CPA – FCPA Cheat Sheet

There are five steps in managing a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta or FCPA.  It will help my bad memory and also provide a guide for those working on a nomination.

  1. Identify a Candidate.
  2. Form a Nomination Team.
  3. Collect and Validate the ‘evidence’.
  4. Sign and Submit the Nomination.
  5. Wait for the Results.

The Context and Rules

  • The nomination of a FCPA is a confidential process.  If the candidate receives the distinction, they will find out soon enough.  If their nomination is not accepted better they don’t know.
  • Only a CPA in good standing can nominate a FCPA. Non-CPAs can identify candidates however.
  • Nominations need to be received by October 31 the year before the award which is given out in the Spring of the following year.
  • Alberta FCPA awards are for work done in Alberta over the past decade or so.
  • The documentation process is not onerous but is time-consuming.

1. Identify a Candidate

Any one can identify a CPA for a FCPA (with a few exceptions not relevant here).  From there, the Awards and Nomination Committee will begin to work the file.

2. Form a Nomination Team

A team is not required as one person can do all of the work but spreading it out amongst a few people is advised.  Keep in mind the confidentiality rule noted above when selecting your team members.  The suggested composition is:

  • Nominator (required): must be a CPA in good standing.
  • Project Manager: keeps the process moving and herds the cats.
  • Scribe: This person will write the nomination in clear and articulate manner.  They should ensure supporting evidence from letters, etc. matches the form.
  • Worker Bees: These individuals beat the bushes and source the content.
  • Candidate: A CPA in good standing.

3. Collect and Validate the ‘evidence’

An instruction package is provided on the website for FCPA.  The key sections with notes are as follows.

Identification Sections:

  • Demographic Information.  The nominee’s name, current address, title of the current employer, etc.
  • Nominator Block.  Who is vouching for the nomination.

Biographical Sections:

  • The next three sections contain biographical information about where the candidate worked and volunteered.
  • There for sections 2-4 there are two parts:
    • A list of the organizations
    • A list of the major milestones accomplished in the organization.
    • These sections tell the ‘story’ of why this person is above average.
    • The Candidate must only excel in one of these three areas but two or more makes for a better nomination.
  • SECTION 2 – Professional Career
  • SECTION 3 – Volunteer involvement in the accounting profession
  • SECTION 4 – Volunteer Contribution, Community/Charitable Organizations

SECTION 5 – Awards, titles or honorary distinctions

Examples include:

  • CPA Early Achievement Award or Distinguished Service Award.
  • Honorary degrees
  • Medals for bravery or merit
  • Order of Canada, etc.

SECTION 6 – Supporting documents.

Quality versus quantity is the rule here.  A letter of support attests to the candidate’s achievement(s) from one of the organizations noted above and should present one or more specific aspects of their achievements.

The most important component of the letters is describing the “what”, the “how” and the positive  outcome of any involvement the individual contributed  to a particular organization.  How his or her contribution or actions were above and beyond what is expected of an average CPA.

4. Sign and Submit the Nomination

A handy checklist is provided in section 7 of the nomination form before the nominator signs.  An email from the nominator is considered an electronic signature.

5. Wait for the Results

The package will be evaluated by two committees: Nominations and Awards.  The nominations committee is primarily interested in sourcing a good selection of potential candidates.  The separate Awards committee makes the actual determination.  The reasons for rejection by either committee is not made public.