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Canadian Immigration and ACCA, CIMA, CFA or CMA - Toronto_Boy - 09-13-2008

Though many points of this post have already been mentioned in another thread, but I think it is important to mention these again in totally separate and dedicated thread. The objective of this post is to provide some guidance for career planning to aspiring students and other interested people from immigration to Canada or Australlia point of view, and particularly NOT to start CA vs ACCA debate. Reasoning provided is based on personal Canadian experience and observations spreaded over almost a decade.

First I just wanna say that I am not against Pakistani CA or CMA designations, but the point here is that a student should also see future aspects of designation from working in foreign countries point of view or for immigration purposes. Though Pakistani designations are very well respected in back home but in Canada, UK, USA, or Australlia these designations are not recognized and do not provide much benefits/exemptions. Though with Pakistani designations, a person can get immigration to a western country, but chances to get a good job are really bleak as each country accepts its own designations. Atleast this is true in Canada.

ACCA, CIMA (UK), CFA, and CMA(IMA) are the designations that can be taken in Pakistan and provide very important advantage over Pakistani CA/CMA, as these have mutual recognition agreements with Canadian designations (i.e. CGA, CMA). CIMA(UK)has MRA with Candian CMA. ICAEW CA has MRA with Canadian CA. ACCA has MRA with CGA. CFA is truly global, without any other competing local designation in any country, 100% accepted and highly respected in Canada.

ACCA has mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with CGA (one of 3 Canadian designations) as well as CPA (Australlia). It means if a student in Pakistan gets ACCA then he/she can very easily (infact with minimal efforts) get Canadian CGA or Australlian CPA. So that student can get immigration to Canada or Australlia. And I tell you that if a person enters into Canada or Australlia with CGA or CPA (which are their own designations), would not find difficulty in these countries in finding jobs. Canada is a country that attracts about 300,000 highly skilled and professional immigrants each year from all over the world that includes Pakistani accountants too. Some parts of Canada like Montreal are dominantly French speaking, which is 2nd official language besides English. So, Pakistani professionals don't find work in those parts just because of not knowing French. Thus, their job market shrinks to English speaking cities/provinces. Also, each of 3 Canadian accounting associations (i.e. CGA, CMA, CA) has more than 50,000 members (total more than 150,000). Accounting graduates of Canadian universities and colleges (who are educated and broughtup here and get the big chunk of jobs as they know the system better than new Pakistani immigrants and had more opportunities to enter job market), as well as members of other global accounting bodies like US CPA, CMA(IMA), ACCA, ICAEW, Indian/Chinese CAs are over and above 150,000 Canadian designated accountants, thus, make the situation worse. Also, Canada's population is about 30,000,000 (3 Karor only). Further, Canadian employers require and prefer Canadian designations and Canadian work experience. Thus, job market is highly competitive and Pakistani designations holders find difficulties in finding good jobs quickly that are at same level of their previous jobs. Means they don't find the same level of good jobs they have been doing in Pakistan or Middle East previously before immigration. Age, family and financial responsibilities further increase obstacles after immigration. I have seen many Pakistani CAs and CMAs, with very good accounting experiences, struggling in finding even low paying jobs in Canada and eventually applying for exemptions for Canadian designations and then studying again for years to get Canadian designations or working for US CPA/ CMA. With their families, full time work and age, people find very difficult to take expensive courses and fulfill required experience. So it becomes hard to finish designation in new country. It takes years of endurance and commitment. The reason of telling all this is NOT to scare you people, but a fact realization and to ask for PLAN AHEAD and do some career planning in early life. It would save your time, energies, resources, and efforts later. Just a side note With all difficulties, Pakistanies are flourishing in all fields and every sphere of Canadian society. They are Member of Parliment (MPs), advisor to Prime Minister, MPPs, Counsilors, Lawyers, accountants, doctors, engineers, in govt. jobs, armed forces, police, foreign services etc. Infact, Pakistan ranks 5th in terms of Canadian immigration and almost 10,000 Pakistanis immigrate to Canada each year. Canada requires 3 years (actually, 1080 days) to live on Canadian soil before applying for citizenship, that usually takes less than a year. So, an immigrant becomes Canadian citizen in less then 4 years.

So prospective students and interested people in Pakistan should plan ahead. In my view, if a person in Pakistan can afford to do ACCA and wants to move to EU, Australlia, Canada, and eventually to USA, should do ACCA. Its also an indirect way to move to USA (in long run) and so many Pakistani, Indians, Chinese and other nationals opt this way. With ACCA, get Canadian immigration and citizenship in 4 years (3 plus 1 year waiting for oath), get Canadian CGA through MRA with ACCA, get a good job and Canadian experience, and after 4 years move to USA. During these 4 years one can get US CPA or CMA (IMA), or even without US CPA or CMA, just get a job in USA and move after 4 years based on Canadian experience and designation. Canadian designations are legally acceptable to get a job and TN visa in USA. I have seen designated accountants from asian countries including Pakistan who worked in Middle East and due to several reasons eventually moved to Canada, found diffilties in finding jobs here. What is the benefit if a student spend money, time and endless efforts in getting Pakistani designations and 10 years down the road realizes to immigrate to western countries, starts studies again at the age of 40 in new country. Rather than this way, save time, efforts, and money, do ACCA in Pakistan (in your home when dad is paying), get new country's designation through mutual recognition agreement (MRA), get immigration and citizenship, and get a job. Even that student can complete remaining courses of ACCA in new country if he/she moves before completing ACCA as ACCA courses can be taken in any country including Canada, Australlia, USA, and Middle East, and then get new country's designation using MRA.

