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About Accountants

An Accountant is a practitioner of accountancy or accounting, which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources.

In Australia, there are three legally recognised local professional accounting bodies: the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia (CPA) and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA).

Certified Practising Accountants (CPA)

CPA Australia is one of the largest global accounting bodies, having members through Asia Pacific as well as its home base.

To be a CPA, candidates must hold a degree or a postgraduate award recognised by CPA Australia, have demonstrated competence in CPA Australia’s prescribed foundation level knowledge and within a six-year period have successfully completed CPA Australia’s professional level examinations and the Practical Experience Requirement.

Fulfilment of 120 Continuing Professional Development hours per triennium (3-year period) with a minimum of 20 CPD hours in each year is required for continued membership of Certified Practising Accountants. Visit

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA)

In 2013 the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants amalgamated to become Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA).

The Chartered title is an internationally recognised professional designation that reflects professional expertise and the highest of ethical and professional standards.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is made up of over 100,000 financially astute professionals.  

A member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand must have trained for minumum of six years to achieve the Chartered Accountant designation.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand:

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

The IPA describes the term 'Public Accountant' as a globally recognised term for all Accountants serving the public, whether in practice, commerce, industry, government or the education sector. The IPA represents more than 24,000 members and students working in industry, commerce, government, academia and professional practice.

Associate members of the Institute of Public Accountants (AIPA) must hold a University Degree in Accounting or a TAFE Advanced Diploma in Accounting. Membership requires an Advanced Diploma in Accounting or Bachelor's degree in Accounting and IPA program study to obtain a Master of Commerce (Professional Accounting). All members of the IPA (except retired members) must complete a minimum of 80 hours structured CPE activity per biennium (2 years). Visit:


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