Your pathway to the CPA Program
Before candidates can commence the CPA Program, they need to have covered certain competency requirements. These core competencies are often addressed in the subjects of an accounting degree. However, if your degree didn't include all of them (or you're yet to complete your degree) you can cover these gaps in your learning by enrolling in our foundation exams.
Foundation exams offer a flexible, self-paced study program – you can enrol any time and choose where and when you will sit your exam.
CPA Foundations Information Session
Set yourself up for success in your Foundation exams by attending this on-demand event
Enrol in foundation exams
It’s easy to enrol and schedule your foundation exams at a time and location that suits you
- Personal and career development
Foundation exam study support
Gain the knowledge and skills to pass your foundation exams with our preparation advice, study guide and resources
What to expect on the day of your foundation exam
Minimise your stress and maximise your focus by familiarising yourself with the exams process
Your foundation exam results
How to get your foundation exam results, and understanding scores and grading
Foundation exam rules and regulations
It’s essential that you familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations that apply to foundation exams
Foundation exams FAQs
We answer some frequently asked questions about foundation exams, including eligibility, enrolment and exam formats
Foundation exams are:
- flexible - complete the subjects in any order
- on-demand - unlike returning to university, a benefit of foundation exam study is that you can enrol, study and sit your exam at a time that suits you
- self-paced - from the moment you enrol, you have 12 months to sit the exam and can set your own study schedule
- practical - online and on-demand means foundation exams may be a more practical and cost-effective option for you
Apply now to sit foundation exams
Complete an application and we’ll assess your qualifications against our key knowledge areas to determine if you’re ready to start the CPA Program. We’ll also identify if you’re eligible for any exemptions.
If you require further competency in any core knowledge area, your application outcome will outline the foundation exams you need to pass in order to begin the CPA Program.
|Core competency requirement||Foundation exam|
|Accounting Systems and Processes
||Foundations of Accounting|
|Finance and Financial Management||Business Finance|
|Financial Accounting and Reporting: comprised of Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory||Financial Accounting and Reporting|
|Management Accounting||Management Accounting|
If you've satisfied all of the above competencies but haven’t met the competency requirement for Auditing or Taxation Law, then you are ready to start the CPA Program and need to complete the relevant elective in your studies.
|Competency requirement||CPA Program requirement|
|Auditing||Advance Audit and Assurance|
|Taxation Law||Australia Taxation, or your local taxation variant|
If you haven’t met the competency requirements of Economics, Quantitative Methods or Business Law (or the corresponding foundation exams previously – Fundamentals of Business Law and/or Economics and Markets) before applying for membership, you have two options to complete these areas of study to become an Associate member of CPA Australia.
From November 2023, if you haven't studied Fundamentals of Business Law and/or Economics and Markets beforehand, you won't need to pass separate exams. Instead, these topics will be integrated into your CPA Program subjects as supplementary learning. Our goal is to simplify your journey to becoming a CPA Australia Associate member, and provide you with a more tailored and efficient learning experience.
The foundation exams for Business Law and Economics and Markets will no longer be available to enrol, however we will ensure that foundation exams are available to those members who require an exam or transcript for their career paths, or for skilled migration.
|Competency requirement||Supplementary learning^|
|Economics, Quantitative Methods||Economics and Business Statistics Supplementary Learning|
|Business Law (comprised of Contract and Commercial Law)||Business and Company Law Supplementary Learning|
The foundation exams
These cover the knowledge you’ll need to become an Associate member of CPA Australia. The exams can be taken in any order, at your choice of location and time. As of November 2023 Fundamentals of Business Law and Economics and Markets are no longer required to become an Associate member of CPA Australia.
Registration no. 310005
This is a registered course under the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance in Hong Kong.
It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.
The next step
When you’ve successfully passed all required foundation exams, as per your individual assessment outcome, you may then be eligible to commence the CPA Program.
Foundation exam structure and scoring
Foundation exams are offered as test centre computer-based exams and online proctored exams across most locations worldwide (online proctored exams can't be delivered in Mainland China, Slovenia, Japan and South Korea). The exams are multiple choice, in a closed-book environment, of three hours and fifteen minutes duration.
Scheduling your exams
The foundation exams offer flexible dates for enrolment, so you can enrol any time and choose when you sit your exam. However, you must ensure you self-schedule and sit your exam within 12 months (365 days) of your enrolment. For enrolment occurring over a leap year, your exam deadline will pass two days prior to your enrolment anniversary.
Foundation exams are offered across a variety of locations, dates and times, although availability of exam sessions may be limited in some regions.
Foundation exams enrolment fee includes access to your study guide, resources within My Online Learning and your exam.
The fees also cover the cost of exam marking and administration. Local currency options are available for some locations.
My Online Learning
My Online Learning gives you access to your study guides and additional resources to assist you with your studies.
Access to My Online Learning is available upon confirmation of enrolment and closes the day after your exam.