What is a CPA? What does a Certified Public Accountant Do?

A certified practicing accountant is a highly qualified general accountant. Being a CPA is an internationally recognised qualification, and is a mark of high professional competence and accountancy knowledge.

How does an accountant become a CPA?

To use the CPA designation, one must complete and maintain the following requirements:

  1. Complete a degree that is recognised by CPA Australia
  2. Complete the CPA program including all examinations, which includes 3 years of professional experience in either finance, accounting or business
  3. Undertake a number of CPA designated professional development activities each year, to maintain their knowledge of best practice procedures
  4. Comply with the strict code of conduct as set by CPA Australia

Is a CPA the same as an accountant?

While all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs.

An accountant is an individual who has completed the relevant degree in accounting but has not completed the CPA program as outlined above.

Tasks that a CPA can undertake for your business include (but are not limited to):

  • Resolving complex accounting and taxation questions
  • Consolidated reporting
  • ASX compliance for listed companies
  • Complex groups of entities
  • International dealings
  • Management Accounting
  • Strategic and complex tax issues
  • Internal audits for your business
  • Superannuation advice and compliance

CPA accountants are specially positioned to advise business owners, and work closely with them to help ensure they achieve their business and personal goals.

At PTP we have supported several of our team members as they complete their CPA qualifications and are proud to have them on board to provide expert advice to business owners.