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Computer System Requirements

Computer System and Internet Access

All students in the CPA program must have access to and a working knowledge of a Windows-based computer system that meets or exceeds the minimum computer configuration, on which they can change settings and install required plug-ins. The system should be connected to a high speed internet connection and have all of the required Windows-based software installed including one of the required Windows operating systems.

Required Operating System and Software

The following are the operating system and software applications students in the CPA program require:


Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (English language versions only)

Internet Explorer 9, or IE10**

Microsoft Word and Excel, 2007, 2010 or 2013***

Acrobat Reader X

Adobe Flash Player most recent version


** Windows 8 - IE 10 is supported in the Desktop mode only. The New Windows Interface is not supported at this time (some interactive content within the course materials may not be functional). IE11 is not certified for use with Blackboard and will not be supported.

*** The “Click-to-run” installation, Office 365, and Office Starter 2010 are not supported.

  • Please note that Apple (Mac) computer systems are not compatible and are not supported by CPA course software.

  • Versions released after this document was published may not be fully supported.

  • Material on textbook publishers’ websites may require additional software be installed. 

  • Students are strongly advised to have up-to-date antivirus software or an Internet security package. 

  • Students must have the ability to make changes to settings (including security) and install software (applications and browser plug-ins as required) on the systems they use.

Minimum Student Computer Hardware

The following is the minimum computer system on which the above applications and software should be installed for use with specific courses in the CPA program and interaction through the OLE:

  • Intel core 2 duo or equivalent processor.

  • 2 GB Memory.

  • Up to 20 GB available hard drive space.

  • DVD/CD-ROM drive.

  • Video card with 128 MB onboard memory and DirectX technology.

  • 15” Monitor capable of 1024 × 768 resolution.

  • Sound card and speakers.

  • Broadband (high speed) Internet connection.

Required Computer Knowledge

Students are required to have a prerequisite level of computer knowledge and familiarity in order to be successful in the CPA program of professional studies. Students are not expected to be experts, but they are expected to know how to perform common and frequently used functions, including the following:


  • Use Windows Explorer or Computer to navigate to any specified folder on any fixed or removable drive on your system

  • Perform basic file management including: creating/deleting folders; copying, moving or deleting files; and changing folder view settings to see appropriate file information

  • Close or disable all applications running in the background, and how to ensure these are not running

  • Install and uninstall software

  • Perform Windows Updates

  • Check if System Restore is turned on

  • Verify language, date and time format settings

  • Adjust screen resolution

  • Use the snipping tool accessory to capture a screen image

Should you require additional help, please review the Microsoft Windows website:

Microsoft Office

  • Use the Help menu within an application to find a solution to a problem and learn how to use the application’s functions and features

  • Use Copy/Cut, Paste and Paste Special

  • Word

  • Excel

  • PowerPoint

Should you require additional help please review the Microsoft office website:


  • Download and save files from the Internet to your computer

  • E-mail attachments and save attachments received in e-mail messages

  • Change settings for cookies and popup blocker

  • Open web pages in new browser tabs or windows

  • Clear Internet Explorer browsing history and cache

CPA Canada encourages the use of antivirus and internet security programs, but makes no specific recommendations. You must be familiar with the use, management, and updating of all such applications you have installed.

Computer Technical Support

The online learning environment contains a computer support area, which includes FAQs, a discussion board arranged by topic and other useful items. Within the support centre, students can access their online assignment adviser, view tutorials and obtain additional computer support.