How to become a CPA (certified practising accountant)

Use key accounting principles to assist with day-to-day business management, from product costing and production to marketing and business planning.

Pathways to this career

  1. Study a CPA-recognised degree. Don’t want to go back to uni? Study and pass CPA Australia’s foundation exams instead.
  2. Apply to become a member of CPA Australia.
  3. Complete the CPA program and gain three years of professional experience in business, finance or accounting under the guidance of a qualified mentor.
  4. Maintain your CPA Australia membership by participating in continuing professional development each year.
  5. Comply with the strict code of conduct mandated by CPA Australia.

What does a CPA do?

A CPA is responsible for general financial analysis across a range of central business functions including marketing, business planning, product costing and production. They’re often regarded as trusted specialists, thanks to their open-minded problem solving skills and comfort with tricky numbers. 

Duties and tasks

  • Advise on budgets and other financial activities
  • Assist with external company audits
  • Audit individual accounts on a random basis or according to a schedule
  • Balance financial records and check for discrepancies
  • Check for major financial issues
  • Consult with executives and CEOs to establish budgets
  • Ensure projects adhere to a budget
  • Manage accountants and other financial professionals 
  • Publish audited financial statements

Industry bodies

CPA Australia

CPA Australia is an internationally regarded accounting body with over 168,000 members from over 100 countries specialising in finance, accounting and business management. 

CPA jobs

Qualified CPA professionals can hold and thrive in most accounting roles, specialising in the finance and taxation sector in particular. Specific positions include: 

Discover accounting courses online

Undergraduate CUR-ACC-CTF-2023

Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting

Postgraduate GRF-MPA-GCE-2023

Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting

Postgraduate ECU-MPA-MAS-2023

Master of Professional Accounting

Discover online accounting subjects

Postgraduate UNE-AFM406-2023

Introductory Accounting

Undergraduate USA-ACCT3015-2023

Sustainability Accounting and Reporting

Undergraduate GRF-AFE114-2023

Small Business Accounting

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