    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 (COF)
    Covers securities valuations for stocks, bonds and options as well as the time value of money, capital budgeting, investment decisions, weighted average cost of capital, optimal capital structure, working-capital management and dividend policies.
    Prerequisites: Introductory Financial Accounting and Introductory Management Accounting
  • Audit and Assurance
    Explores at length the nature and purpose of audit and assurance engagements, the principles behind these engagements, planning, methodology, standards, documentation, evidence, materiality, risk, internal controls, audit testing, audit reports and current standards.
    Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 & 2
  • Taxation (TAX)
    Provides an introduction to personal and corporate tax principles, including taxation of employment, business and property income, and calculation of eligible deductions, capital cost allowance, capital gains and taxes payable.
    Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 & 2
  • Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA)
    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 (PMA)
    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.