Who’s who in accounting - Important players you need to know

  • Staff Reporter | May 10, 2018
Accounting is highly regulated in Australia

There's a few heavy hitters you need to be aware of.

Overseeing the finances for a business is a big responsibility that requires a skilled professional, and the accounting profession in Australia is regulated by a number of bodies to ensure our financial reporting is of the highest quality. 

Industry associations

In Australia, our accounting industry is regulated and accredited by three professional accounting bodies - the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia (CPA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA). 


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The purpose of these organisations is to advocate for their members and ensure the continued high quality of the profession. Their members are held to the highest standards of competency and ethics. 

Gaining membership requires a minimum of a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting, and each association has its own additional required study program in order to join. 

There are lots of study options available here; study often takes place over a number of years. 

You don’t necessarily have to be a member of one of these associations in order to work in an accounting field, but non-membership will somewhat limit your career as only accredited members are legally qualified to prepare and sign off on financial documents. 

Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)

The Australian Accounting Standards Board is an Australian government agency that sets and maintains financial reporting standards to ensure a robust and standardised reporting environment. 

Members of the three accounting industry associations are required to ensure that the businesses that they work with comply with the Australian Accounting Standards when preparing their financial statements.

For accountants who specialise in audit and assurance, there is also the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, which plays a similar role as the AASB. 

You’ll get to know these regulations pretty quickly once you’re involved in any accounting practice!

Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB)

The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board issue standards that outline how accountants should behave when performing their role, encompassing both professionalism and ethics. 

The APESB is a joint initiative of the three accounting industry associations in order to ensure a standard set of expectations for all accountants in Australia.  

Committed to quality?

These regulators and institutions have kept accounting at the forefront of trust and understanding within Australian business for decades. They are an important function of accountability in Australian business and protect the profession from dropping standards. 

That sounds like a lot – but this is one of the main reasons accountants are so well-respected and protects your job for the future! Discover how to take the first step towards a career in accounting – check out these accounting qualifications on offer from Registered Training Organisations.