Moreover, remember Pakistani CA or CMA results are highly market demand related. See how many members they have as of today, which means only limited number of fortunate people could successfully finish Pakistani CA or CMA. All others only did articleship or some papers or levels. What is the benefit if a student with all necessary efforts does not pass or doesn't get certificate or charter. I am quite sure many of the students of Pakistani CA or CMA are quite capable of completing ACCA, CMA (IMA), or CFA, as even with low passing rates, these designations usually do not fail a student just to restrict market supply of graduates.

CIMA(UK) also has MRA with Canadian CMA.

NO doubt, CFA is really a global designation, without a competitor, acceptable and respected everywhere in the world, but different from accounting, and comparatively more difficult than other global accounting designations.

Again, let me say that this is just my opinion based on years of experience and what I saw here. It is for those students who wanna go to western countries and get a good job and experience quickly. So they can plan ahead. I don't mean to disrespect Pakistani designations or to start totally unnecessary debate of comparing designations. I am neither ACCA nor studying for it. My intention is just to show some options to interested people who wanna come abroad and get a good job and experience. So please don't get the wrong message.

Best Wishes

- EnslavedSpirit - 09-16-2008

Dear Toronto_Boy;

Glad to read your thread, this is indeed very informative, one thing i would like to ask whether a partially qualified ACCA would get exemptions in CGA or not?
like i have cleared 6 papers of ACCA...will i be able to get exemptions being not fully qualified?


- Toronto_Boy - 09-17-2008

Dear EnslavedSprit

As far as I know, YES you would get partial exemptions for CGA papers based on your ACCA papers and Pakistani BCom or any other degree etc. You need to apply for equivalence or transfer credit. A candidate would get partial exemptions for prior studies on paper to paper basis for RELEVANT and ACCEPTABLE courses taken in his/her diploma/degree or certificate. You should contact provincial CGA body (i.e. the province in which you are migrating) through "customer service" or "contact us" email service and ask all specific questions. They are very prompt in answering and always glad. You should also spend some time on CGA website, national and provincial both. These are quite informative and have answers of most of your questions. Following are the links

(1) http// This is national website.

(2) http// This is for Ontario province. If your are moving to another province, then get the link for that province's CGA website from the above national website.

You have another option. You can complete remaining papers of ACCA here in Canada and then get CGA designation through MRA. This option is less costly as compared to CGA and 5 years later you can get ICAEW through ACCA. You should visit ACCA Canada website for this option.


- EnslavedSpirit - 09-17-2008

Thanks for your prompt reply,
I'll check the CGA's website for more info...

I checked the ACCA Canadian website for how i can complete my remaining courses while living in canada,they have this option ....yet the site mentions that there is no tution provider in Canada for ACCA, i am afraid i cannot complete ACCA by studying myself, that is the reason i think i'll pursue for CGA in Canada so as to be able to find a proper tution and thereby complete the degree in an apropriate time period.

Since a CGA designation holder may obtain ACCA designation too through MRA like the one who compelted ACCA and looking for to obtaining CGA designation.

i think this way i can have both designations?

what you suggest?
Please comment...


- Toronto_Boy - 09-17-2008

Dear EnslavedSprit

Yes, you need one designation first to get another through MRA, either CGA or ACCA. Means after CGA you can get ACCA through MRA, but then you would not get ICAEW, because you would not get ACCA through final exams of ACCA but through MRA.

You are right, self study for ACCA might be difficult. On the other hand, one can get upto level 4 courses through Canadian Universities/Colleges and get transfer credit (See transfer credit policy). 5th, which is final "PACE" level, one must take through CGA. Other very important point is after you get your ACCA courses equivalence, you can write on resume that you are taking courses for CGA and the level you stand in. It increases probability to get a job as Canadian employers trust it much. Then you may complete part time. I would again ask to visit CGA website.


- kamranACA - 09-17-2008


I must say at the outset that nothing of my words should be taken against any designation. Certified General Accountants (CGAs)and Canadian CAs are of course among the internationally well renowned designations.

Notwithstanding whatever views I have about Pakistani ACCAs, I also agree that ACCA is also getting recognition as a gateway designation for getting other renowned qualifications. People use it even for being a Pakistani CA.

However, I have some reservations about the above post of my brother Toronto_Boy.

Although the above posts do not directly undermine the importance of homeland designation i.e. CA. Still, this post and a similar post on another thread leaves an impression that if some body is doing CA from Pakistan he/she is missing a train to success. Further, it also leaves an impression that Canada could only be (and should only be) a destination for professionals. These are basically not the facts.

Canada has so many merits and demerits simultaneously. We have to see weather conditions, general market conditions (as the job positions have been analyzed by Toronto_boy), our personal issues, future of our generation, our returning plans, disaster plans and so much else. This can appear differently to different persons but to me it had never been a desired destination.

One thing which we must keep in mind at the outset of getting influenced of such ideas is that can (or should) we all leave Pakistan for such destinations. I mean this must have ben analyzed keeping in view one's culture, his family set up, people dependent upon him, intimacies, restrictions and limitations. Leaving all things aside I feel every one is not in a position to leave every thing behind and get immigration opportunities. This needs to be considered in depth before making arguments. There are also religious and brought up issues of new generation but I don't discuss them in this post. Our people living at Lahore don't even go to Faisalabad even for double salaries. I have witnessed it. Why? So many answers can come.

