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What is a Chartered Accountant?

“Their powers’ of analysis, measurement, judgement and financial expertise by virtue of their training sets them apart as the best in their field. Chartered Accountants’ universally recognised command over numbers gives them the edge in all aspects of business.” The ICAA, (

Accounting in Australia is an unregulated industry, which means that anyone is able to practice without being accountable to any regulating body. Not all accountants are created equal, so it’s important to ensure your accountant is capable of handling your business, otherwise they could do some serious damage.

Chartered Accountants are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), one of several professional accounting organizations in Australia, and the label of Chartered Accountants guarantees that the holder is a qualified and professional expert in their field.

The three principal and most widely recognized organizations of this kind in Australia are:

  1. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  2. CPA Australia
  3. The National Institute of Accountants.

These organizations have a strict code of conduct, and to satisfy for admission, all members must:

  • Hold an approved undergraduate university degree;
  • Complete a comprehensive postgraduate professional study program;
  • Complete a minimum of three years supervised experience;
  • Complete a public practice program, and hold a current practicing certificate;
  • Undertake extensive continuing professional development each year;
  • Have a minimum level of professional indemnity insurance (specific to the firm);
  • Adhere to a strict code of ethical standards; and
  • Have their practice reviewed every five years or so to ensure that standards of quality are maintained.

(Source: The Business Resource Centre,

Chartered Accountants are not only the highest qualified in the profession, but are nationally and internationally recognized as being at the top of their field.

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