IPA Rules & Standards

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is a professional accounting body which sets the professional and ethical requirements for its members, which they are required to uphold.

The power of the IPA to set standards and to enforce their observance is set out in the IPA's Constitution and By-laws. Professional and ethical standards are promulgated either directly by the Board of Directors or by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).

IPA Constitution and By-Laws

The IPA is a company Limited by Guarantee. The Constitution and By-laws set out member rights and obligations; the conduct of the IPA and members meetings; and other important corporate governance issues. The governing documents of the IPA are as follows:

Professional and ethical standards

The IPA requires all members to conduct themselves and their professional activities at the highest level of standards. Members in their professional capacity represent not only themselves but the IPA and by reference all other IPA members.

To help members to better understand the professional and ethical standards required by the IPA, a number of pronouncements have been promulgated by the Board of Directors.

Where an APESB standard, guidance note or authoritative interpretation has been promulgated it may replace an existing IPA Pronouncement, to the extent that the APESB standard covers the same issues. Where an APESB standard, guidance note or authoritative interpretation does not exist, the Pronouncement issued by the IPA Board of Directors will remain in force. The Board of Directors retains the power to issue new and update existing Pronouncements, where no equivalent APESB standard exists or to provide additional requirements that the Board of Directors determines are needed.

It should also be noted members have an obligation to abide by all standards, guidance notes and authoritative interpretations issued by the Auditing & Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) and all standards, guidance notes and authoritative interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).


Australia's three professional accounting bodies (IPA, CPA Australia and the ICAA) have joined forces to support an independently constituted board to oversee the development and promulgation of professional and ethical standards in the accounting profession.

The primary objects of APESB are:

  • To develop and issue in the public interest professional and ethical standards that will apply to the membership of the professional bodies.
    Professional and ethical standards include but are not limited to:
    • Code of ethics for professional accountants
    • Miscellaneous professional statements and joint guidance notes; and
    • Such other ethical issues or similar matters of interest in respect of the accounting profession.
  • To provide a formal and rigorous forum for the consideration, promulgation and approval of professional and ethical standards, performed in an open, timely, independent and proactive manner.

Information on APESB can be found at the APESB website apesb.org.au.

The APESB Standards members must abide by are:

APESB is currently reviewing all the professional standards previously issued by the professional accounting bodies and creating APES standards in their place. The AUASB and the AASB also issue exposure drafts of new or revised accounting standards from time to time. Before promulgation of a new standard, an exposure draft of the new/revised standard will be available for public comment. The IPA seeks member feedback on these draft standards as they are issued. Your views will then be incorporated into the final IPA submission to the APESB, AUASB or AASB.


IPA pronouncements

The current IPA pronouncements are as follows:

Professional Practice Quality Assurance Review

All IPA members holding a Professional Practice Certificate are subject to periodic Quality Assurance Reviews by an independent Reviewer.

Such reviews, and the Professional Practice Manual, which assists members meet their quality assurance requirements, help to ensure that members in Professional Practice continually maintain the highest professional standards.

Members participate in the quality assurance review through PPQA Online. More information on PPQA Online and the quality assurance process can be found at Quality Assurance Reviews.

Continuing Professional Development

The IPA has a strong reputation both within the accounting profession and business community for the quality of its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars and workshops.

All IPA members must complete at least 80 hours of CPD each biennium as a condition of their continued membership of the IPA.

IPA Members are subject to audits to ensure CPD compliance.  Information on CPD, assistance on how to keep track of your CPD records and how the audit operates can be found at CPD requirements.

Pronouncement 7 sets out in further details the Institute's CPD requirements.

Joint Accounting Bodies

The IPA is one of the three professional accounting bodies in Australia. The three bodies have set up the Joint Accounting Bodies as a means to promote the accounting profession. The Joint Accounting Bodies have released a number of guides to assist members:

Independence guide

SMSF Auditor Competencies

Audit of 2nd Tier Companies Limited by Guarantee

·     APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

·     APES 205 Conformity with Accounting Standards

·     APES 210: Conformity with Auditing and Assurance Standards

·     APES 215: Forensic Accounting Services

·     APES 220 Taxation Services 

·     APES 225 Valuation Services

·     APES 305 Terms of Engagement

·     APES 310 Dealing with Client Monies

·     APES 315: Compilation of Financial Information

·     APES 320: Quality Control of Firms

·     APES 330 Insolvency Services

·     APES 345 Reporting on Prospective Financial Information prepared in connection with a public document

·     APES 350 Participation by Members in Public Practice in Due Diligence Committees in connection with a Public Document