CPA Australia requirements - A complete guide


The Certified Public Accountant or CPA certification is one of the most prestigious and highly respected credentials in the field of Accountancy. CPA certifications are high in demand, as evidenced by their high pay. The CPA exam resembles India’s Chartered Accountant certification (CA). If you want to advance your career in accounting, the CPA course is your first option! Each country has its own accounting body offering a CPA certification. For example, the accounting body for CPA India is the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPA). Similarly, in Australia, CPA Australia is the accounting body that accredits the certification of the same name - CPA. While CPA Australia can be a great career path, knowing CPA Australia's Requirements is necessary.

What is CPA Australia?

Before we get to know the CPA Australia Requirements , it is imperative to know about the CPA Australia certification.

CPA Australia is a professional certification offered to individuals validating their credentials in the field of finance, accounting, and related business. CPA Australia is offered by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This accounting body boasts of being one of the world's largest accounting bodies. It has permanent prominence in over 180 countries in the world.

CPA Australia is a globally recognized certificate, and has a variety of job prospects entire the world! CPA positions are in high demand in all sectors. Most MNCs and accounting firms are highly looking for CPA graduates to fill the jobs in their organizations. CPA Australia certification looks for promising candidates who can handle accounting, finance, or business-related tasks, to take part in decision-making in the workspace.

Why Choose CPA Australia?

A large field of career opportunities is not the only reason that should pique your interest in pursuing CPA Australia. Besides getting the highly coveted CPA License and exhibiting your knowledge and skills in the field of Accountancy, CPA Australia also provides a wide range of benefits.

Some advantages of CPA Australia have been listed below.
  • Certified CPA Australia members become eligible for exclusive monetary and financial benefits, including low-interest loans and zero transfer fees.
  • Certified CPA professionals are eligible for most accounting or finance roles in an organization or company.
  • Another great aspect of CPA jobs is the salary packages offered to licensed members. On average, licensed CPA professionals are expected to earn $1 million more than non-CPAs.
  • Licensed CPA professionals can find exciting career opportunities worldwide in numerous industries.
Looking at these benefits, you must be amped to get the CPA certification. So without any delay, let's learn the CPA requirements in Australia so that you can make a plan for approaching the CPA Australia certification exam.

Eligibility Requirements of Australian CPA

To become a CPA candidate in Australia, follow these steps:
  • Candidates should meet the eligibility criteria set by the CPA Australia. The requirements vary from one’s educational background and work experience. Generally, you must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent degree and have two years of work experience.
  • Once the eligibility is possessed you can now apply for CPA membership. The application can be filled in online website and submit the necessary documents and proof of work experience. The next step is to pay the membership fees.
  • As you earn the membership, candidates can now enroll in the CPA Program.
  • Candidates from diverse backgrounds are also eligible to apply, but they have to clear the CPA Foundation Program before they can apply for the CPA Program.
Candidates often ask how many papers in CPA Australia need to be completed. It depends upon the CPA Australia exam level they must first undergo.

CPA Australia Course Details

One of the most important aspects of CPA Australia Requirements is the syllabus for the Australia CPA Program and Australia CPA Foundation Program (for non-accounting and non-management students). Knowing the syllabus will help you make a study plan and prepare yourself for optimal results in the CPA exam. Candidates often ask how many papers in CPA Australia need to be completed. It depends upon the CPA Australia exam level they must first undergo.

In the case of the CPA Australia Foundation Program, there are six subjects for which candidates need to take the exam to qualify for the next round of exams under the Australia CPA Program.
The CPA Australia Foundation Program comprises six exams:
  • Economics and Markets
  • Foundation of Accounting
  • Fundamentals of Business Law
  • Business Finance
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Management Accounting
Candidates who either qualify or directly take the exams under the CPA Australia Program need to take exams for six papers or subjects, including two elective papers. Let's take a deeper look at the CPA Australia Program exam papers.
  • Ethics & Governance
  • Financial Reporting
  • Strategic Management Accounting
  • Global Strategy and Leadership
There are some elective subjects under the CPA Australia Program, out of which candidates can select any two. These Electives subjects are:
  • Australian Taxation
  • Australian Taxation Advanced
  • Advanced Audit & Assurance
  • Financial Risk Management
  • Digital Finance
  • Singapore Taxation
  • New Zealand Taxation
  • Hong Kong Taxation
  • Malaysia Taxation
  • Contemporary Business Issues
The CPA Australia exam is held twice every year. The CPA Australia Program exams are divided into two semesters consisting of a maximum of 3 CPA papers per semester. To get the CPA Australia certification, candidates must appear for and pass six papers consisting of 4 main subjects and 2 Elective papers. The CPA Australia Program scoring scale ranges from 100 to 900. Candidates must score a scaled score of 540 to pass the CPA Australia Program.

