2020 Public Practice Recruit FAQ: Fall

Fall Recruit 2020 is officially around the corner! Are you a post-secondary student looking for a pre-approved position with a CPA firm? Read the important points below to make sure you’re ready.

What types of positions does the Recruitment Framework apply to?

The CPABC Post-Secondary Recruitment Framework applies to all full-time, summer, and co-op positions that start in 2021. These guidelines apply to all candidates applying for a pre-approved positions that begin in the 2021 calendar year, including current students, graduated students, and out-of-province students.

I want to work for a public practice firm, when should I go through the recruit process?

Many firms do their hiring about one year in advance. So, if you are looking to start with a firm in January, May, or September of 2021 you will want to go through the recruitment process in 2020.

When do firms accept applications, interview candidates, and make offers?

Individual firms set their own application deadlines and interview period at their own discretion. Some firms may hire on an ongoing basis throughout the spring, summer, and fall, while others may have set application deadlines. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with each firm’s recruiting process and deadlines. Firms in the Lower Mainland will be using an additional ‘offer out to students’ date of September 25, 2020 meaning students should not expect offers before then from those offices.

I’m a little confused about the 2020 CPABC Recruitment framework. Will Fall Recruit activities and events be suspended as well as Spring Recruit 2020?

There is currently no plan to suspend the Fall Recruit period. When firms in the Lower Mainland agreed to suspend Spring Recruit activities, they made it clear that they wanted to resume with the Fall Recruit period with the addition of an ‘offers out to students’ date in the framework. This is designed to provide greater certainty to students. While typically lots of events around this time take place in person, on campus or in physical offices, it will certainly look a little different this year. Many firms across the province have started to offer engagement opportunities virtually, and career centers and student clubs are also exploring virtual options. Students, as always, should be proactive in seeking out opportunities and attending events in the build up to Fall Recruit.

Are public practice firms still hiring students for co-op/ full time positions in the Fall given the current situation? If so, are all of them hiring or only select firms?

Many public practice firms have indicated that they plan to hire during the Fall Recruit period 2020 while some are still making those decisions. It is important to note that these are sensitive internal business decisions for each firm, and there is still much economic uncertainty. It is likely some employers will be hiring reduced numbers if they do continue to hire during the fall, but again this is a decision to be made by each individual firm.

Should I expect job placement rates to be significantly lower than usual this year?

As above, the COVID-19 situation has affected the whole economy, and all professions and industries have been impacted. While the accounting profession has been impacted less than some other professions, it would be sensible to expect lower numbers of opportunities this year as some employers have introduced hiring freezes and layoffs in the past few months, however many employers may still hire at similar levels to previous years.

If I didn’t receive an offer in Spring 2020, do I still have a chance at receiving one in Fall 2020? The CPA website says that Spring offers are being adjusted to Fall, so does that mean students without a Spring offer can’t get a placement? Or that it is unlikely to get hired?

It is true that those who received an offer during Spring Recruit had their offer dates adjusted to Fall 2020 after agreement between firms in the Lower Mainland. However, many firms will still be using the Fall Recruit period to hire as discussed above. Whether you are likely to get hired comes down to many factors for each individual but there will be opportunities still.

Can I expect to see any CPA recruiting events being hosted this Summer 2020?

Yes, firms are putting on their own virtual events for networking and engagement, and schools are also looking into other opportunities. As mentioned, students should be proactive and seek out opportunity to connect with employers they are interested in working for. These events would historically be in person much of the time but organizations are transitioning quickly to virtual formats. CPABC are also hosting many information sessions, webinars and other events each month for general information on the profession, please check our website for more details on CPABC events, or sign up for CPABC CareerConnect to ensure you’re always first to get invites. Please check below for details of our first ever virtual Employer Showcase!

I’m supposed to be going through recruit in Spring 2021. Can I expect to see any changes in the framework during that time?

Currently firms in the Lower Mainland have indicated they would like to return to the regular Spring/Fall recruit seasons in 2021. The framework is subject to change each year and CPABC usually facilitates the discussion for next year’s framework following Fall Recruit, so the 2021 framework will likely be agreed and published in winter 2020. Between now and then a lot can happen, none of us unfortunately have a crystal ball but the expectation is a return to normality if and when possible.


CPABC Employer Showcase – August 26, 2020

Expand your network and meet with organizations participating in CPABC’s first virtual Employer Showcase! The event is open to CPABC members, candidates, students, and future CPAs. Find out who’s hiring and learn about career opportunities available to you in a variety of industries and sectors in BC. You’ll also meet representatives from recruitment firms who can help you further your career in accounting. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to create meaningful career connections. Pre-register today!

CPABC Career Conversations

Learn how to thrive in a world of virtual recruitment and how to set yourself up for a rewarding career as a CPA. Special guest employers, recruiters and advisors will join us in discussing important career topics weekly with an intimate audience. Space is limited! CPAs and aspiring CPAs are welcome to join. Register here.