I don't know if some body feels that CA is not a rewarding profession in Pakistan. We have a habit of comparing remunerations of fresh professionals (working in Pakistan) with experinced ones (working abroad) to make conclusions. Door kay dhole hamesha suhaaney lagtey hein but when they come nearer to the ears they sometimes sound unbearable. I am working in Pakistan and I can surely say that I am earning at least 60-70 percent of what I can earn abroad taking effect of all incidental costs. However, if I account for the qualitative and other hidden factors and impacts I may find myself better working here. Again this statement does not mean that we cannot explore better opportunities abroad. Still Pakistan is not a bad market for CAs at least for next 50 years. I bet.

Idealy the first destination for Pakistanis is UAE and middle east. No one can ignore this fact. Pakistani CAs are among the most recognised and well paid professionals over there. If some body has doubts I can debate on it.

The other destination could be Europe and keeping in view the language issues UK appears to be a best option. ACA from ICEAW is now on 3 papers distance after having done CA from Pakistan.

The next could be Australia being another english speaking country having fabulous opportunities. If a Pakistani CA gets ICEAW's qualiication, he can get ICAA's CA designation in free due to mutual agreement of ICEAW and ICAA.

For these three destinations there appears no need to do ACCA. I think I am clear on what I have written.

Russia is not preferable I think due mainly to language reasons and huge cultural differences.

Now the important regions left are USA, Caymans Island and Canada etc. In Caymans Islands, Pakistani CAs are well accepted and they are earning well. In USA the prime qualification is CPA. CPA has also started in Pakistan. There is no need to do do ACCA for it. It could be directly started here. The last remaining country is Canada. I agree that it has attractions for having easiest migration process. Still, I know Ph.Ds of other countries are working on resturants at Canada. One must assess what could be situation of a country where such a huge number of professional people are produced by its own institutions. For Canada an ACCA may have somewhat better opportunities due to there MRA with CGA. However, there could also be number of other routes as well. ACCA is not an exception. If one needs to know I can make a network analysis.

So, I must request that one should not assess the depth of water keeping in view only his own height. This is not to degrade some one. This is basically conclusion of a story where a small horse was afraid of depth of river water and he got different opinions from different people about such depth which basically were dependent on every one's own height i.e. circumstances.

Students have been sending me emails after reading post of Toronto_boy. I must say this is very innocent age. We must not ruine some one's dreams by just describing what we personally experienced based upon our own circumstances. We can do so but for doing it we must keep in view the issues of others at large.

I hope this will be taken positively.



- Toronto_Boy - 09-18-2008

Dear Students and Contributors

In my above post, I have clearly mentioned that I don't mean to go in CA vs. ACCA debate. There is no doubt that Pakistani CA and CMA are very well respected in Pakistan. In my view it is totally unnecessary as its up-to one's decision what he/she wants to do in life, what stream one selects, and where he/she wants to see himself/herself in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years time frame. I have also mentioned that neither I am ACCA nor studying for it. I did not only mention merits of ACCA but also CIMA(UK), CFA, and CMA(IMA) from immigration to NOT ONLY Canada but also to other western countries point of view including Australia, UK, and USA. MY POST IS FOR THOSE ASPIRING STUDENTS AND INTERESTED PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR FOREIGN DESIGNATIONS IN PAKISTAN AND WANT TO GO ABROAD LATER NOT ONLY TO CANADA BUT TO ANY OTHER ABOVE MENTIONED COUNTRIES AND WANT TO GET NEW COUNTRY'S DESIGNATION QUICKLY TO BE CALLED DESIGNATED THERE. My post is not for people who do not want to cross “Khala” (a water stream to water fields), but for those who want to explore LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES. For them, “Sitaron say aagay jahan aur bhi hain.”

As far as recognition of ACCA is concerned, abroad it is completely recognized in UK and in other western countries it provides humongous advantage over Pakistani CA/CMA to get new country’s designation. In Pakistan, market forces would define its worth with time. My or someone else’s likeness or dislikeness would not effect its value. Diamond is a diamond, no matter someone likes it or not.

I never said that Pakistani CA or CMA cannot bring success in life, but as far as abroad is concerned, these do not do the same. Similarly, I never said that Canada could only be (and should only be) a destination for professionals. It is nothing but a wrong conclusion. I provided the case for immigration to western countries including Australia, UK, USA, and Canada and provided EXAMPLE of Canada to which I know better then someone who has probably never been here and comments from 16,000 miles away, without probably having any western exposure/experience. It totally depends upon personal choices and available options where a person wants to move, provided he/she has decided to move somewhere in first place, Canada could be ONE of the options not the ONLY. As far as facts are concerned about Canada, nowadays the waiting time for Canadian immigration applications in Canadian embassy in Islamabad is almost 4 to 5 years. Means such a large number of Pakistani skilled professionals have applied for Canadian immigration that they would have to wait for 4 to 5 years. It shows the perceived value of Canadian immigration to Pakistanis. Applicants in other western embassies and probable immigrants to other western countries are over and above and needless to mention. This is also a fact that each year about 10,000 Pakistanis immigrate to Canada (and 4 years later become Citizen) and Pakistanis with Indians, Bangladeshis, and Srilankans are the LARGEST visible minority in Toronto, surpassed Chinese and Italians. My post was for these aspiring Pakistanis and students who see themselves here after some years to PLAN AHEAD. Its my firm belief that those courageous students who can work hard and can put endless and fruitless efforts for Pakistani designations can take challenges to go in western countries and prove themselves. Pakistani designations are not the only available option for success in life. This is not end of the world but the world is there even beyond Pakistani CA/CMA. My objective is to encourage students who are UNNECESARILY failing in Pakistani designations even after required efforts, to show them what other options they can explore, and that Pakistani CA is not end of the world. Again, my post is for those students who can AFFORD to pay for foreign designations in Pakistan. No doubt, besides one’s personal goals, objectives, and aspirations, Pakistani designations could be best least cost options.

