What should I look for in a mentor?

Choose a mentor that you believe has experience, knowledge and time to commit to the mentoring process. It is preferable, but not necessary that your mentor has some experience in supervision, management or mentoring.
You should try to choose someone who works in the same area as you or has an interest in that area. It is important that you feel comfortable with your mentor and that they have the skills to evaluate your performance and provide advice.

Who can be my mentor?

CPA Australia gives you the flexibility to choose a mentor that suits your needs. We encourage you to try and find a mentor in your organisation, but your mentor does not have to work in your organisation or live in the same city, they can be located anywhere in the world as long as you communicate by telephone, email or video conference. Your mentor can work-full time, part-time, be retired or not in paid employment. If you are having trouble finding a CPA to act as your mentor you can ask anyone who holds a full membership with an equivalent professional International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member body.

To sign-off on your experience, a mentor must:

  • be a CPA, FCPA or anyone who holds full membership with an equivalent professional IFAC member body
  • be a member in good standing of their professional accounting body while they act as your mentor. The mentor should let you know if they are no longer a member of their professional accounting body

It is preferable that your mentor:

  • has experience in supervision, management or mentoring or have the ability to evaluate and provide direction
  • is available to commit to the mentoring relationship

Mentors must not ask for, or accept a fee for their mentoring. If your mentor accepts a fee we will not recognised the skills they verify. Family members cannot sign-off on Your Experience. 

What does my mentor need to do?

Your mentor is there to support through the CPA Program and can sign-off your experience requirement by assessing whether you have achieved competence in the workplace. They will support you to gain the skills to become a CPA. Their role is to support your professional development, review and discuss your achievements and decide whether you have demonstrated that you have achieved the necessary skills.

Your mentor should:

  • reflect on and share their knowledge and experience to help you with your career goals 
  • listen and give their opinion on your plans and ideas 
  • help you identify your technical skills.

Your mentor will need to:

It is not your mentor’s role to tutor or coach you through the CPA Program subjects. CPA Australia offers additional learning support to help you with your education component.

How can I find someone to be my mentor?

A mentor must be a CPA, FCPA or anyone who holds full membership with an equivalent professional International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member body, to sign-off on Your Experience. 

Your mentor can be:

  • working within the same company as you
  • working within an external organisation
  • retired or unemployed as long as 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.

Remember your mentor will be a busy person, consider this and remember that their time is valuable. It is important that you have a good relationship with your mentor. You can do this by: 

  • staying in regular contact
  • initiating meetings
  • asking for, and considering your mentor's guidance
  • focusing on what you want to achieve during the mentoring relationship
  • encouraging your mentor by showing your interest and drive 
  • sharing your experiences
  • providing constructive feedback.