Your pathway into public practice

If you’re a CPA or FCPA, these are the pathways available to you, based on gross yearly fees earned from the provision of public accounting services.

Find out more about the pathways in Australia (PDF) and New Zealand (PDF).

OBTAINING A PUBLIC PRACTICE
CERTIFICATE

Intending to earn between $10,000 and $45,000 in gross fees per calendar year Intending to earn more than $45,000 in gross fees per calendar year
Hold a CPA or FCPA designation2
Australian members: Complete Australian-specific Company Law and Tax, if required3

New Zealand members: Complete a New Zealand-specific Company Law and Taxation Law subject3
Complete the on-demand Public Practice Program eLearning course4
Meet experience requirements6 Attend the Public Practice Program Workshop



Hold minimum prescribed professional indemnity insurance
Meet experience requirements6
Hold minimum prescribed professional indemnity insurance
Have an approved company structure
Apply for a Limited Public Practice Certificate Apply for a Public Practice Certificate
Apply to use the CPA Australia public practice branding and comply with branding requirements 
Apply to advertise and promote your services on Find a CPA
Comply with professional obligations (including CPD and AML) and specific licensing and registration requirements5
PROVIDING PUBLIC ACCOUNTING SERVICES
WITHOUT A CERTIFICATE

Only undertaking pro-bono work1 Intending to earn less than $10,000 in gross fees per calendar year1
Hold a CPA or FCPA designation2
Hold minimum prescribed professional indemnity insurance
Meet CPD and AML obligations, as applicable5
Comply with specific licensing and registration requirements
Do not advertise or promote your services or use the CPA Australia public practice branding

1. Australian members: Excludes those who sign audit reports for SMSFs, for which a public practice certificate is required and may exclude members undertaking review engagements, for which a public practice certificate may be required. NZ members: Excludes those who conduct FMC audits, for which a public practice certificate is required.

2. Must currently hold either a CPA or FCPA designation – all other CPA Australia members will not be eligible to apply for a public practice certificate, and in some very limited circumstances, may not be able to continue to provide public accounting services.

3. Australian members: If you have migrated to Australia in the last five years, you must also have completed Australian-specific company law and tax from an approved higher education provider. New Zealand members: Members who have not completed subjects which are specific to New Zealand will need to complete New Zealand-specific Tax and Company Law subjects prior to applying for and obtaining a public practice certificate.

4. New Zealand members: Members holding a NZICA or Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand certificate of public practice are automatically eligible to be issued with a CPA Australia public practice certificate without completing the Public Practice Program.

5. Australian members: The Australian Commonwealth Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML) currently only applies to financial advisers who make arrangements on behalf of a client to invest in a financial product. It does not apply to accountants in practice. It has been proposed to bring accountants and other professionals within the Act. New Zealand members: The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Act 2017 extended the coverage of New Zealand’s AML/CFT laws to include accountants from 1 October 2018.

6. You must provide evidence satisfactory to the Board of having for a period of at least three years within the last eight years immediately preceding the application been engaged in full-time employment in an area of work that includes provision of public accounting services.