Moreover, earnings AFTER CA may not be a good argument for many who are looking for stability and quality of life in a society where a person can easily be murdered for Rs. 2000 mobile. What about those 98% students who would not get through the CA program? Has anyone estimated %age of earnings of those failed students if they had passed some other foreign designation in Pakistan and remained in Pakistan or eventually moved abroad? Based on personal choices, one may not prefer to go abroad, but the fact is vast majority of Pakistanis actually wanna go abroad. So, rather then imposing one’s choices on others, experienced people should provide all available options to students and let them and their parents decide what is better for their future.

Its upto one’s option if he/she wanna spend time and efforts to enter into elite club of about 4000 professionals (please correct me for exact membership of ICAP since its inception in 1961). But where are those thousands of discouraged students who did only articleship, few papers or levels? They have been paying annual membership fees and exam fee for years without getting any certificate in the end and thus contributed toward operating cost of ICAP, and shared the cost to provide luxury to full members of ICAP. Would they opt to go for Pakistani designations again if they get the opportunity to go in past and correct their mistakes about career planning if they had option of ACCA, CIMA, CMA(IMA) or CFA? My post was for those students to FORESEE and PLAN AHEAD for their options. By the way, how many Pakistani CAs or CMAs send their REAL sons or daughters, brothers and sisters, into Pakistani designation programs, SPECIALLY IF THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR FOREIGN DESIGNATIONS OR SEND THEM ABROAD? How many Army Generals in Pakistan send their real sons in Army (I am not talking about Colonels and Majors here, but Generals)? I don’t know when Pakistanis would leave self ego, hypocrisy, and leg pulling behind and would start giving same advice to other unrelated persons that they would give to their own real sons.

Yes, it is true that not every one can leave the country or one should see several factors before moving abroad. Still, large masses of our population have this wish to move abroad, including students of accounting in Pakistan. Those are the audiences of my post, not those who cannot go from Lahore to Toba Tek Singh. Contrary to the statement, the fact is many people from Toba Tek Singh and other towns are very courageous to go abroad. Still, if someone does not wanna move, its his/her personal choice, my sole intention is to provide options by educating about ACCA, CIMA, CMA (IMA), and CFA.

No doubt Pakistani CA or CMA can go to any country and get work, as long as they get WORK VISA these days, which is highly doubtful in today’s Pakistan’s political and international standing. Golden days are gone for them. With Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) and recent MRAs among GLOBAL associations, members of global associations are getting new country’s designations and memberships quickly. Thus limiting future of Pakistani CAs and CMAs in countries where they were used to go. NOW why an employer in Cayman would hire a Pakistani CA/CMA, from 15,000 miles away, if he can easily find any global designation holder? If the answer is because they agree at less (or cheaper) than any other global designation holders then the case to get foreign designations in Pakistan is automatically proved. Further, in any case, Pakistani designation is NOT PREFERED ONE in any specific country including Cayman, UK, USA, Australia, or Canada. Generally speaking, Pakistani designation holder would not get high profile job and would not enjoy same esteem as he was enjoying in Pakistan, as in outside world no one knows about Pakistani designations. These are UNRECOGNIZED designations abroad in ANY western country. Each country prefers and respects its own designations first. Moreover, in order to maintain their acceptability in new country, Pakistani CA/CMAs eventually try to get another western designation. Here my argument comes when I ask to save time, energies, and efforts and PLAN AHEAD if someone wants to go abroad 10 years down the road.

As far as I know, till date, Pakistanis can work but cannot settle in UAE and Middle Eastern countries due to several reasons. Yes, again its one’s choice if he wanna work in Middle Eastern country with bearing all humiliation (Arabi vs. Ajmi). This is why a vast majority of professionals including Pakistani accountants move toward western countries (and get western designations) once they are exposed to quality life and don’t wanna go back and their kids are growing up. Further, in designation neutral countries like UAE and Middle East, no sane person can say that western designations like ACCA, CIMA(UK), CMA (IMA) or CFA are less respected or earn less then Pakistani CAs/ CMAs. Fact is majority of the people in Middle East (including Pakistani, Indians, Bangladeshis, Filipinos and including their own nationals etc.) do study for western designations. Moreover, though its personal choice, but still practically speaking how many Pakistanis would prefer to go to UAE or Middle East if they have option to go to UK, Australia, Canada or USA?

Regarding getting ICAEW after Pakistani CA with 3 additional papers, the whole scenario collapse if a student does not get Pakistani CA in first place. If a student enters into elite club of 4000 CAs THEN he/she can do ICAEW otherwise NOT. It is the main hurdle that 98% of Pakistani CA students would not cross. Other global designations provide alternative solution. See, the point is if someone gets ACCA, CIMA, CMA(IMA) or CFA, he/she can work in Pakistan, Middle East and can get other global designations. But this is not true for Pakistani designations.

