Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (ASCPA)

If you intend to apply for migration to Australia under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the Skilled Occupations List at the time you apply. In order to make a valid application, you must have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

ASCPA is the assessing authority for the following occupations:

  • Accountant;
  • Corporate Treasurer;
  • External Auditor; and
  • Finance Manager.

There is no legislated requirement for registration of accountants in Australia (except for financial advisers, tax agents, external auditors and liquidators). The profession tends to regulate itself by preferring to recruit or employ the services of accountants who are members of an Australian professional accounting body.

The other assessing authorities are the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) and the National Institute of Accountants (NIA). All 3 assessing authorities use similar criteria for assessment based on the degree-entry qualifications required for admission to Associate membership of CPA Australia or entry into the professional study program of the ICAA.

You can select any accountants' assessing authority to provide the assessment required for your permanent resident visa application. ACCA and CIMA qualified accountants who do not also have an undergraduate degree are offered several options for meeting the requirements for admission to Associate (entry level) membership of CPA Australia. However, for the purpose of migration applications, these accountants are advised to apply to either ICAA or NIA.

To meet the educational standard for any of the accounting professions listed above, you must have formal qualifications assessed by CPA Australia as at least comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree. These qualifications must include adequate coverage of at least 9 of the 12 core curriculum areas required for Associate membership. Work experience will not be accepted in lieu of formal qualifications.

The core curriculum areas are:

  • Accounting systems and processes (basic);
  • Financial accounting (financial and corporate);
  • Management accounting;
  • Accounting theory;
  • Commercial law (introductory, including contracts);
  • Economics;
  • Quantitative methods;
  • Finance (corporate);
  • Information systems design and development;
  • Auditing;
  • Australian taxation law; and
  • Australian company law.

Assessments are valid for 5 years and will include details of accredited study programs available by distance learning. Thus, if your assessment is not successful in the first instance, you will be able to complete additional studies required to meet the standard required for migration.

If your visa is granted (and activated) and you wish to apply for membership of CPA Australia, you must complete the remaining entry level studies prescribed in your assessment before admission. Members admitted at Associate level must complete the CPA postgraduate level CPA Program and satisfy requisite work experience before advancing to CPA status.

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