Registration requirements in Australia
A public practitioner may need to satisfy a range of licensing requirements and regulations when providing audit services. Separate licensing or registration requirements must be met where a practitioner intends to practice as a:
- Registered Company Auditor or authorised audit company
- Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Auditor
- Examiner for legal practitioner trust accounts
- Registered auditor with the Registered Organisation Commission
Before you take on audit or review engagements check that you have the necessary licence or registration, whether you need a public practice certificate or PI insurance, what the on-going requirements are and which competencies you need to possess.
Public practitioners may also need licences or registrations if they provide other services. This document includes a typical range of services.
Refer to this summary to check if you require a public practice certificate or other prerequisites, and what the on-going obligations will be if you plan to provide certain types of public accounting services in Australia.
This publication will help CPA Australia members understand the competencies required for review engagements. It is a joint publication from CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (now Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) and the Institute of Public Accountants.
1. Registered company auditors and authorised audit companies
Public practitioners must be registered as a Registered Company Auditor (RCA) with ASIC to be appointed as auditor of a company. This also applies if you intend to audit other entities specified under the Corporations Act 2001. An RCA registration is also needed for auditors appointed under specific federal or state legislation, regulations, professional standards, industry requirements or if articulated in an entity’s governing documents.
If these audits are conducted by RCAs in an audit company, rather than a partnership, the company is also required to be registered as an authorised audit company (AAC).
ASIC is responsible for defining the eligibility requirements for registration as an RCA or AAC, as set out in: RG 180 Auditor registration.
- An individual public practitioner must meet eligibility requirements, including qualifications, skills and be capable and a fit and proper person under RG 180. The “skills” eligibility requirement can be met by satisfying all the components of the ASIC-approved Auditing Competency Standard for Registered Company Auditors issued jointly by CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA). FAQs: Applying the audit competency standard.
RCAs must lodge an online annual statement with ASIC using Form 912, within 30 days of their registration date. If you're an SMSF auditor as well as an RCA, you must lodge two separate annual statements.
2. Registered self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditors
SMSF auditors have separate registration requirements. They must meet ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors to audit SMSFs under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.
SMSF auditors must also meet the Competency Standard: Class Order CO 12/1687 for approved SMSF auditors.
3. External examiners for legal practitioner trust accounts
Law practices in New South Wales and Victoria must have their trust records externally examined once a year. The trust year ends on 31 March. Trust money statements must be lodged by 30 April and external examiners must lodge their reports by 31 May every year. Similar requirements apply in other states and territories.
CPA Australia members with a current Public Practice Certificate and who have successfully completed the relevant course as approved by the Legal Services Council may be appointed as external examiners.
Information for external examiners can be found on the following websites:
4. Registered auditors with the Registered Organisation Commission
Auditors must complete separate registration to audit Unions and Employer Associations under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.
Registration requirements in New Zealand
Public practitioners responsible for conducting Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMC) audits in New Zealand must hold a licence under the Auditor Regulation Act 2011 (New Zealand) (ARA). CPA Australia is an accredited body authorised to licence individuals under the ARA to conduct FMC audits. Learn more about the requirements of licensed auditors below.
Public practitioners responsible for conducting certain statutory assurance engagements in New Zealand must be recognised as a qualified auditor. CPA Australia recognises members who meet our eligibility criteria as qualified auditors. Learn more about the requirements of qualified auditors on our qualified auditors page below.
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