The CPA Program is a springboard into some of the most exciting and influential jobs in the world. Achieving the CPA designation is a mark of high professional competence.

While many CPA Program students have followed a traditional entry pathway by completing an approved accounting or management degree, we welcome applicants with diverse educational backgrounds.

If you’ve studied a degree from a different discipline but want to pursue a career as a CPA, our foundation exams provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate the competencies required to start the CPA Program.

Foundation exams are:

  • flexible – complete your study 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 in which to sit the exam and can plan your own study schedule
  • practical – online and on-demand means that foundation exams may be a more practical and cost-effective option for you.

Complete an application and we’ll assess all your previous education against our key knowledge areas to determine if you’re ready to become an Associate member and start the CPA Program.

YOUR APPLICATION

Your application will be assessed to identify any exemptions that you may be eligible for.

Apply now

FOUNDATION EXAMS

The foundation exams cover the knowledge required to become an Associate member of CPA Australia. They can be taken in any order, at your choice of exam location and time.

 close

Economics and Markets is designed to test your knowledge of quantitative methods, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

As an Associate member, you are now eligible to commence the CPA Program.

CPA PROGRAM

Includes four compulsory subjects, two electives and an experience component that will give you the skills to stand out in the real world.

 close

If you have completed recognised studies in taxation and auditing, you can choose any two electives. If you have not completed recognised studies in taxation, you must select Australia Taxation or your local tax variant where available. If you have not completed recognised studies in audit, you must select Advanced Audit and Assurance.

FINANCIAL PLANNING FUNDAMENTALS

Understand the legal and ethical obligations of a licensed financial adviser and offer financial advice that meet a client’s best interest.

SUPERANNUATION AND RETIREMENT PLANNING

Develop the skills and knowledge to utilise integrated strategies to assist clients to maximise their retirement income and protect their assets.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION

Understand and apply fundamental principles of Australian taxation law affecting individuals and business and investment entities. Local taxation units are available for Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION – ADVANCED

Build on fundamental principles of Australian tax law to determine the tax implications of complex business and investment arrangements. Explore specialist taxation topics, including tax theory and tax policy, the taxation of financial arrangements, tax consolidations and international transactions and cross-border tax issues.

ADVANCED AUDIT AND ASSURANCE

Focus on both external and internal audit procedures. This subject will ensure you understand the audit process and are able to apply international standards to complex audits.

FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT

Recognise the financial risks faced by businesses and understand the key mechanisms and frameworks used to address and manage risk.

RISK ADVICE AND INSURANCE  – Semester 2 2018

This subject will explore the various types of insurance available so individuals can protect their assets, wealth, future income, family and small business. At the completion of this subject, candidates will develop the knowledge and skills to analyse a client's goals and objectives to identify their potential risks and provide recommendations to help protect them.

CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS ISSUES

Analyse and evaluate the role of the CPA in contemporary business and how the accounting profession continues to evolve.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

Gain a broad view of investment structures and their regulatory environments, and acquire the skills to deliver comprehensive investment advice that will meet a client’s goals and objectives.

close

YOUR DEGREE

To become a fully qualified CPA you must have completed a degree level qualification from a recognised education provider

YOUR EXPERIENCE

To become a CPA you need 36 months of relevant experience. You can complete Your Experience before, after, or concurrently with your CPA Program subjects, however we recommend doing it concurrently. You will gain skills in four skill areas:

• Technical
• Personal effectiveness
• Business
• Leadership

Economics and Markets is designed to test your knowledge of quantitative methods, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Foundations of Accounting tests your knowledge of fundamental accounting concepts, including what accounting is, users of accounting information, and an introduction to recording data and producing financial statements.

Fundamentals of Business Law covers general legal knowledge relating to the business environment, a basic knowledge of the law of contracts, and understanding of the responsibilities and risks that arise in business, with particular regard to the law relating to corporate entities.

Business Finance tests your understanding of business finance and treasury function (in terms of fundamental capital, investment, funding and risk decision concepts), the analysis and management of an entity’s financial position, and recent developments in the international financial and treasury scene.

Financial Accounting and Reporting tests your understanding of the form and function of financial statements; how financial transactions are recorded for individual businesses and company groups, and the theoretical concepts and contemporary issues underlying accounting practice.

Try the study guide for yourself:
PDF | EPUB

Management Accounting tests your understanding of developments in management accounting including an understanding of the nature, functions, structures and operations of management.

We recommend you complete this subject first. Learn the application of ethical principles, together with a strong knowledge of key corporate governance principles and mechanisms.

Apply accounting standards, interpret financial reports, and understand the business impacts of financial reports.

Learn how management accounting provides the information critical to the business decision making process. This subject then takes it all one step further and introduces the role of the management accountant in business strategy.

In the capstone subject, you will use strategic analysis to address complex business issues in a competitive and uncertain business environment.

If you have completed recognised studies in taxation and auditing, you can choose any two electives. If you have not completed recognised studies in taxation, you must select Australia Taxation or your local tax variant where available. If you have not completed recognised studies in audit, you must select Advanced Audit and Assurance.