Getting ICAAs membership through MRA with ICAEW is based again upon getting admittance into Pakistani CA in first place, which is again a false illusion and wrong argument based on reason provided in above paragraph. In Pakistan it is said that only 2% students actually get CA designation. Means 98% of students would not be chartered, thus, there is 98% probability that they would not be ICAEWs or ICAAs. Yes, those unfortunate students and their parents would be paying fees to run ICAP and to provide luxury to its FULL members. That’s why members of ICAP cannot afford to lose students (who are sharing cost with them), are scared from introduction and penetration of foreign global designations in Pakistani markets. They know that they cannot increase their market share in outer world but can lose their share in existing Pakistani market. Students of ICAP can (and should) easily calculate decrease in revenues of ICAP (in terms of annual fee plus exam fee), resulting, increased annual membership cost to FULL members, if enrollment in ICAP decreases by let say 2000 students in one year.

As far as need to get ACCA to get ICAEW is concerned, students can decide by themselves which route is easy. Do ACCA and then automatically get ICAEW 5 years later or do Pakistani CA and then ICAEW (in which case 98% student would not get CA or ICAEW). Any person can decide which route is easy.

Now, come to Cayman, USA, and Canada. Pakistani accountants are surviving in Cayman because they get another western designation besides Pakistani designation to compete with other global designations holders. Even they do not settle there for ever and eventually move to USA, Canada, Australia or UK. How many Pakistani CAs are there who don’t have other western designations and live there for rest of their lives? Again, my argument prevails, save time and efforts in Pakistan if someone would have to eventually get a western designation 10 years later after Pakistani CA and would have to move to UK, Australia, USA, or Canada. Moreover, CPA has NOT started in Pakistan, but ONLY PREPARATION for CPA is available in Pakistan. CPA exams are offered ONLY in USA. So, a student from anywhere in the world including Pakistan MUST have to go to USA to appear in CPA’s 4 exams, if he has a valid US Visa. Acceptance of Pakistani experience and courses toward 150 credit hour requirement is also debatable. Further, let me say it loudly that I am not providing advantages of ACCA in Pakistan alone but also CIMA(UK), CMA (IMA), and CFA also. I did not mentioned CPA in my original post as I knew that CPA exams are not being offered in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world except USA. Also, satisfaction of other requirements of CPA would probably be more difficult for Pakistani students. Still, if a student can go for US CPA, sure, go ahead for it. It is one of the best designations with almost 350,000 full members. Now, eventually a question comes in mind, why members of ICAP provide the case for all other designations like ICAEW, ICAA, or even CPA which are NOT YET AVAILABLE in Pakistan, but argument against ACCA or other designations that ARE AVAILABLE in Pakistan CURRENTLY? A decision should be made on EXISTING conditions not based on FUTURE availability. Moreover, regarding Canada, yes, ACCA is not the exception to get CGA. CIMA(UK) and ICAEW also have MRAs with Canadian CMA and CA. But, all these 3 designations i.e. ICAEW, CIMA(UK), and ACCA MUST be achieved through FINAL EXAMS, and not based on Pakistani CA/CMA, as Pakistani CA/CMA are UNRECOGNIZED designations. No other “network analysis” is available or required. It is straight forward fact. Also, what is the need for network analysis? A student in Pakistan, if he/she can AFFORD, should simply do ANY of ACCA, CIMA(UK), CMA (IMA), or probably US CPA and the whole world is open WITHOUT further efforts. Aim of my original post was to save this “network analysis” later in life, at the age of 35 and with family and kids, IF SOMEONE MOVES ABROAD.

What is the relationship between my personal circumstances and availability of global designations like CIMA(UK), CMA(IMA), CFA, or ACCA in Pakistan. My objective is to advise PROSPECTIVE ASPIRING students and INTERESTED PEOPLE who wanna go abroad to PLAN AHEAD and to provide them career planning advice in advance. It has no relationship with my personal circumstances. My or someone else’s personal likeness or dislikeness would not change the fact that all these are GLOBAL designations and provide advantage over Pakistani CA/CMA as far as working in foreign countries is concerned. Why people are afraid if any student would get any of above designations in Pakistan, would do a reasonable job in Pakistan, and one day if he/she wants to move to any of foreign country, the transition would be easy with avoidable efforts? I don’t see any correlation between this fact and my personal circumstances. Probably, someone is confused in distinguishing between “personal circumstances” and observations of ground realities and real Canadian experience. How come providing options to students be “ruining” their career. Why some people are scared of providing information to students about various available options in Pakistan? Is information a dangerous thing? After all each student is the best judge of his/her goals in life. Why do we have this mentality in back home that only Pakistani CA is the last thing in the world and rest is garbage? The people who belong to elite club of 4000 professionals are actually ruining careers of many bright students who could have achieved any other designation if they had taken the right decision in their early life. Further, I don’t disrespect students by saying them “innocent age” as I believe that they can take the right decision if they are provided with all available options and information. I don’t wanna hide their options from them just to keep one's eliteness intact. Here, a Pakistani wadayra “lord” comes into mind who does not wanna let people explore new opportunities just to keep his own privilege. Age of 18 is a voting age. A person can get commission in Armed Forces of Pakistan at the age of 19. Last but not least, Rashid Minhas took the right decision and bacame martyred at the age of 21. It is the responsibility of people who know more to pass COMPLETE information to others so the students can take right decision.

