How to correctly use the CPA designation behind your name

How to correctly use the CPA designation behind your name

Did you recently receive your designation? Or, maybe you received your letters some time ago. Regardless, have you ever asked yourself if you are using your CPA designation accurately?

If so, keep reading for some relevant information to ensure you are using those important three letters properly behind your name!

How to use the CPA designation

All Alberta CPAs in good standing, including those who are retired, can list the CPA designation behind their names.

When unification occurred almost five years ago, stipulations stated for the first 10 years, Alberta CPAs who also hold a legacy designation can use the CPA designation in combination with their legacy designation or simply continue to use the legacy designation alone.

That means, your name and designation might look something like:

  • John Doe CPA, CMA; or
  • John Doe CMA
  • Jane Smith CPA, CGA; or
  • Jane Smith CGA
  • Richard Roe CPA, CA; or
  • Richard Roe CA

However when we reach the 10-year milestone (on July 1, 2025), another option becomes available: the CPA designation can then be used on its own, which looks like:

  • John Doe CPA

This applies to all legacy designations.

Of course, any CPA who received their designation after unification is already using the designation in this manner, as it is the sole designation they have.

For those Alberta CAs who hold more than one legacy designation and choose to “tag,” they should only use the CPA designation once.

Your name could look like:

  • John Doe CPA, CMA, CGA, CA

Do you hold a CPA designation from the United States? If so, there’s a proper way to list your CPA designation in Alberta!

In this province, those who hold a CPA designation from the United States and have been approved by CPA Alberta to indicate that designation must do so in the following way:

Name, Canadian Designations, US CPA Designation (State, USA).

That means, you name should look like:

  • John Doe CPA, CMA, CPA (New York, USA);
  • Jane Smith CPA, CGA, CPA (Texas, USA);
  • Richard Roe CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois, USA)

For more information on using the designation, view our website here:

Please remember, the designation usage for firm names is different than personal use. Firms have a deadline coming soon (July 1, 2020) to comply with the appropriate descriptive style convention. For those interested in learning more about this topic, read: