Jump to content

Chartered Accountants - Help Please


SonjaO
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I have seen several posts on this subject, but couldn't find the answers, so I decided to post a new topic.

I am a CA(SA). I completed the conversion course through USQ as required by ICAA. I would like to register with a professional body in Aus. I am planning to initially perform bookkeeping services as an independent contractor, but later expand to offer full accounting/taxation/planning service.

I have done a lot of research, but only got more confused. :huh: My questions are:

1. CA vs CPA in Aus - is this similar to CA(SA) vs SAIPA?

2. What is the difference between a CPA firm and a Chartered firm?

3. I am not going to work with other CA's in Aus, where do I contact someone to give me the two Aus references required.

4. On ICAA there is the registration as CA and then a separate registration for CPP. Is the CPP same as IRBA registration? Can't figure out why you need both. It seems that you need this registration if you are going into Public Practice? It seems that you can't register for CPP without 2 year's Australian experience?

5. Registration as tax agent/BAS agent - if you register as tax agent, does this include the BAS function or would you have to register for both.

6. Do I also need to register as a Financial advisor?

I would appreciate any advice! If there is any other registration/license I need to have, please let me know.

Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

I have seen several posts on this subject, but couldn't find the answers, so I decided to post a new topic.

I am a CA(SA). I completed the conversion course through USQ as required by ICAA. I would like to register with a professional body in Aus. I am planning to initially perform bookkeeping services as an independent contractor, but later expand to offer full accounting/taxation/planning service.

I have done a lot of research, but only got more confused. :huh: My questions are:

1. CA vs CPA in Aus - is this similar to CA(SA) vs SAIPA?

2. What is the difference between a CPA firm and a Chartered firm?

3. I am not going to work with other CA's in Aus, where do I contact someone to give me the two Aus references required.

4. On ICAA there is the registration as CA and then a separate registration for CPP. Is the CPP same as IRBA registration? Can't figure out why you need both. It seems that you need this registration if you are going into Public Practice? It seems that you can't register for CPP without 2 year's Australian experience?

5. Registration as tax agent/BAS agent - if you register as tax agent, does this include the BAS function or would you have to register for both.

6. Do I also need to register as a Financial advisor?

I would appreciate any advice! If there is any other registration/license I need to have, please let me know.

Thank you

Hi there

I'm a NZ and Australian Chartered Accountant, but I did my training in RSA and was a CA(SA) until I got tired of paying the fees once I moved to NZ and realized I was never going back. So I will try to answer some of your queries. I converted to an Australian Chartered Accountant from my NZ qualification, not my South African, so things may be different. I aslo did it in 2005 so may be out of date. So I hope this doesn't confuse.

Firstly Wow what a lot of acronyms

1. A CA is a Chartered Accountant and a CPA a Certified Public Accountant. A CA (if registered) can sign off the accounts of a company, a CPA cannot. A CPA is more of a "commercial" accountant if you get my drift, though lots of CA's work in the commercial field. A CA is considered more "prestigious" than a CPA, though many roles in the commercial sector will advertise for either or.

2. I didn't know there were any CPA firms, because of the above reason, but I may stand corrected.

3. When I converted I was required to get 3 letters from NZ CA's to support my application, I was not required to get Australian, so I'd check on this.

4. Not sure about this, but I've never been in public practice, but I do remember on my annual registration that there were additional requirements for Public practice. I can't find it at the moment though.

5. BAS stands for Business Activity Statement and it includes the GST and PAYE returns to the ATO (which get paid in one payment). I'm not sure of the answer but I'd hazard a guess that if you were a tax agent you would be more than capable of completing a BAS statement. I do the BAS statement for my own co and I'm not registered as either. Quite frankly BAS statements are not very hard.

http://www.cengage.edu.au/accounting-finance-courses/soa-in-bas-agent-registration.aspx?cid=GDN10&gclid=CKXMlfG2vqcCFUeApAodpReOAw might help

http://www.tpb.gov.au/TPB/tax_agents_/About%20registration/TPB/Tax_Agents/About_registration.aspx is really helpful and goes through everything you need.

