If you are a member of CPA Australia and provide public accounting services into Australia or New Zealand you need to be of CPA status and hold a public practice certificate (PPC), no matter where in the world you are located.

Public accounting services include accounting; auditing and assurance services; bookkeeping; consumer and commercial credit services; financial planning/advice; financial reporting; forensic accounting; insolvency and corporate reconstruction; management accounting; management consulting; taxation; transactional accounting; and valuation services.

These services are defined below.

Audit and assurance services

Audit and assurance services include:

  • engagements captured by Australian, New Zealand and International auditing standards (ASAs as issued by the Audit and Assurance Standards Board and ISA (NZ) as issued by the External Reporting Board)
  • review engagements (ASREs or ISRE (NZ))
  • compliance engagements (ASAEs or SAEs)
  • assurance engagements (ASAEs or ISAE (NZ)).

An audit of financial report is a process which enables the auditor to express an opinion as to whether the financial report is prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework. Standards on assurance services provide either reasonable or limited assurance on an engagement. A review engagement is an activity which enables the auditor to express a conclusion whether, on the basis of the review, the financial report is prepared in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework.


Bookkeeping services includes, but is not limited to, maintaining and evaluation financial transaction records in books of account such as sales, purchase, cash journals, ledgers or computerised accounting systems, preparing budget or income expenditure report, profit and loss statements and trial balances, and the making of statutory returns as permitted by law, not the making of any subjective decisions in relation thereto. Examples include:

  • payroll services
  • data entry of revenue and expenses
  • basic depreciation calculations.

Consumer and commercial credit services

Consumer and commercial credit means advice and services relating to credit which an individual obtains when acting in a private capacity, and which is to be used primarily for domestic, household or family purposes and credit which an individual or a business entity, such as a sole trader or a partner, obtains for business purposes. Examples of consumer credit products include:

  • home loans and mortgage broking
  • personal loans
  • credit cards
  • consumer leases
  • overdrafts
  • line of credit accounts.

It also includes the provision of credit to purchase, renovate, improve or refinance a residential investment property. Examples of commercial credit include:

  • lines of credit
  • bills of exchange
  • promissory notes
  • letters of credit.

Consumer credit is regulated by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and associated regulations.

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Financial planning

Financial planning means providing advice in respect of a client’s personal financial affairs, specifically related to wealth management, retirement planning, estate planning, risk management and related product advice. This includes:

  • investment advice
  • superannuation advice
  • estate planning
  • insurance
  • financial counselling.

Financial reporting activities

Financial reporting activities include:

  • compilation
  • preparation of financial statements
  • disclosures and notes to accounts
  • other calculations required by accounting standards
  • corporate secretarial services.

Compilation engagement means an engagement to compile financial information. Compiled financial information means a presentation of historical or prospective financial information. Compiled financial information includes financial statements. Financial statements means a structured representation of historical or prospective financial information, including related notes, intended to communicate an entity’s economic resources or obligations at a point in time or the changes therein for a period of time in accordance with a financial reporting framework. The related notes ordinarily comprise a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Forensic accounting

Forensic accounting means engagements to perform, advise on or assist with an investigation, whether in the context of legal proceedings or in connection with allegations of, or concerns regarding conduct that many be illegal, unethical or otherwise improper in respect of which the member has reasonable expectation that the matter will be brought before a court. This includes:

  • expert witness services
  • lay witness services
  • consulting expert services
  • investigation services.

Insolvency and corporate reconstruction

Insolvency services means a professional service provided by a member in public practice to an entity under appointment. Appointment means the appointment of a member in public practice as a trustee or as a liquidator or provisional controller, or a scheme manager under Chapter 5 of the Corporations Act 2001 or an appointment to provide insolvency services under any other legislation. This includes:

  • debt counselling
  • debt arrangements
  • liquidations
  • bankruptcy
  • administrations and receiverships.

Management accounting

Management accounting means the provision of financial and non-financial data and advice to a company for use in the organisation and development of its business. The process of preparing management reports and accounts that provide accurate and timely financial and statistical information required by managers to make day-to-day and short-term decisions. This includes:

  • business planning
  • forecasting
  • cash flow
  • budgeting
  • management accounts
  • cost accounting.

Management consultancy

Management consultancy means an engagement of specific performance which requires the consultant with specialised accounting experience, to interpret, evaluate, analyse and report on commercial activities that enable management to make decisions. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • budgeting
  • forecasting
  • internal controls
  • efficiency management
  • systems selection and implementation
  • resource management
  • strategy development and evaluation.


Taxation services mean any services relating to ascertaining a client’s or employer’s tax liabilities or entitlements or satisfying their obligations under a taxation law, provided under circumstances where they can reasonably expect to rely on the services. This includes:

  • preparation of a return, notice, statement, application or other document for lodgement with a revenue authority and responding on behalf of a client or employer to requests for further information from a revenue authority
  • preparation of tax calculations to be used as the basis for the accounting entries in the financial statements
  • provision of tax planning and other tax advisory services and assisting a client or employer in the resolution of tax disputes.

Transactional accounting

Transactional accounting engagements involve establishing or changing structures applicable to corporate entities. This includes:

  • due diligence
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • preparation of prospectus
  • corporate finance
  • initial public offers (IPO)
  • venture capital.

Valuation services

Valuation services means an engagement to perform a valuation and provide a valuation procedure that a reasonable and informed third party would perform taking in to consideration all the specific facts and circumstances of the engagement or assignment available to the member at that time. This includes:

  • valuation reports
  • valuation engagements
  • limited scope valuation engagements
  • calculation engagements.