A CPA Information Session for the aspiring accounting professional

Accounting, Events

By Matthew McGrath

Colleagues in a business meeting

Sean Mullin takes joy in helping others prepare for their careers and navigate the next step in their professional journey. So much so, that he’s made a career out of it! Sean is a public speaker, devoted teacher, and recruiter for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. If you’re an accounting student considering earning your CPA designation, you need to meet Sean. He’ll offer exclusive tips on pathways to the designation and where the designation can take you in your career. That’s exactly what Sean will be doing at the York University School of Continuing Studies’ CPA Information Session on January 15, 2020.

Sean took the time to answer some of our questions about the benefits of the CPA designation and offered career advice to aspiring accountants.

What is the CPA and the CPA designation?

CPA is the largest accounting body in Canada and the 3rd largest accounting body in the world. Having the “CPA” letters behind your name speaks to one’s ability to know the current state of a company’s financials and the likely short- and long-term future of those financials. CPAs are trusted financial experts who lead organizations through change. They are leaders and influencers in their organization because they can tell the story behind the numbers and make thought-out decisions.

What are some of the benefits of the designation? Why is it so valuable for an accountant to have?

CPAs are in demand in every organization, every industry, anywhere in the world. No other professional designation opens as many doors for career opportunities and growth as the CPA designation does. The skills of a CPA are always in-demand and future proof. CPAs can also take their designation around the world. There are currently over 13,000 CPAs in 105 countries.

What tips can you offer professionals thinking about pursuing the designation?

You need to network. With the vast array of industries, companies and roles that CPAs work in, [you need to] meet other professionals and get their advice and insights.

You should also join clubs, build leadership skills, gather diverse experiences, and develop soft skills (teamwork, problem solving, communication, etc.) that employers are increasingly prioritizing.

What is a common misconception about accountants or the designation?

People often picture accountants as bookkeepers or tax agents. However, if you look at an organization’s leadership structure, you will see where the CPAs really are. Of the top 50 companies in Canada (according to the TMX index) over 500 CPAs are in senior leadership positions. How do you get to be a top 50 company? You need people in decision-making roles that speak the language of business, who can stay ahead of trends and drive change.

How does the CPA Ontario support new members?

As part of the CPA Professional Education Program, CPA candidates are required to have a CPA mentor. This mentorship focuses on enabling competencies and soft skills necessary for a CPA member. Students also have access to career services and student support. Once a member, all CPAs are required to participate in professional development and volunteering. As an entity, CPA Ontario helps to drive demand for CPAs in the marketplace.

What can attendees expect at the CPA Info Session event?

[Attendees will] discover life as a decision-maker, business leader, and financial expert. I’ll discuss career opportunities, earning, and travel potential and trends in the industry. I’ll also showcase CPAs in various industries and detail the next steps in education and work experience towards achieving the CPA designation.

Are you looking to earn your CPA designation? Join Sean Mullin and Todd Rich (Program Manager for the School’s Post-Graduate Accounting certificates) at the CPA Ontario Information Session on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Register to learn more about the CPA designation and how the School of Continuing Studies can help you earn it.

Sean MullinSean Mullin
CPA Ontario

Sean is a public speaker, recruiter, and teacher. He enjoys coaching students on how to market themselves and build strong business relationships. Through public speaking, student advisement and engagement, Sean delivers soft skills workshops, CPA Information Sessions, and student mentoring.