6. You need to register as a financial adviser if you wish to provide advise to clients on their retirement/investment type planning. The course takes about a year. It's quite a specialized subject and a lot (many) Australians have a financial adviser.

http://www.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byheadline/Choosing+your+adviser?openDocument

http://pinnacle.edu.au/main1/index is one crowd offering the courses.

PM me if you have queries on what I've written, or if you want and explanation and I'll see if I can help

Edited by 14 years out of rsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to see you got an answer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A CA (if registered) can sign off the accounts of a company, a CPA cannot

I don't believe this is correct for CPA in Australia. Here is a link to the Regulatory guide for Auditor registration with ASIC. In it you will see that members of CPAA may register to be a auditor of a company.

As far as I could remember, a CPA in SA cannot perform the attest function, but in Australia they can.

Edited by Superkruz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 Years out of SA and Superkruz,

Thank you very much for your replies.

My conclusion (please correct me if I'm wrong)

1. If I could register as CA I should - rather than CPA

2. If I want to complete peoples tax & BAS returns, I only need to register as a tax agent, no need to register as BAS agent.

3. We're still unclear on the whole CPP (Certificate of Public Practice) issue, but it seems from the site that it is required if I want to run a public practice (which I want to eventually). A quote from their website:

Who will require a CPP?

The Institute's Regulation 4 requires Chartered Accountants to hold a CPP principally where:

they provide services which require the holding of certain statutory registrations (such as registered tax agent or registered company auditor); or

they provide accountancy services required under legislation or other statutory authority (such as the audit of an SMSF); or

they provide any services "as a Chartered Accountant" (meaning that they operate under the Chartered Accountants brand).

4. I can only obtain this after 2 years' experience

Another quote:

These concern a minimum service requirement (2 years), the demonstrated completion of appropriate Training and Development activities, the existence of professional indemnity insurance cover, and the undertaking of the Public Practice Program.

5. I will have to find 2 local CA's to support my registration.

6. I don't need a Financial Services license.

That's it - I think! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a NZ and Australian Chartered Accountant, but I did my training in RSA and was a CA(SA) until I got tired of paying the fees once I moved to NZ and realized I was never going back. I converted to an Australian Chartered Accountant from my NZ qualification, not my South African

I am curious about the route you followed to register with ICAA. I don't imagine many people have done the SA-NZ-AUS trip. I say this because one of the FAQ's about members of overseas accounting bodies, on the website of the ICAA, states:

Question: I was admitted to my overseas body through a special recognition agreement, could I still apply for Institute membership under this By-Law?

Answer: No, the recognition agreements the Institute has established are only relevant to members of the overseas bodies listed above who were admitted to their local body by means of its normal entry requirements, including its education program/examinations and service requirements. If you were accepted through an alternative route it is likely that you will be required to undertake the Institute’s Chartered Accountants Program, although you should discuss your situation with the Assessments Team as you may be able to apply as a special case.I interpret this to mean that:

  • One can only become a member of ICAA if you became a member of the overseas body (in your case the NZICA) through the normal education route, and
  • If one became a member of the overseas body via another route (in your case, membership of SAICA), you must first undertake the CA program.

Did you do the CA program or did you apply to ICAA purely based on your NZICA membership?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding is that any CA, CPA or ACCA can audit and sign off on the audit report of a company (please correct me if wrong). As a CA (SA) you may want to affiliate with any of these bodies (ICAA, CPA Australia, ACCA ) to do the independent work you are describing, which is not audit related. Have you contacted ICAA to get their advice?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4. I can only obtain this after 2 years' experience

5. I will have to find 2 local CA's to support my registration.

I also had the dilemma of finding 2 ICAA members to vouch for me. I resolved it by finding a job in commerce as a Financial Manager at a company. As part of my duties I had to liaise with the external auditors regularly and also had to prepare annual financial statements that were subject to audit, similar to the situation in SA. Not only did it help me to gain a good knowledge of the Australian tax law, company law, etc., it also meant that the external auditors got to know me. So, after 2 years, when I wanted to register with ICAA they agreed to vouch for me - problem solved.

I dont know how other people get around this requirement and would like to hear their solution to it.

