Chartered professional accountants showcase their modern skills

In a follow up to last year's "boring" effort, the CPA continues to tackle misconceptions about the profession.


The organization of Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) continues placing the modern skills of its members at the forefront of its advertising, depicting those with the designation as more than simply number crunchers.

“Think CPAs are stuck in the past?,” begins a 30-second digital spot. “Think again.” The commercial goes on to describe how chartered accountants can “provoke change,” bring human judgment to AI, help companies navigate the green economy and “plant the seeds of new opportunity” (a nod to the booming cannabis industry).

The effort follows last year’s “CPAs are boring” campaign, aimed at tackling the misconception that those certified as financial accountants are “pencil-pushers” with a narrow field of expertise.

This year, the organization continues trying to challenge stereotypes by focusing on “the characteristics of CPAs, as well as their ability to adapt to understand the opportunities and challenges facing today’s businesses and communities,” says Lyne Lortie, chair of the CPA branding committee and VP of public affairs, brand strategy and communications for the CPA Quebec. The goal is to get business leaders thinking about the many ways they can use a CPA.

The portraits of seven CPAs are being featured in creative appearing on television and in print, digital and social ads (primarily LinkedIn) showcasing their diversity and range. The campaign was developed by the CPA’s national brand committee with the help of creative AOR DentsuBos, which was first brought on board to lead last year’s campaign.

Lortie says CPA members appreciated the cleverness and “somewhat irreverent” tone of last year’s campaign. “It set the table to come back this year with an even more compelling message,” she says. “Again, breaking the myth that CPAs are stuck in the past, while making the CPA more relevant than ever.”

The CPA’s brand campaign budget has been “steady or slightly decreasing” over the last five years, but research suggests awareness of the organization and of the core brand attributes (such as leadership, innovative, strategic and adaptive to change) have increased, according to Lortie.

In particular, she says, the message behind its last campaign was found to resonate among business leaders – more specifically managers, owners, professionals and entrepreneurs – as well as students and CPA candidates.