Applying for a public practice certificate

If you provide public accounting services in Australia or New Zealand and earn more than $7500 gross in fees each year, you must hold a Limited Practice Certificate or a Public Practice Certificate.

If you earn between $7500 and $25,000 gross fees per annum, you may apply for a Limited Practice Certificate. If you earn more than $25,000 gross fees per annum, you must apply for a Public Practice Certificate.

To apply for a Public Practice Certificate, you must successfully complete the Public Practice Program

The Public Practice Program has two components

To apply for a Limited Practice Certificate you must successfully complete the distance learning program.

The Public Practice Program has been developed to help members establish themselves in public practice. It builds on the technical expertise and experience gained from the CPA Program and through hands-on business experience. It focuses on non-technical skills such as strategic planning, marketing, risk management and practice development.

If you are a CPA or FCPA providing public accounting services and you do not earn more than $7500 gross fees each year, you do not need to obtain a Public Practice Certificate. However, you must hold professional indemnity insurance. Please also note that there is a requirement to hold a Public Practice Certificate or Limited Practice Certificate if you are conducting audits of self-managed superannuation funds, irrespective of the fees earned.

CPA Australia does not regulate members working in public practice outside Australia or New Zealand. CPA Australia members who are interested in public practice and are based outside Australia or New Zealand may enrol in the distance learning program. Enrolment includes introductory information on the requirements to practice as an accountant in Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Applications

You must apply for a Public Practice Certificate within five years of passing the exam for the distance learning component of the Public Practice Program. A Public Practice Program Residential must also be attended within the five-year timeframe. You must also:

  • pass the taxation segment of the CPA Program
  • have the required practical experience as stated in By-Law 9.3
  • hold professional indemnity insurance
  • agree to comply with the Quality Review Program

To apply for a Public Practice Certificate or Limited Practice Certificate you should complete the application form and return the completed form and payment to your nearest office.