A simple way to claim your experience
Accounting and finance careers are many and varied. As technology advances, future career options for finance professionals will also evolve.
Your working experience counts towards your progression to becoming a CPA, whether you gain this experience before, during or after your studies.
To satisfy the experience requirement you’ll need to:
1. Gain experience
You need to gain 36 months of full time, or the equivalent for part-time work, of relevant experience. To calculate the hours for part-time work, use this formula: (your weekly part-time hours /35 hours) x months worked = full time equivalent in months.
Experience can be gained at any time: before or during your study, through relevant volunteer work, eligible work experience during university or you may already have enough relevant experience. You can also gain experience by working for a Recognised Employer Program Partner (see below).
While accumulating your experience, you must demonstrate a minimum of 10 skills across four categories. This must include at least:
- four technical skills
- two personal effectiveness skills
- two business skills
- two leadership skills.
Each role must include at least one relevant technical skill from the skills list to count towards Your Experience.
2. Get your experience signed off
You'll need to demonstrate the experience and skills you've gained, by getting your experienced signed off.
Complete an experience claim form and have it signed by a CPA, FCPA or an equivalent full member of an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member body. They need to review your experience and sign-off the time you’re claiming and the skills you acquired.
The experience claim form can be completed and signed digitally.
Remember, each of your roles must include at least one technical skill.
If you’re supported by a mentor who is a CPA, FCPA or IFAC member, they can sign your claim. It’s optional to work with a mentor, but we encourage all our Associate members to have one so that you have guidance and support throughout your CPA Program.
3. Verify your experience
When your experience claim form has been approved, you’re ready to submit it to CPA Australia for verification.
We recommend you submit a claim form each time you’ve completed all time and skills required. If you’d like to check your progress, you may wish to submit a form sooner, but not more than once a year.
Submitting your claim is simple:
- scan your signed experience claim form
- email it to [email protected]
You'll receive an email confirming we’ve received your claim. This could take up to 10 days.
When your experience and required skills have been verified, you'll have met Your Experience requirement. And when you've satisfied the CPA Program education component and complete a degree at recognised education provider, you'll be ready to advance to CPA status.
REP Partners have shown CPA Australia they provide their staff with access to learning and development opportunities that satisfy our experience requirements.
If you’re working for a REP Partner, you’ll benefit from:
- a streamlined application to recognise of Your Experience
- a supportive relationship with an assigned mentor
- working for an organisation committed to career development
- simplified maintenance and recording of your continuing professional development
How to claim your experience with a REP Partner
If you are employed in a relevant role at a REP, simply follow these steps to have your experience validated
- complete your 36 months (or its equivalent for part-time work) of relevant experience
- ensure you can demonstrate at least 10 skills across four categories
- check your employer is listed as a REP Partner
- complete the streamlined Your Experience form. As an employee of a REP Partner you don’t need to complete the skills table
- submit the form to CPA Australia for verification.
If you have experience to claim with your employer that pre-dates their joining the REP, you’ll need to complete the skills table for that experience for us to approve and verify it.
Studying the CPA Program with the support from a mentor provides many benefits. It’s optional to work with a mentor but we highly recommend it. Our experience has shown that Associate members studying with a mentor have a higher likelihood of passing their subjects than those who don’t. An experienced mentor can also give you the opportunity to progress your career and broaden your professional networking.
How to find a mentor
A mentor can be a CPA, FCPA or anyone who holds full membership with an equivalent professional International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member body.
Your mentor can be:
- working within the same company as you
- working within an external organisation
- retired or unemployed if they still have full membership
If your manager or supervisor is not suitable or available to be a mentor, you can try:
- contacting others in your workplace
- advertising your need for a mentor on your organisation's intranet or website
- attending networking events and local discussion groups
- or post your interest for a mentor on CPA Australia’s Facebook page or LinkedIn group