Applying for a public practice certificate
Members in Australia and New Zealand
If you provide public accounting services into Australia or New Zealand and earn more than $10,000 gross in fees each calendar year, you must hold a public practice certificate. This requirement applies to all members, no matter where in the world you are located.
If you earn between $10,000 and $45,000 gross fees per calendar year, you may apply for a limited public practice certificate. If you earn more than $45,000 gross fees per calendar year, you must apply for a public practice certificate.
If you are a CPA or FCPA providing public accounting services and you do not earn more than $10,000 gross fees each calendar year, you do not need to obtain a public practice certificate, as long as you do not advertise or hold your services out to the public. However, you must hold professional indemnity insurance.
If you are conducting audits of self-managed superannuation funds, you are required to hold a public practice certificate, irrespective of the fees you earn.
Find out more about your pathways into public practice.
Members outside Australia and New Zealand
CPA Australia members who do not provide public accounting services into Australia or New Zealand but who are interested in public practice and are based outside Australia or New Zealand may enrol in the Practice Management distance learning subject.
Enrolment includes introductory information on the requirements to practice as an accountant in Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.
To apply for a public practice certificate, you must:
1. Complete the Public Practice Program
The program has been developed to help members establish themselves in public practice. It builds on the technical expertise and experience gained from the CPA Program and through hands-on business experience. It focuses on non-technical skills such as strategic planning, marketing, risk management and practice development.
The program has two components:
- Practice Management distance learning subject
- Public Practice Program Intensive workshop – you will need to attend a workshop within five years of passing the Practice Management subject.
2. Satisfy the following requirements
- Australian residents without RTA registration: Have passed the CPA Program's Advanced Taxation (pre-S1 2019), Australia Taxation or Australia Taxation – Advanced
- New Zealand residents: Have completed New Zealand-specific company law and taxation law
- have completed Australian-specific company law and tax from a recognised university, as applicable, if you have migrated to Australia in the last five years
- have completed an Audit and Assurance subject from the CPA Program or through an accredited university
- have the required practical experience as stated in By-Law 9.4
- hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance
- agree to comply with the Quality Review Program.
How to apply
Having satisfied all prerequisites, you must apply within eight years of passing the exam for the Practice Management distance learning subject.