The oversight programs of CPA Australia and regulators aim to promote high standards and good practice, while protecting consumers.

Co-regulation is important for the accounting profession in Australia, and failure to uphold standards undermines confidence in the broader market and damages reputations.

The regulatory environment, however, is becoming more complex and is constantly changing. Whilst some announcements may be made by government without appropriate guidance and in isolation of each other, CPA Australia has a constructive relationship with regulators which allows it to provide feedback on a significant range of legislative and administrative issues and to meet, discuss and resolve issues. The extensive input and insights provided by members is integral to that process.

On 1 October 2019, CPA Australia released its Regulatory Burden Report which enables CPA Australia to collaborate with other professional bodies to present a united front to government to advocate for regulatory reform.

You can keep abreast of CPA Australia's advocacy, policy bulletins and current consultations and submissions.

What to expect in 2020 and beyond

The restructured APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants is operative from 1 January 2020 but early adoption is permitted.

The new standard, ASA 540 Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures, is operative for financial reporting periods commencing on or after 15 December 2019 and will impact audits of SMEs from the December 2020 year-end. Early adoption is permitted.

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has proposed revised standards on quality management for firms (ISQM 1) and audit engagements (ISA 220), and a new standard for engagement quality reviews (ISQM 2). These standards reflect a shift from prescribed policies and procedures to a risk-based approach to achieving quality objectives. It is expected there will be an 18-month lead time after the standard is approved.

Changes to the regulatory environment in 2019

Above all, practitioners must maintain their independence. CPA Australia provides an Independence Guide (PDF) to help practitioners assess issues of independence that they may encounter through a series of practical case-based scenarios.


  • Be independent and transparent
  • Take an independence health check
  • Up skill yourself and other partners by attending training programs and by undertaking certification programs
  • Up skill your workforce to stay on top of legislation
  • Keep abreast of announcements made via your professional body through CPA Update and CPA Tax News