Edited by Superkruz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also had the dilemma of finding 2 ICAA members to vouch for me. I resolved it by finding a job in commerce as a Financial Manager at a company. As part of my duties I had to liaise with the external auditors regularly and also had to prepare annual financial statements that were subject to audit, similar to the situation in SA. Not only did it help me to gain a good knowledge of the Australian tax law, company law, etc., it also meant that the external auditors got to know me. So, after 2 years, when I wanted to register with ICAA they agreed to vouch for me - problem solved.

I dont know how other people get around this requirement and would like to hear their solution to it.

Mmmm, now that's where the problem lies. I've been looking for a job in commerce, but we live in Mandurah, and jobs are few and far between. A local CA referred some clients to me. They can't service them, and do not want to appoint another full time employee. So I am starting as a bookkeeper - independent. If I want to register with ATO as BAS/Tax agent, I need to be registered as CAA (or other body of my choice) - like running in a maize.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding is that any CA, CPA or ACCA can audit and sign off on the audit report of a company (please correct me if wrong). As a CA (SA) you may want to affiliate with any of these bodies (ICAA, CPA Australia, ACCA ) to do the independent work you are describing, which is not audit related. Have you contacted ICAA to get their advice?

Thank you I will have a look at the other bodies. I just don't want to waste money. Application fees, etc. I have spend A LOT of time and money to become a CA (SA) and I don't want to "lose" this by registering for something that is not seen in the same light - which is part of the reason I started this post.

I sent them an e-mail while we were still in SA, they just referred me to their website :lol: (O yes - and took my money for the migration assessment)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have spend A LOT of time and money to become a CA (SA) and I don't want to "lose" this by registering for something that is not seen in the same light

I would definitely go for ICAA if this is what you are looking for.

(O yes - and took my money for the migration assessment)

And now for the funny story: I deliberately delayed my application for PR until I had done the conversion. Why, because I was lazy in doing the application and basically said I would do it when I was a member of the ICAA and there would be no argument. My CO still insisted that my skills be assessed!!!!!! So I had to ask the ICAA to provide a document basically stating that I was good enough to be a member of ICAA because I was a member of the ICAA. They had the good grace not to charge me.

To my mind my wife's and my application should have been the easiest of all time. We were both employed when we applied. We were both members of our professional bodies in Australia and we were both employed in roles on the shortage list in Australia at the time. It still took over a year for our application for PR to be approved. The funny thing was that if the DICA had taken an extra 31 days to process our PR we could have become citizens a year earlier!

Edited by 14 years out of rsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sonja, have you looked at the Global Accounting Alliance as a way to get "associate membership" of ICAA. I know SAICA is a member of the alliance, and that allows access for CAs to ply their trade in most Commonwealth countries and the USA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Guys and Girls,

After spending half the day on the phone, I have established the following:

1. You can't use the term "Chartered Accountant" in your practice, until you register as CPP. And you need 2 years local experience to register a CPP. - SO WHY REGISTER THEN?

2. I Can register with ICAA as CA if I can get the 2 references - no need for them to testify to experience, only a letter supporting the application. But refer to 1. above - CANT SAY I'M A CA??!!!

3. If I register as CA with ICAA I'm required to keep my membership with SAICA in good standing, otherwise I loose my registration with ICAA. To get rid of SAICA, I have to do the whole CA program with ICAA - $6600, training, exam the whole thing.

4. To register as Tax Practitioner I only need to be registered with a professional institute.

My conclusion:

I sent an application to CPA to see what I need to do to register with them. If it is at all possible, I will register as CPA and just look forward. They way I understand them, is they don't care about your membership with SAICA, if you're registered, it's final. As long as your subscription is up to date, you're a CPA. No need for practice registrations or anything else.

Hope you all find this interesting. I thought SAICA ripped us off with their membership fees, now it's double?

I have always wanted to be a CA, but they are not making it easy for me.

Would like to hear your comments? I think it's ridiculous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Hey everyone. I found the reading very interesting and a bit disheartening. My wife is a CA(SA) and we are immigrating to Melbourne this December. Can she work without being registered with ICAA as a full member? My one friend said she can go to the ICAA offices and apply as a global member? May I ask what the procedure for this is?

