The Impact of Tagging

I hope you’ll forgive me if we return to a topic I spoke about in one of my first posts – the issue of tagging. The reason I’m revisiting this area is because we continue to see welcomed feedback on this subject on our forum.

For those of you unfamiliar with the tagging issue, this was one of the pre-conditions outlined in the preliminary merger discussions CGA-Canada had with CICA and CMA Canada. To summarize, tagging would mean that within any new merged organization members would identify themselves as Chartered Professional Accountants (or CPAs) as well as use their original designation. For a minimum of 10 years, members would be identified as CA-CPA, CGA-CPA or CMA-CPA. Only students graduating after any merger would use the new CPA designation on its own.

Having thoroughly explored this issue, we remain convinced that a lengthy period of tagging would divide the new membership into distinctive groups. This would create public confusion about whether there are different classes of CPAs and complicate efforts to market the newly merged organization.

While we support the concept of a new designation, we maintain  that members should not be required to carry their legacy designation for any significant length of time. Tagging has the potential to lead to a decade of confusion in the marketplace. This would be damaging for all concerned and go against the spirit of any merger.

In addition, tagging flies in the face of what any merger should be aiming to achieve – a single organization. Based on our historically competitive relationships with CICA and CMA Canada, CGA-Canada’s negotiation team had serious concerns about whether tagging would impact the future rights of our members.   

Though we remain open to discussing the concept of a merger with CICA and CMA Canada, CGA-Canada cannot agree to terms that reduce the rights of our membership now or in the future. We strongly believe that any merger should be based on mutual understanding and equal rights.

I have enjoyed reading your feedback on our forum page and I encourage you to continue to share your questions and opinions with us.   

Anthony Ariganello is the president and chief executive officer of CGA-Canada

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