The cornerstone of the accounting profession is the obligation of the accountant to act in the public interest.
Distinguishing a profession from other vocations is based on the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and is applicable to its members. Integral to the accounting profession is trust and the framework for delivering on trust and integrity is built on adherence with professional standards.

Members of the three professional accountancy organisations in Australia are obligated by their professional membership of these bodies to abide by professional standards issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB). The APESB is an independent standard setter which issues standards in the public interest.

CPA Australia represents the interests of our members and the public by contributing to the development of standards, educating members on applying these standards and monitoring our members’ compliance with these standards.


The Ethics and Professional Standards Centre of Excellence (CoE) role is principally to act in an advisory capacity.


  • Provide guidance on policy and issues relating to its topic area
  • Identify current and emerging issues relevant to the profession in a timely and effective way
  • Provide commentary and feedback on relevant legislation or exposure drafts
  • Provide input and feedback on appropriate policy responses
  • Provide thought leadership
  • Address issues which impact across the profession, focusing on changes in the wider economic environment including globalisation and e-business
  • Be a strategic sounding board for management
  • Provide input on possible CPA Australia products and assist development of outputs


  • The Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and other related professional standards
  • Ethical codes and frameworks
  • Regulatory environment and the symbiosis which exists between ethics, law and regulation
  • Governance frameworks and the relationship between corporate and organisational culture, behaviour and ethics