Kind regards

Herman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Herman,

If she wants to work for an employer, most of them know that SAICA is equal to ICAA. If she wants to start a public practice on her own, that is a whole different ball game.

To register as ICAA with SAICA membership is the easiest thing to do - IF you know two ICAA members, you can read up on the requirements on their site.

"Two references from members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (CA or FCA), who are not related to you, and support your application for admission to membership, and who either: Have been a member of this Institute for at least three years OR

Are a member of this Institute and have been a member of your overseas professional body for at least five years AND

At least one reference from a person from the country where your membership was obtained, who knew you in a professional capacity (e.g. former employer) and can testify to your professional experience."

http://www.charteredaccountants.com.au/Members/Membership/Recognised-overseas-accounting-bodies

However you do have to do a bridging course. I did mine through USQ before we arrived. They use the same examiners UNISA use, and you can write the exam almost anywhere in RSA. The course isn't that difficult and cover basic Income Tax Law and Corporations Law. And then you have to keep your SAICA membership up to date to remain a member of ICAA.

If you want to run a public practice, they have additional criteria that was to difficult for me to read, so I just left it and found employment.

Some employers do put a high value on CA, and it is a waste having done all the hard work in SA, just to have nothing when you are here.

If you need anything else, your welcome to PM me.

Sonja

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Herman,

If she wants to work for an employer, most of them know that SAICA is equal to ICAA. If she wants to start a public practice on her own, that is a whole different ball game.

To register as ICAA with SAICA membership is the easiest thing to do - IF you know two ICAA members, you can read up on the requirements on their site.

"Two references from members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (CA or FCA), who are not related to you, and support your application for admission to membership, and who either: Have been a member of this Institute for at least three years OR

Are a member of this Institute and have been a member of your overseas professional body for at least five years AND

At least one reference from a person from the country where your membership was obtained, who knew you in a professional capacity (e.g. former employer) and can testify to your professional experience."

http://www.charteredaccountants.com.au/Members/Membership/Recognised-overseas-accounting-bodies

However you do have to do a bridging course. I did mine through USQ before we arrived. They use the same examiners UNISA use, and you can write the exam almost anywhere in RSA. The course isn't that difficult and cover basic Income Tax Law and Corporations Law. And then you have to keep your SAICA membership up to date to remain a member of ICAA.

If you want to run a public practice, they have additional criteria that was to difficult for me to read, so I just left it and found employment.

Some employers do put a high value on CA, and it is a waste having done all the hard work in SA, just to have nothing when you are here.

If you need anything else, your welcome to PM me.

Sonja

Hi Sonja

Are you saying that you have to do the bridging course even if you do not intend to go into private practice? As I understood from their website, because SAICA is part of the Global Accounting Alliance, you do not need to do the bridging course. What am I missing?

Rgds

Gerhard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you look at the link in my previous post, it lists all the requirements one of which is:

Localising your knowledge

You must demonstrate satisfactory understanding of Australian Corporations Law and Australian Taxation Law. Generally this requires completion of a conversion course through an accredited Australian higher education provider.

Current members of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) partners are exempt from this requirement, unless they are Principals in a public accounting firm or undertake work that requires a statutory registration. These members will have to complete this additional study so they can obtain a Certificate of Public Practice. Members of a legally constituted state authority in the USA are also required to complete a conversion course for these subjects.

The GAA exemption wasn't listed when I started investigating what to do.

It's all a bit fuzzy to me. As I understand it, they allow you to work as a CA, but your not allowed to call yourself a CA? Which is what I ranted about in one of the earlier posts. On GAA's site, they state that you will receive "most of the benefits" of the other institute.

The other issue with the conversion course that made me do it, is it gives any prospective employer an indication that you have some knowledge of the local laws.

You also need it if you want to apply to register as a Tax Agent (similar to Tax Practitioner in SA). But this is a whole different discussion.

Best would be to apply to ICAA and see what happens. If you have 2 ICAA references. Otherwise, try with CA(SA) and if necessary try to convert later.

They had me running around in circles for months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...