Before you commence your journey to becoming a CPA, it is important to understand the requirements of working towards this valuable designation. In most cases, this will involve completing the CPA Program, which equips you with the skills and experience that will help you excel in the accounting and finance profession.
This page details what you’ll need to know before starting your application to join CPA Australia, and what’s required to work towards or attain a CPA designation.
Holding a degree recognised by CPA Australia
To become a CPA, you must hold a degree that is equivalent to an Australian bachelor’s degree or a post graduate degree with a minimum of eight subjects. While you can start the CPA Program before finishing your degree, the degree must be completed before you can advance to CPA status.
CPA Program study requirements
Core competency requirements to prepare you for the CPA Program
There are core competency requirements you’ll need to have covered before commencing the CPA Program. These competency requirements are frequently covered by the subjects in an accounting degree, so if you have completed a recognised degree already, you might be able to commence the CPA Program immediately.
However, if your degree didn’t cover all the core competency requirements you can cover these gaps by completing Foundation exams with us. The Foundation exams are flexible, self-paced and will provide you with the knowledge required to begin the CPA Program.
You can check which of the competency requirements you might have covered in your prior studies. And if you studied at an accredited institution, you can also check the subject list with our accredited course search.
If the degree you’ve completed is not accredited with CPA Australia, we will still assess your study history during the application process for any potential exemptions.
CPA Program subjects
The CPA Program combines both education and practical experience to deliver current and internationally-relevant content that gives applicants an understanding of the issues that organisations face every day. It requires the successful completion of four compulsory subjects and two elective subjects. Each subject is delivered over a single semester, with an exam at the end.
CPA Program experience requirements
Applicants must demonstrate completion of 36 months of relevant working experience and a minimum achievement of 10 skills across four categories before becoming a CPA. This experience can be obtained at any time – including before, during or after completion of CPA Program subjects. This can include internships, relevant volunteer work, or part-time work (measured pro rata).
Recognition from other designations/professional bodies
We have a range of established pathways with leading accounting bodies all around the world. This can include successful completion of an exam with another organisation, even if you didn’t end up completing their full program. Find out more about existing pathways and arrangements.
Ready to apply?
Begin or continue your application to become a CPA Australia member today.
About the CPA Program
Our program provides candidates with a deep understanding of the issues that organisations face every day
Starting the CPA Program
How to apply, entry pathways to the CPA Program and Foundation program, fees and scholarships
Entry pathways to the CPA Program
Begin or continue your application now to become a member of CPA Australia