Canada's two accounting regulating bodies are considering a merger that would make the combined entity one of the world's largest accounting organizations with about 100,000 members.
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and CMA Canada are the two bodies in question and pending the approval of territorial and provincial bodies, the merger could be effective by the New Year.
CMA Canada represents the country's chartered and certified management accountants. The combined entity would certify accountants in three main areas of practice: management, audit and assurance and taxation, the Ottawa Business Journal reported.
Currently, Canada is one of only a few industrialized nations that has two registration systems for accountants.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to create the pre-eminent business professional in Canada, with unmatched initial and continuing education, training, professional experience and discipline," CICA chairman Pierre Brunet said in a statement.
"The new organization would bring greater clarity and strength to the accounting profession in Canada by eliminating much of the confusion that arises from multiple professional accounting bodies."
The two bodies would combine their rules of professional conduct and would streamline relations with regulators and educators. Further, accounting professionals would have to adhere to only one standard of certification, the Ottawa Business Journal reported.
"In today's environment, businesses are expected to operate according to the highest standards in the areas of accounting and corporate governance," CICA president and CEO David Smith said in a statement.
"Because CAs and CMAs are the leaders in management, audit and assurance, and taxation, it makes sense to combine our expertise to ensure that these high standards continue to be met."