FINANCIAL PLANNING FUNDAMENTALS

Understand the legal and ethical obligations of a licensed financial adviser and offer financial advice that meet a client’s best interest.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION

Understand and apply fundamental principles of Australian taxation law affecting individuals and business and investment entities. Local taxation units are available for Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION – ADVANCED

Build on fundamental principles of Australian tax law to determine the tax implications of complex business and investment arrangements. Explore specialist taxation topics, including tax theory and tax policy, the taxation of financial arrangements, tax consolidations and international transactions and cross-border tax issues.

ADVANCED AUDIT AND ASSURANCE

Focus on both external and internal audit procedures. This subject will ensure you understand the audit process and are able to apply international standards to complex audits.

FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT

Recognise the financial risks faced by businesses and understand the key mechanisms and frameworks used to address and manage risk.

RISK ADVICE AND INSURANCE  – Semester 2 2018

This subject will explore the various types of insurance available so individuals can protect their assets, wealth, future income, family and small business. At the completion of this subject, candidates will develop the knowledge and skills to analyse a client's goals and objectives to identify their potential risks and provide recommendations to help protect them.

CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS ISSUES

Analyse and evaluate the role of the CPA in contemporary business and how the accounting profession continues to evolve.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

Gain a broad view of investment structures and their regulatory environments, and acquire the skills to deliver comprehensive investment advice that will meet a client’s goals and objectives.

If you have completed recognised studies in taxation and auditing, you can choose any two electives. If you have not completed recognised studies in taxation, you must select Australia Taxation or your local tax variant where available. If you have not completed recognised studies in audit, you must select Advanced Audit and Assurance.

FINANCIAL PLANNING FUNDAMENTALS

Understand the legal and ethical obligations of a licensed financial adviser and offer financial advice that meet a client’s best interest.

SUPERANNUATION AND RETIREMENT PLANNING

Develop the skills and knowledge to utilise integrated strategies to assist clients to maximise their retirement income and protect their assets.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION

Understand and apply fundamental principles of Australian taxation law affecting individuals and business and investment entities. Local taxation units are available for Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA TAXATION – ADVANCED

Build on fundamental principles of Australian tax law to determine the tax implications of complex business and investment arrangements. Explore specialist taxation topics, including tax theory and tax policy, the taxation of financial arrangements, tax consolidations and international transactions and cross-border tax issues.

ADVANCED AUDIT AND ASSURANCE

Focus on both external and internal audit procedures. This subject will ensure you understand the audit process and are able to apply international standards to complex audits.

FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT

Recognise the financial risks faced by businesses and understand the key mechanisms and frameworks used to address and manage risk.

RISK ADVICE AND INSURANCE  – Semester 2 2018

This subject will explore the various types of insurance available so individuals can protect their assets, wealth, future income, family and small business. At the completion of this subject, candidates will develop the knowledge and skills to analyse a client's goals and objectives to identify their potential risks and provide recommendations to help protect them.

CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS ISSUES

Analyse and evaluate the role of the CPA in contemporary business and how the accounting profession continues to evolve.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

Gain a broad view of investment structures and their regulatory environments, and acquire the skills to deliver comprehensive investment advice that will meet a client’s goals and objectives.

YOUR DEGREE

degree level qualification recognised by CPA Australia.

YOUR EXPERIENCE

36 months of relevant experience where you will gain skills in four skill areas:

• Technical
• Personal effectiveness
• Business
• Leadership

You can complete these before, concurrently, or after your CPA Program subjects. 

Economics and Markets is designed to test your knowledge of quantitative methods, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Foundations of Accounting tests your knowledge of fundamental accounting concepts, including what accounting is, users of accounting information, and an introduction to recording data and producing financial statements.

Fundamentals of Business Law covers general legal knowledge relating to the business environment, a basic knowledge of the law of contracts, and understanding of the responsibilities and risks that arise in business, with particular regard to the law relating to corporate entities.

Business Finance tests your understanding of business finance and treasury function (in terms of fundamental capital, investment, funding and risk decision concepts), the analysis and management of an entity’s financial position, and recent developments in the international financial and treasury scene.

Financial Accounting and Reporting tests your understanding of the form and function of financial statements; how financial transactions are recorded for individual businesses and company groups, and the theoretical concepts and contemporary issues underlying accounting practice.

Try the study guide for yourself:
PDF | EPUB

Management Accounting tests your understanding of developments in management accounting including an understanding of the nature, functions, structures and operations of management.


Competency requirements 

If you require further competency in any key knowledge area, your application outcome will outline the foundation exams you need to pass in order to begin the CPA Program.

Competency requirement Foundation exam

Accounting Systems and Processes

Foundations of Accounting

Economics, Quantitative methods

Economics and Markets 

Business Law – comprised of Commercial Law and Corporations Law

Fundamentals of Business Law    

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

Advanced Audit and Assurance

Taxation Law

Australia Taxation, or your local taxation variant