Again and again, I say loudly that the objective of my post is neither to start useless CA vs. ACCA debate nor I am against Pakistani designations or mean to degrade them. I don't know how a person can catch such a false impresion. Thanks to monopolistic policies of associations these are good in Pakistan, BUT UNRECOGNIZED abroad and both of these are facts whether someone accepts it or not. My audiences are those aspiring students and interested people who can AFFORD to pay for any of these designations and wanna go abroad in some stage of their lives. I have already said, and mention here again that I am not ACCA. Also, I have presented the case from immigration point of view for not only ACCA, but also CIMA(UK), CMA(IMA), CFA, and CPA (USA). Still, if any bright student wanna be among 98% unfortunate students, then its his/her choice.

I have presented my reasoning, and now its upto the reader how to interpret and deduce conclusions. Its not even in my interest to go into debate that which designation is good or which is less good. It is totally useless to me now. I would be glad to share my knowledge about the said global designations with interested people, but no further comparison with Pakistani designations please. If someone wants to satisfy himself by comparing designations or by promulgating Pakistani designation’s superiority, then he/she should express views at CA vs. ACCA thread or somewhere else. This thread was started with defined objective of providing information about global designations that are available currently in Pakistan to aspiring students and interested people who wants to go abroad in future, from career planning point of view. Please don’t ruin it as it won’t benefit to anyone. It won't effect my life or a Pakistani designated accountant's life that is already settled, either here or there. It would confuse students and limit their available options. Please let them take informed decisions and advise them what one would do to his real siblings.


- EnslavedSpirit - 09-18-2008

Dear Toronto_Boy;

Clarity of your message is well understood from your posts and indeed appreciateable, i have also been among the victims of ICMAP's strict exam policies, struggled hard to manage upto stage-3 in 3 years and was frustrated enough to finally deciding to look for any global qualification, firstly i was interested to go for CMA (IMA) as it appeared to be the most suitable designation because of being closely correlated to the studies i have had so far with ACMA pathways, However i could not find any good teacher and learning facilities in Karachi for this degree therefore was compelled to go for ACCA. Perhaps this is the ONLY global qualification in pakistan with plenty of resource material and abundant faculty to guide you anytime.
I appreciate your insightful posts to help us knowing about the best available options for Pakistani students, i think "Availability" of Global Designations has opened a plenty of opportunities for 98% MAZLOOM, deserving and ever struggling accountancy students to get the reward of their labour.

i was wondering about the ICAEW designation after ACCA, can you tell me how it is to be obtained?

Thanking you

- kamranACA - 09-18-2008


Like ever it had again been pushed into ACCA v/s CA debate which was in fact not the aim either of this thread or of my post. In fact this was a thread to discuss local and foreign designations and opportunities.

First of all I don't know how one can exclude Pakistan when talking about globalization more specifically when some MRAs have been finalized and some MOUs are under discussion. Further, theoretically speaking, one cannot ignore that to-date 888 ICAP members (out of total 4110) are working abroad in diversified regions and this 22% is not insufficient to conclude the facts with positive mind.

It's also a good joke to call a designation as KHALA by a person who personally admits that approximately 98% "looking ahead people" (like him) normally face failure in crossing such KHALA. No further comments. I don't and cannot undermine the importance of any international designation. I also don't want to be personal with Toronto_Boy. I know his aim was not bad and his post may be called informative as well. But it was and is still portraying a picture that there is no life except western countries and if some one is not going to ride the immigration train he is supposed to have missed the road to success.

I personally know what Arbi Ajmi issues are faced at Middle East but I wonder how one ignores the treatment given to Pakistanis in those western countries. I wonder if some one does not know how much those western people hate Pakistanis. I am not talking about whose fault is this or what are the reasons for such treatment. I know very respectable people whose trousers were undressed at such "quality life" air ports just because they were muslims, having beard and were Pakistanis. You know people don't even rent out their homes to Pakistanis in such western countries. They prefer Indians rather. This all is a friction among humans on various basis either it is due to Ajmi Arbi issue, religious grounds, moderate-ism and fundamentalism issues, or something else and no part of the world is free from it. There was a time (before Pakistan) when British used to place sign boards outside their clubs and hotels mentioning "INDIANS AND DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER".

I would request not to present wrong snaps of the situation. And yes don’t feel that I am unaware of what Canada is. My very close friend (a Chartered Accountant) is at Canada. My real cousin who is Ph.D. doctor and the member of the one and only team who successfully did cloning here in Pakistan is Canadian Citizen with his wife and all kids. Although he does not live at Canada. Our client and one renowned businessman had been a Canadian Ambassador to Pakistan at some point of time. Canada is not something out of the world or out of perception. I want to make correction to the record that CAs don’t take 4-5 years for getting Canadian Immigration. This is a matter of months for them if they wish to do it.

I also don’t talk about army generals as they make 0.00000001% of our population. I personally had the majority of my family members settled at Western countries and it is not a big deal to go and settle there. Apart from family connections HSMP is calling with open arms which process takes 6 to 8 months only. I know merits and demerits of such life which I again avoid to discuss being not the focal point. Every one has his own preferences and circumstances and must accept that the circumstances of other may not be exactly the same. My brother (FRCS doctor) is settled at UK because it suits him. I am not because it does not suit me. However, this is not a privilege game or competition to describe our connections or quality of life we live or others don’t live. I also know and accept that there are certain conditions which do not make Pakistan an ideal place to live at. But this again was not the central point of this thread. Had it been so I would have clearly given my comments as I did in other threads. I would again say that every place has its own merits and demerits and heaven does not exist on earth.