CPA Australia Exam Fees

Another important aspect of CPA Australia Requirements is the exam fees. The CPA Australia exam fees are divided into Membership, Enrollment, and Examination fees, which must be paid directly to CPA Australia. Let's take a closer look at the fee breakup.

Membership Fee

There are certain divisions in the Membership fee of the CPA Australia Program. These divisions are provided below:
  • Application fee: $164 (in AUD)
  • Application Review fee: $91 (in AUD)
  • First-year membership for Associate Member (full year): $296 (in AUD)
  • First-year membership CPA or FCPA (full year): $654 (in AUD)

Examination Fee

The CPA Australia Examination Fee is divided according to "per paper" fees in Australian dollars (AUD). The Examination Fee has been summarized below.

Description   Fees per paper (in AUD)
Subject Enrollment (Early Bird)  $1140
Subject Enrollment $1290
Standard Exam Deferral  $450
Late Exam Deferral 
Subject Matter Reorder  $100

Enrollment Fee

For the CPA Australia Foundation Program, candidates must pay an Enrollment fee of AUD 345. However, candidates can apply for an extension in the Foundation Program exam for AUD 75 per month for up to 6 months. If candidates wish to change their exam appointment from 24 to 72 hours before the scheduled exam time, they must pay an AUD 40.

Note: Advanced Taxation and/or Advanced Audit and Assurance papers must be chosen as electives by candidates who have not completed any prior recognized studies in taxation and/or auditing.

Can Indian CA Pursue Australian CPA?

Yes, Indian CA are eligible to become Australian CPAs.The Accounting body of India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), has an existing Mutual Recognition Agreement with CPA Australia.

  • Indian CAs can take only two exams under the CPA Australia Program.
  • The CPA Program can be completed within two years of registering as an Associate Member.
  • Indian CAs get a chance to acquire an additional international credential and gain worldwide recognition.

Under the MOU/MRA signed with CPA Australia, Indian CAs become eligible to complete the CPA Program subject "Global Strategy and Leadership" & Online study unit "Better Practice in Governance and Accountability" within two years of joining as an Associate Member.


Opting for CPA Australia is a great career choice. However, if you are someone who is looking for global opportunities, then CPA USA should be your preferred choice. Having the CPA USA certification listed on your Resume will make you a worthy candidate for global accounting jobs at top MNCs. Whether you are a student or a working professional, you need to put ample effort and dedication into practicing the CPA USA certification exam. To aid you in your efforts, you can join a coaching institute, such as NorthStar Academy(NSA), for complete preparation. 

NSA provides a streamlined CPA USA certification course for candidates aspiring to make careers in Accountancy. The course will offer you expert guidance from India's top accounting mentors like Mr. M.Irfat.
To aid in your preparation, NSA provides thoroughly researched and detailed study material to cover every corner of the syllabus.


1. How Long Does It Take To Become A CPA In Australia?

To complete the CPA Australia Program and become a CPA in Australia, it requires one year for candidates in general. For candidates having to take the CPA Foundation Program first, it would take two years to complete the CPA Foundation Program and CPA Program to become a CPA in Australia.

2. How Do You Pass A Skill Assessment In Australia? 

You need to take part in the skill assessment, where you will be assessed based on the education level required for that job. If you want to get a job in the field of Accountancy in Australia, you need to acquire the CPA Australia certification by clearing the CPA Australia Program and gaining the required skills and knowledge for a job as a CPA.

3. Can I pursue CPA Australia if I have a non-accounting background? 

Yes, individuals from diverse educational backgrounds can pursue CPA Australia. However, non-accounting or non-management students need to complete the CPA Australia Foundation Program before proceeding to the CPA Program.

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