Bankruptcy and Professional Designations

Category: Bankruptcy Q&A (2) comments

Question: I would like to file bankruptcy, but I’m currently in university and looking to eventually become a Chartered Accountant. If I file bankruptcy will I not be able to become designated in the future?

Bankruptcy and Chartered Accountant Designation

There is no specific rule that disqualifies you from becoming a Chartered Accountant (now called a Chartered Professional Accountant) if you have previously filed bankruptcy. However, there is also no guarantee that you will be admitted to the profession if you have a previous bankruptcy.

CPA Canada will review your application and decide if you are eligible for admittance.

If your bankruptcy was caused by debts related to a financial fraud (such as if you were running a Ponzi scheme), it is highly unlikely that you will be admitted to membership. If your debts were a result of a medical issue or job loss or some other factor outside of your control, a bankruptcy may not be a barrier to entry.

The licensing body will also consider the time that has elapsed since your bankruptcy. If you are an undischarged bankrupt it is unlikely that you will be admitted until you have completed your duties and you are discharged. If your bankruptcy was a few years ago, it will probably be less of an issue.

Our advice: contact CPA Canada and ask them whether or not your financial situation will be a barrier to you becoming a CPA. Then, talk to a bankruptcy trustee to review your options.

Category: Bankruptcy Q&A |

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  1. Michelle

    I am applying for CPA and currently in my last year of consumer proposal payments. There is a box I have to select yes or no to which revolves around having filed for backruptcy or have filed for ‘benefit under any statutory provisions for insolvent debtors’. Does a consumer proposal fall under this benefit?

    1. J. Douglas Hoyes

      Hi Michelle. Yes, a consumer proposal is a statutory process, but that does not necessarily disqualify you from being a CPA. I would suggest that you contact the CPA licensing group and ask them if there are any additional steps you must take, or documents they require, to show the status of your consumer proposal.


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