In reply to my post so much has been written without logic and analysis and if I will go to reply each and every thing this will in fact start a personal debate which I want to avoid. There could be so many such examples. I just quote one example that when Pakistani designation was discussed in other countries it is said that they are bound to get foreign designation as well. At the same time it is mentioned that such designations are country specific. If designations are country specific then every one either he is CPA from US or CA from ICEAW or CA from Pakistan or else will have to meet certain requirements to get such other designation. I must say that no one should forget that at the end of day he is a Pakistani and there is always a chance to get back to home. We must not forget what happened when Iraq attacked on Kuwait and when 9/11 event took place at US. And if this is a fact, and if designations are normally supposed to be country specific (I am not talking about ACCA for which I reserve my comments being not the subject matter) then one must not forget that CPA from US or CGA from Canada or CPA from Australia, CIMA from UK and ACCA from UK will NEVER get what they expect, in their homeland. This is the other side of the picture. How could it be ignored.

I also wonder if 5 years working after qualifying ACCA to get ICEAW designation carry no meaning for my brother and just 3 papers after CA carry huge burden just because he feels CA is impossible in Pakistan. I must say CA in Pakistan is not impossible. If majority fails, majority should find reasons for its failure. Majority also fails in other fields such as ISSB, Medical entrance test, securing sufficient marks to enter engineering, getting cricket test cap, being a part of some other class such as celebrity or game or education groups etc etc. CA is not an exception. This is no argument to be made.

Actually every designation has its own worth and is recognized at other locations at its own self, or by mutual recognition, exemptions or at least by having similar curriculum and base of knowledge. There is one or the other way by which things could always be sorted out. My objective was to place the other view on record for the students who were facing whims and doubts created by their "Innocent" minds on reading the incomplete and one sided though informative post of Toronot_Boy. Innocent is by no means a wrong word which can only show lack of exposure. God says his Prophets are innocent and angles are innocent. This cannot be taken in the meaning derived by Tornoto_Boy. Facts should be admitted. Here Innocence means the situation of indecisiveness and desperateness due to lack of proper guidance, improper behavior of seniors, age factors, over ambitiousness etc etc. We can debate on examples quoted by Toronto_Boy like Rashid Minhas and can conclude that he was an innocent and did his brave act in such innocence. I mean if i discuss the whole 1971 scenario. This, however, is not desired at this thread and it would be better to avoid unrelated things.

I don't want to go in further length on personal issues. This forum knows I can handle such situations very well. I just don't want to do it because I know Toronto_boy misinterpreted my message which was not aimed at to hit him personally. I in fact received mails from students who were quite disturbed seeing his posts. That's why the other side of the picture was necessary to be portrayed.



- khani - 09-18-2008

Kamran bhai. no doubt that u are a good leader of pakistani students going for CA and also other studies ,but please dont jump in the battle field if some one else is providing a usefull information to the pakistani young boys.I seek appology If my words hurt you.

I also want to ask Mr toronto boy please tell something about CGA in canada and CPA of Aussi.

1) Is CGA doing external audit of Public Limited Companies in CANADA?

- khani - 09-18-2008

Sab se bari bat kia paiessa hi sab kuch hai. kia toronto boy u keep a faith on Kisamat?

- Toronto_Boy - 09-19-2008

Dear Students and Contributors

Without going into further useless CA vs. ACCA kind of debate, I just wanna clear some misconceptions or probable false impresion here. First, in reply to argument that some people don't want to go to Faisalabad from Lahore, I wrote, "My post is not for people who do not want to cross “Khala” (a water stream to water fields), but for those who want to explore LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES. For them, “Sitaron say aagay jahan aur bhi hain.”" How come one can deduce conclusion that I said "KHALA" to Pakistani designations? I used this analogy for those people who don't cross small canals that waters their fields, don't go in search of bread, and NOT for Pakistani designations. Any person who has background from village can better understand this term. What a wrong conclusion one can get!!!

Moreover, from my posts, probably some people can have totally wrong impresion that I am a former drop-out of Pakistani designation programs. Just to correct their false impresion, without divulging my personal details, I just wanna say it loudly that I never studied any course of accounting in Pakistan at any level or for any degree. I didn't even know what Dr. or Cr. is when I was in Pakistan. So, please don't presume it about me.

Further, in old days, points based marking on a typical Canadian immigration application was actually based on weight/points assigned to different professions and qualifications. As an update for many of you, nowadays, points are based on length of number of schooling years. For immigration purpose, assessment criteria does not distinguish between types of qualifications but values LENGTH OF QUALIFICATION based on years and assigns a number to it. Please follow the links below to have a quick self assessment test. It does not say anywhere that Pakistani designations holders would get any special treatment for immigration. Nowadays, no one can bypass queue (that ranges from minimum 65 to maximum 70 months waiting time) of applications just based on profession, including Pakistani accounting designations, like it could be the case in old days. Also, why Pakistani designations would be highly valued qualifications for immigration, specially in presence of thousands of designated and non-designated accountants already prevalent in Canada and non-recognition of Pakistani designations here? One may correct this false pretence that Canadian immigration is a matter of months for Pakistani designations holders.





I also don't wanna go on discussion of one's personal choices or TOTALLY UNNECESSARY personal conflicts, simply because it won't benefit anyone. My presence on this forum is just to add value for career planning of students and to provide them exposure of outside world. My aim is not to "handle" someone. Thanks to my living in a democratic and tolerant society, I have learned to avoid such mindset generally prevalent in back home.


