IPA Rules and Standards

The IPA is a professional accounting body which sets professional and ethical requirements for its members, which they are required to uphold.

IPA Constitution and By-Laws

The Constitution and By-laws, created and enforced by the IPA, set out member rights and obligations; the conduct of the IPA and members meetings; and other important corporate governance issues. 

Professional and ethical standards

The IPA requires all members to conduct themselves and their professional activities at the highest level of standards, representing not only themselves but the IPA and all other members.

Professional and ethical standards are promulgated either directly by the Board of Directors, via pronouncements or by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB), via APESB standards.

In general, APESB standards, guidance notes or authoritative interpretations will replace an existing IPA Pronouncement, to the extent that the APESB standard covers the same issues. However, if a standard does not exist, the Pronouncement issued by the IPA Board of Directors will remain in force.

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).


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.

For more information about APESB, visit apesb.org.au.

The APESB Standards members must abide by are:

APES 100 Code of Ethics

APES 200 All Members

APES 300 Member in Public Practice

GN 20 All Members

GN 30 Members in Public Practice

GN 40 Members in Business

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 and your views will then be incorporated into the final IPA submission to the APESB, AUASB or AASB.

IPA Pronouncements

The current IPA Pronouncements are set by the IPA Board of Directors and as follows:

Joint Accounting Bodies

The three accounting bodies in Australia have set up the Joint Accounting Bodies (JAB) as a means to promote the accounting profession. JAB has released a number of guides to assist members:

SMSF Auditors – Withdrawal of Competency Standards

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) (“the Joint Accounting Bodies”) have withdrawn Competency Requirements for Auditors of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. This is to simplify the SMSF auditor competency framework and eliminate duplication that has emerged, it does not change the competency requirements of SMSF auditors.

Originally issued in February 2008, it set out the minimum competency requirements for members of the three accounting bodies who sign audit reports for SMSFs. It formed the basis of ASIC Class Order CO 12/1687 Competency Standards for Approved Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Auditors in December 2012. ASIC has now repealed the Class Order because, overtime, it has gradually been superseded by:

  • Requirements in the:
  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994
  • Auditing and assurance standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
  • Professional, ethical and independence requirements in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards) issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).
  • The ASIC registration process for becoming an Approved SMSF Auditor, including the SMSF auditor competency exam.
  • The ASIC and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulatory oversight functions.

Importantly, the knowledge required by candidates to succeed in the SMSF auditor competency exam is set out in the learning objectives on the ASIC website.