How to become a CPA?

Updated: Apr 29

This article is designed to explain how to actually register for the CPA program and what the minimum requirements actually are to become a CPA. This is a common question.

Do I need a degree to start the CPA Program?

Having a relevant degree in a complimentary field, like accounting, is not a prerequisite to begin the CPA Program. However, a relevant degree will help provide the base knowledge and competencies required to commence your study as an Associate member. If you haven’t studied a relevant degree, you may be required to complete foundation exams before you can commence the CPA Program.

How long do I have to complete the CPA Program?

You have six years to complete the program from the date you become an Associate member, however extensions may be granted upon application.

What if i don't have a degree in accounting?

If you have a degree qualification that’s not in accounting, and want to pursue a career as a CPA, you may be required to complete foundation exams as an alternative entry point into the CPA Program. Consisting of six subjects, foundation exams cover the base knowledge and competencies required to begin the CPA Program. You may be required to study some, or all foundation subjects, depending on your previous study history. These foundation subjects are shown in the below image:

After you complete your membership application and receive a foundation outcome, you can then enrol in your foundation exam subjects at any time. You can enrol in all six foundation exam subjects (if applicable) at the same time. How many times can I enrol in/fail an exam? You can only fail a subject three times, which means you have four attempts. If you’ve failed the same exam three times, you’ll need to complete a subject within an accredited/recognised degree to meet the core knowledge requirements for this subject.

These courses are easier and are less informationally dense than the main CPA course.

The ‘Experience’ requirement?

In addition to the study-based component of the CPA Program, you’re required to complete 36 months of relevant experience. Within this experience, you must demonstrate a minimum of 10 skills from our skills list, across four different categories: 1. Technical 2. Personal effectiveness 3. Business 4. Leadership Your role/experience must include at least one skill from our skills list to be considered relevant experience. How do I know if my role is relevant? You’ll need to review the technical areas of work in the Your Experience – Skills List to ensure you can achieve at least one skill in the role. you can accumulate the 36 months of work experience before, during and throughout the next six years from the time you commence the CPA Program. Do I need work experience in order to commence the CPA Program? No, you don’t. Work experience may help you develop knowledge and competencies that’ll help your studies, but it isn’t mandatory. You have six years from the time you commence the CPA Program to claim your experience.

Do I need a mentor?

Engaging a mentor is encouraged, but not required. Although we don’t have a formal mentoring program for Associate members, mentors add value to your career progression and can provide additional support

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