Accounting Professional Authorities CA CPA IPA
There are three main Accountancy Professional Bodies recognised in Australia; Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, CPA Australia and Institute of Public Accountants or IPA.
Here’s a summary of each Professional Body, the eligibility criteria and application process.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand or CA ANZ represents over 128,000 members in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. CA ANZ focuses on the education and lifelong learning of members and engages in advocacy and thought leadership in areas of public interest that impact the economy, domestic and international markets.
Let’s talk about the Membership requirements for Chartered Accountants:
The Chartered Accountant or CA designation denotes an accountant qualified to offer the full range of accounting services privately and to the public.
Chartered Accountants can apply for a Certificate of Public Practice. Every member who offers accounting services to the public must be a Chartered Accountant and hold a Certificate of Public Practice or CPP.
The Eligibility requirements are:
To hold an Accredited Bachelor degree with coverage of required competency areas
Or demonstrated competency in a range of Accounting, Finance, Auditing, Business Law, Tax, ICT & Business Acumens
Or Additional study with an accredited Tertiary provider or through CA ANZ’s Foundation Pathway program
If the tertiary qualification was not completed in English then the required English language requirement is an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 with no band score less than 6.0 in the last 2 years
Or have passed CA ANZ Full Permanent Migration skills assessment which includes a minimum IELTS of 7.0 overall with 7.0 in each band score
Or a minimum 1 year full time (or equivalent) of approved study in English or 3 years (or equivalent) of paid and/ or voluntary employment in an English speaking country within the past 5 years
There are also further personal character check requirements so we suggest you check all the criteria on the CA ANZ website
Let’s look at the Application process
If you have met the eligibility, finished the CA Program and your 3 years of approved employment, you’re ready to apply for full Chartered Accountant membership.
Make sure that you have collected and completed your Mentor’s Final Report, Professional Reference and Member Reference.
To be ready to apply, you just need to have filled out
An Application Form
A Professional Reference Form
And a Member Reference Form
Don’t forget that your professional and member references must be completed by two different people.
Once your documentation is in order, apply online for Full Membership as a Chartered Accountant via the CA ANZ website.
So what are the Application Fees?
If you apply within three months of meeting the CA eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to pay a lower application fee. All application fees are payable via credit card upon submission of your application.
Otherwise the Application fee is $385.00 AUD (GST exempt) now in 2021.
This information is current at the time of publishing, please check the latest eligibility, application and fee information on the CA ANZ website.
Let’s look at CPA Australia
CPA Australia is one of the world's largest accounting bodies with a global membership of over 168,000 members in 2021, in more than 100 countries supported by 19 offices globally.
CPA core services to members include education, training, technical support and advocacy. Employees and members work together with local and international bodies to represent the views and concerns of the Accounting profession to governments, regulators, industry, academia and the general public.
A Certified Practising Accountant or CPA is a finance, accounting or business professional with a specific qualification. Being a CPA is a mark of high professional competence. It indicates a soundness in depth, breadth and quality of accountancy knowledge.
CPA members are highly regarded by employers. It provides members with an internationally recognised qualification as well as the opportunity to complete specialist training and continuing professional development or CPD. To use the CPA designation, a member must:
complete a degree or a postgraduate award recognised by CPA Australia
complete the CPA Program, including three years of professional experience in finance, accounting or business
undertake CPD activities each year
comply to a strict code of conduct set by CPA Australia.
To offer public accounting services, CPAs must also complete CPA Australia's Public Practice Program and hold a public practice certificate in accordance with the CPA Australia's By-Laws.
Application process includes:
Entry into the CPA Program begins with a membership assessment
As part of your membership application, you'll need to provide CPA with some documents to verify your information
You'll be asked to upload digital copies of your original documents as part of the online application process
So what Documents are required?
Official academic transcripts
Transcripts can be from a tertiary degree, postgraduate tertiary degree or professional body qualification.
Evidence of degree completion
If you've completed your degree, you'll need to provide an official degree award certificate. If you've completed an accredited degree in Australia or New Zealand within the last 12 months, CPA can accept a completion letter that states the degree is ‘complete’.
Proof of identity
If you haven't completed the online identity verification, you will need to provide one of the following documents:
Passport (ID page)
National ID card
Driver’s licence (with a photo).
Members of other Professional bodies
If you are a current member of another accounting or finance professional body, you'll be required to provide a letter of good standing. The content of your letter should provide
the date you joined your professional body
the date you achieved your current member status
the date your membership fee is paid up to
confirmation that you are not a member of your professional body by virtue of a mutual recognition agreement
confirmation that you are not subject to any disciplinary sanctions or investigation and have not been subject to any disciplinary sanctions
What if you’re a Member with another professional body?
If you're a member or have undertaken studies with one of our partner professional organisations, you may be eligible to apply for an equivalent CPA Australia membership or exemptions from the CPA Program.
So what are the benefits of being a CPA?
Becoming a CPA can take your career to the next level, opening up opportunities around the world.
CPA Australia is one of the world's largest accounting bodies, there are more than 25,000 CPA Australia members working in senior leadership positions.
The CPA Program teaches you the skills that will help you reach the next level in leadership, strategy and business.
CPAs are also internationally recognised and CPA Australia builds and maintains strong relationships with high-profile companies globally, including more than 400 Recognised Employer Partners, ensuring the CPA certification and the quality skillsets of their members are internationally promoted.
For the latest information on becoming a CPA please refer to the CPA website.
The third Australian Professional Accounting body is the Institute of Public Accountants
The Institute of Public Accountants or IPA has a passion for small business. More than 75 per cent of IPA members are either servicing small business or are small businesses in their own right.
The IPA is one of Australia's oldest representative professional bodies, formed over 90 years ago. It has contributed significantly to the development of Australian accounting standards and broader corporate policy since its inception.
The IPA represents over 42,000 qualified accountants throughout Australia and overseas, and is a member of the Joint Accounting Bodies, which is an entity that brings together the Presidents and CEOs of the CPA, CA ANZ and IPA to consider matters of interest to the profession as a whole.
The IPA is a member of the International Federation of Accountants and is a strong contributor to the development of the accounting profession in Australia and the broader region, including representation on numerous Australian Government and bilateral committees and councils.
The IPA is recognised in Commonwealth and State law in Australia and IPA members are recognised by the Australian Government as Qualified Accountants, and have equal standing under Australian Securities and Investments Commission or ASIC rulings.
In addition to IPA members being highly qualified, the IPA Program is unique as it is the only professional accounting body program that offers a full postgraduate degree upon completion of the Program. This unique IPA Program has been designed in partnership with Deakin University to ensure that IPA members are equipped with robust and effective tools to ensure the services they provide to their clients are of the highest quality.
The IPA Membership admission process is a 4 step process:
Complete and sign the membership application form
then Submit your application including supporting documents to your local IPA office
The IPA will contact you to request further information, if required
Then once approved, you will receive your membership certificate and welcome kit
I hope you’ve found this information helpful, we suggest you look at the three Professional Body websites to consider their requirements and what they offer before making your final decision.
This information we’ve compiled and presented by Study in Australia TV is not legal advice, so we’d recommend that you seek further information from the professional bodies directly, or alternatively our team can provide general application help.
Let us know if you need any help with your study choice, there are many Business and Accounting degrees available in Australia, we’re always happy to help.
Stay tuned for more Professional Body information for other study discipline areas that can lead to excellent work experience in Australia.
Bye for now!