Eligibility and Requirements
A member who offers professional accounting and/or related services to the public is required to hold an IPA Professional Practice Certificate (PPC).
A PPC is required for a Sole Trader, Director, Principal, Partner or Shareholder in an accounting or related practice.
If you hold a PPC with CA ANZ and/or CPA Australia, we can offer you a PPC at a reduced rate.
Please note: we exempt the requirement to hold a PPC if your turnover from the provision of professional accounting services is less than the current tax-free threshold of $18,200, however any member that advertises their services to the general public is required to hold a PPC regardless of their turnover level.
If the services are limited to bookkeeping/BAS agent services, and if you're an individual BAS agent with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), you may be eligible for a Public BAS Practitioner Certificate.
Chapter 9 of the IPA's By-Laws defines Professional Practice as the provision of accounting services to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, services related to:
- Provision of tax advice and tax agent/BAS agent services
- Auditing / SMSF Auditing
- Business or Management Consulting
- Mortgage Broking
- Compilation of Financial Reports
- Company Secretarial
- Information Technology (Accounting/audit Software)
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy
- Debt Collection
- Forensic Accounting
- Risk Management
- Restructuring Advice
- SMSF Advice
- Financial Advice
- Business Advice
- Financial Planning / Investment Advice
To apply for a PPC, you must show evidence of a current statutory registration under your name, such as a Tax Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) or an SMSF Auditor with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), together with evidence of contemporary professional work experience.
If you don't provide statutory registration related services, you'll need to provide evidence of successful completion of studies in Australian Corporations Law and Australian Taxation Law in the last 10 years and evidence of contemporary professional work experience.
Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance
If you're applying for a PPC, you must provide evidence that your current Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance policy has at least three months of cover remaining and meets the terms and conditions prescribed in By-Laws 9.1.10 and 9.1.11 as below:
- The insured amount must not be less than $2 million any one claim, being the cap of the current IPA Professional Standards Scheme;
- The policy must be obtained from an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated insurer;
- The policy is to include a minimum of one reinstatement, preferably unlimited reinstatements;
- The policy excess (deductable) is no more than 2% of the policy limit of indemnity or $200,000, whichever is the lower amount; AND
- The policy should be defence cost exclusive. If not and the policy is defence cost inclusive, the policy sets an additional 25% above the policy limit of indemnity amount to fund defence costs.
As at 1 January 2022, the member PI insurance requirements will change in line with the anticipated commencement of the new IPA Professional Standards Scheme. More information will follow in the coming months.
We have an in-house insurance broker, IPA Insure, offering very competitive PI insurance premiums. Click here for more information.
Professional Practice Program
New PPC holders are required to successfully complete the IPA Professional Practice Program within 6 months of being issued with a PPC. The Professional Practice Program is an online interactive workshop that runs over six weeks that provides you with the tools needed to successfully manage and grow your professional accounting practice. Click here for more information.
Further details are available on the IPA Rules and Standards page and we recommend you read these before applying for a PPC.