Ontario CAs: Historical Milestones
The year 2013 marks the 134th year of the CA designation in Ontario. From the province's origins as an agricultural society to its emergence as an economic powerhouse, CAs have played a key role in shaping Ontario’s progress.
Our history bridges all the major milestones… the great waves of immigration of the early 1900s, the harnessing of Niagara Falls, the birth of Ontario Hydro, the First and Second World Wars... the huge building booms of the fifties and sixties and the signing of the Auto Pact, the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA.
CAs were there …
Chartered Accountants have stood at the intersection of key phases of this province’s development, ensuring that building and growing Ontario was done in the public interest … with accountability, transparency, and with foresight for future generations.
1907 Shareholder Protection: passed by Queen’s Park in 1907, The Companies Act was widely seen as a world leader in defining the rights of shareholders. Whole sections of it, including requirements on financial information disclosure for shareholders, were the work of Ontario Chartered Accountants.
World War II: during the Second World War, the need for CAs greatly expanded due to growth in government activity and regulation for the war effort. Ontario CAs descended on Ottawa en-masse to serve as temporary civil servants across all branches of the federal government and the military.
Preparing for Prosperity: in the immediate post-war era, the CA profession foresaw the coming economic boom, and with it, the growing ranks of individual shareholders. This prompted a major effort to make financial statements understandable to average investors, leading to new and better standards of clarity in disclosure for public companies.
A Reflection of Canada
Much like Canada, the CA profession is a federation. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants sets generally accepted accounting principles and generally accepted auditing standards. The provincial institutes set and enforce standards of qualification, and set and enforce the standards of professional conduct.
As of 2013 there are approximately 80,000 Chartered Accountants in Canada. Nearly half of these (36,000) are Ontario CAs.
CAs work in large and small businesses, in government and in public accounting, in the not-for-profit sector, and as professors and teachers - at home and around the world.