This is very important. There has been lots of debate and concern about a video posted by the ICAO a couple of weeks ago so I just wanted to clarify to Chartered Accountant members and students what exactly is going on and what CA members should be concerned with. Members will be asked to vote to approve bylaw amendments that create a new class of ICAO members - "Affiliates" - at a Special General Meeting on February 28, 2013.
This video is a little deceptive and there is lots of misleading information in it. Please note that this is NOT a spoof video or a user generated video. This is a video that is directly produced by the ICAO! The ICAO wants you to Vote Yes.
The new affiliate class will be granted to Ontario CMA or CGA's in good standing that want to use the CPA designation. The ICAO claims that this is necessary to protect our "CA" designations. If we do not vote yes, individuals can become "associate" members of the ICAO and be eligible immediately to use the CA designation in Ontario. Thus, the ICAO wants you to vote Yes to protect your CA designation.
The new ICAO bylaw is essentially meant to prevent other accountants from coming in and backdooring their way to become a CA. Please realize that we wouldn't have this problem in the first place if ICAO did not join CPA Canada. It appears that we have a bit of a problem. Please remember that this is not a vote on if you support the merger or not. It seems that the ICAO has already went ahead of that since we already have our CPA designations.
If you want to protect the CA designation, the ICAO says must vote YES, and indirectly are in support of the merger whether or not if you support it.
If you vote NO, you basically can show a stance against the ICAO's actions, but this is NOT a vote on whether you support the merger or not.
Whether you vote Yes or NO, I highly encourage all CA's and CA students to get more involved with the process and to voice your concerns. Remember you worked so hard for the CA designation, everyone should vote and take an active part in this important change for us.
Here are some great resources for you to learn more. I urge all CA's to do this research.
1) Register for a Webinar or Town Hall. (Bonus the Town hall's have free complimentary food)
2) Facebook Group
Say NO to the CA/CMA Merger!
3) LinkedIN Group (Highly Recommend - lots of great info)
Future CPA Canada
My personal opinion on this matter is that Young CA's lost the most from the merger as they did not have enough time to leverage the CA brand to establish their careers and they worked very hard to get that differentiating brand when applying to jobs. I have also not been pleased with the way the ICAO has handled the whole merger.