Blog > Unique Partnership Facilitates Aboriginal Student Engagement in Accounting Careers

Unique Partnership Facilitates Aboriginal Student Engagement in Accounting Careers

posted on May 23, 2017
Dan Relihan
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Randy Mayes, CAFM, CAPA, Manager, Education and Membership, AFOA Canada

I am pleased to welcome our newest Affiliate Member to the CACEE family. AFOA-Canada (formerly Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada) is a not-for-profit association helping Aboriginal people better manage and govern their communities and organizations through a focus on enhancing finance and management practices and skills. AFOA Canada’s premise is that one critical key to successful self-determination, creating a better life for Canada’s Aboriginal people, and a better future for the next generation lies in improving the management skills of those responsible for the stewardship of Aboriginal resources. As such, access to post-secondary financial education, career resources and the school-to-career transition space play an integral role in the important work they do.  

In early 2016, AFOA-Canada and another CACEE Affiliate Member, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA-Canada), signed a MOU calling for facilitated access to, participation in, and success for Aboriginal students in the Canadian accounting profession.  Further, that MOU called for the development of a means through which Indigenous specific curriculum would be included within Canadian accounting education. Now in early 2017, AFOA-Canada and CPA-Canada have established the academic partnership to deliver on these important objectives.

Under this partnership AFOA-Canada and CPA-Canada established transfer credit agreements effectively creating efficient ‘accounting credential’ tiers or steps. These are designed to facilitate Aboriginal students in gaining access to accounting education and in successfully progressing through to graduation and financial management careers. Students advance from a post-secondary accounting diploma into AFOA’s Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation, and then further into CPA’s Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF). Then, as students progress through the CPA’s ACAF studies, several AFOA Canada courses on Indigenous specific business content are granted credit to meet CPA elective requirements. This inclusion of Indigenous content is an exciting first for the Canadian accounting profession.  For students who wish to advance even further into the full professional CPA designation, the partnership allows for continuing into a degree partnership and from there on to entry into the CPA professional education program.

The combination of an accounting diploma with two highly regarded credentials, CAFM and ACAF, offers students a truly unique foundation and knowledge base to advance into successful Aboriginal financial management careers.  Our CACEE network and career expertise have great value to offer this important cause through increasing awareness of and preparing students for these career opportunities. Please reach out to Randy Mayes, Manager of Education & Membership at AFOA-Canada, his contact information is on our CACEE member directory, and he will also be at conference this year in Vancouver.  I’m certain he would be more than happy to provide further information on this opportunity to grow Aboriginal career engagement within the accounting profession.   

Dan Relihan, MBA, CPA, CGA

President - CACEE