- Toronto_Boy - 09-19-2008

Dear Students and Interested People

Response of students has proved that essence of this thread is clearly relayed. Please understand that I am not an education councilor of any global accounting designation. For specific questions, please contact "Contact us" or "Customer Service" through email available on website of each of accounting associations. The websites are quite informative source for general questions. Regarding Canadian immigration, please visit Canadian High Commision's website in Islamabad for info, to download forms, or to see evaluation criteria and details. One can and should also visit Canadian Immigration Department's official website.

EnslavedSpirit I think another person has already responded to your quetion. However, I would suggest to visit ICAEW's website specially under CCAB arrangement. In my personal view, you took the right decision by re-assesing your condition and re-aligning your goals. Worst come worst, even if you pass one course of ACCA every 6 month, even then you would be ACCA one day. Thats why I ask students to save their time, efforts, resources, and energies, evaluate themselves, don't take the burden they can't bear, and don't go for super ambitious plans. There are many options availabe that could suit your condition. Sort them out.

Ad2478 I am sorry that I can't help you, as your questions are too specific. It depends upon several factors, such as whether your program is recognized nationally (in Pakistan)and internationally etc. Which CMA? CMA Canada or CMA (IMA). Requirements are different for each of these. Please contact them directly and visit their websites. I am sorry, I couldn't help you much.

Khani Yes, CGAs are in public accounting. Regarding money, both kind of arguments are available, its upto you what you pick. Further, I am firm believer of destiny written by Allah, both, one that is fixed (like life) and the other which is flexible (depending on efforts). Probably, you can say it luck too.


- EnslavedSpirit - 09-19-2008

<b>Dear Kamran bhai,</b>

You have rightly indicated the concerns, However they are irrelevant to the topic initiated by Toronto_Boy, you may start a new thread with this topic where everyone would surely like to express their opinion regarding the same.

hope you understand.

<b>Dear Toronto Boy & ad2478;</b>
Thank you for your informative responses!

Please keep up the good work!

- kamranACA - 09-19-2008

Dear Khani and Others,

A wrong impression has been derived at the outset that my message was to contradict the post of Tornoto_Boy in entirety. I agreed that his post was informative. However, I seriously felt and so many of you (more precisely speaking CA students) made me to feel that his post was describing one side of the picture.

There is no harm in getting international designations. This is not a matter of contradiction. At this point of time if some one has more than one qualification it’s also an asset. If forum members remember they must know that a long debate was done where I argued that more than one qualification and especially international qualifications are meant to be a big advantage in this globalize world.

The issue which was focused in my post was intended to clarify two things. Firstly, there was an impression (that may be inadvertently portrayed) that Canada is the only destination in the world. One needs to be clarified that so many other locations may have much more opportunities and potential for professionals. I don't want any one to agree with my personal view but it’s a fact that even UAE is better than Canada for Pakistanis on so many grounds. I have been recently contacted by a female from Canada who saw my discussions on some forum and wanted to know about how to proceed to UAE with her husband who was also a qualified professional. At this point I again say that it is the matter of personal judgment and preferences can vary from case to case. So this was a necessary clarification for those who were caught up of doubts.

Secondly, the saying that CA from Pak does not have opportunities for recognition in other countries was also wrong and it was necessary to clarify it. This clarification was not undermining the importance of Canadian CA or CGA etc. I explained that most of such qualifications are country specific charters and have somewhat recognition, exemption, acceptance etc at other places. ICEAW's MOU with ICAP is a big step forward in this regard. I don't know what Canadian CA Institute has arrangements with ICEAW but certainly ICAA (Australia), ACCA (UK) and certain other international designations have such recognition arrangements with ICEAW. Any such institute in the world, if has such arrangements with ICEAW (and even with ACCA) then it's indirectly having similar opportunities for Pakistani CAs. This needs to be understood precisely and with open hearts. There was logic behind getting into MOU with ICEAW first of all. Facts need to be understood. Such arrangement if provides good opportunities to others then they are equally applicable in case of Pakistani designations.

So this was a brief display of other side of picture which was missing from that informative post of Tornoto_Boy making it reflective of wrong conclusions for Pakistani CA students. There was a fullest need to clarify these issues. One has to see it from Pakistani CA students’ perspective. This was not merely jumping into irrelevant discussion. I even did not do it when it was not brought to a separate thread.

There was in fact no connection of this post with ACCA vs CA debate which was concluded by others mistakenly. My viewpoint about Pakistani ACCAs (I stress Pakistani ACCAs) is my personal view and I am firmly standing on my conclusion about a specific failure class (and not all the ACCAs) who find refuge in such other charters. Personal views may, however, be biased or mis-judged. This last sentence is a general statement.

"Handling" was mentioned for situation and not for a person.

Like-wise “like him” was meant for “Looking Ahead” and not for failed ones. If some one has intimacies and good views for failed ones or refugees of CA I don’t mind his personal sympathies based on whatever reasons. I may be wrong in deducing inference about Khala. I am also from a zamindaar village back ground and understand well what Khala stands for.

We should not debate on what is quality of life and what is more democratic on this forum otherwise it would be a long discussion.

There is not only one way to enter Canada i.e. HSMP. If you see my post I discussed HSMP for UK and not for Canada. Entering Canada for an established CA is not a matter of years. Mind it. Does some one need more reliable professionally qualified/judged legal opinion for this to understand?

I hope this post of mine must clear the thin line between what I wanted to convey and what have been deduced by others. It's pleasant to see that no wrong conclusion has been derived from my post by CA students.