How to become a Chartered Accountant

Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) could set you up to thrive in business in different parts of the world. It's a highly regarded professional qualification with international recognition. CAs can work in a wide range of exciting and challenging careers. If you'd like to join their ranks, here are the steps:

You need certain academic qualifications

To be eligible to start the CA Program, you need to hold one of the following academic qualifications, and have completed prerequisites for at least one CA Program module:

  • An accredited bachelor's or master's degree
  • A degree which hasn't been accredited by us, but is considered to be the equivalent to an Australian or New Zealand degree (level 7 or higher) with coverage of required competence areas.
  • An overseas qualification that has been assessed and recognised by us.

If you do not hold an accredited degree, or are in your final year of study towards a degree, identified knowledge gaps can be satisfied by completing additional study. This can be completed through an accredited conversion course or the CA Foundations pathway.

You can start CA Foundations units during your final year of study. Once you complete your degree, and you have completed prerequisites for at least one CA Program module you can apply for Provisional Membership.

Citizenship, residency, and visa requirements

CA ANZ has adopted the general policy position that it cannot register candidates studying or seeking to study the CA Program on an Australian student visa because CA ANZ and the CA Program are not registered on the Australian Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) due to the online nature of the CA Program.

CA ANZ has adopted this general policy position consistent with advice from CA ANZ’s regulator. Ultimately you, as a candidate or potential candidate of CA ANZ CA Program, are responsible for ensuring that you are able to meet the requirements to enrol in the CA Program and satisfy any visa requirements or restrictions.

To become a Chartered Accountant you also need practical experience

To successfully complete the full CA Program, candidates also need to complete 3 years of mentored practical experience. You can begin this component before, during or after your Graduate Diploma studies, but you must complete 3 years of mentored practical experience within the maximum 8-year provisional membership period before you can qualify for full CA membership

Approved employment is recognised when you are:

  • Working in a relevant accounting role with an Approved or Recognised Training Employer
  • Working for at least 17.5 hours per week for a period of three months or longer
  • Under the guidance of a recognised mentor

A brief look at the modules

  • AAA: Audit and Assurance

    Accountants need to keep up to date with changing audit requirements. 

    The AAA module requires you to apply your knowledge to a variety of practical scenarios.

    Example units include:

    • Assurance purpose and framework.
    • Auditing standards and quality control.
    • Pre-engagement activities.
    • Understanding the entity and its environment.Analysing audit risks.
  • FIN: Financial Accounting & Reporting

    Financial Accounting is the cornerstone of an accountant's work.

    The FIN module is 12 weeks long, and utilises online learning materials.

    Example units include:

    • Financial reporting.
    • Presentation of financial statements.
    • Revenue.Income taxes.
    • Foreign exchange.
  • MAAF: Management Accounting & Applied Finance

    Accountants help organisations make better business decisions.

    The MAAF module gives you skills and knowledge through two integrated case studies.

    Example units include:

    • Organisational structure and control.
    • Business risk management.
    • Business planning: budgeting & forecasting.
    • Performance analysis & reporting.
    • Treasury and financial management.
  • TAX: Taxation

    Taxation is a critical part of an accountant’s role, relevant to business and personal life.

    The TAX module examines and applies relevant Australian tax law to simulated real-life scenarios.

    Example units include:

    • Australian taxation fundamentals.
    • Trading stock.
    • GST and other taxes.
    • Taxation of employment remuneration.
    • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) fundamentals.
  • Capstone module

    Capstone is the pinnacle of the CA Program.

    The Capstone module gets to you apply your knowledge to real-world business simulations.

    The module study includes:

    • 8 professional skill areas.
    • 15 weeks in duration.
    • 3 mandatory workshops and self-study.
    • 140 hours expected average minimum workload.

    Capstone also includes three segments:

    Segment 1 - Analysing data and communicating with and making ethical decisions.

    Segment 2 - Thinking critically and solving business problems and using technical knowledge and professional skills.

    Segment 3 - Integrating relevant accounting and business knowledge and examining corporate governance framework impact.

On completion of all of these modules, you'll receive a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting (GradDip CA).

The CA Program is Australia’s only professional accounting qualification with Graduate Diploma status, and the GradDipCA can also be used to gain credits towards over 60 Masters degrees offered by Australian universities.

You can also apply for CA membership once you've completed the requirements of the CA Program.

Once approved, you can receive your Certificate of Membership at a new member event in your state!

The CA Program combines academic study, business and leadership skills training, and mentored practical experience to develop the talent of tomorrow. It’s a long and rigorous journey, but you could graduate with a high academic standard and enjoy strong international demand for your skills.*

*Course entry requirements, including assumed knowledge apply for the CA Program. To find out more visit International opportunities may require additional training in some countries and be subject to country specific visa requirements and other restrictions.