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CPD for Accountants (Australia)

cpd for accountants australia
Last Updated September 23, 2022
 - by Kathryn Yanchycki, CPA

As a CPA, your need for education never stops. You must continually improve your skills and gain more knowledge to keep up with the industry and your clients.

CPD (or Continuing Professional Development) is used to keep up to date with your skills and knowledge in a rapidly changing industry, and it is a requirement for accounting professionals.

Continually improving your skills and competency in your profession benefits you but also helps to maintain the integrity of the accounting profession, which is why CPA Australia must ensure members actively invest in life-long learning.

Hours can be obtained through online CPD courses, in-person CPD courses, podcasts, live or recorded webinars and more. They can cover topics on technical skills or soft skills and personal development.

Paid CPD

  1. Tax Banter
  2. Tax Nuggets
  3. CCH Learning
  4. Television Education Network 
  5. Tax Institute
  6. CPE.tv
  7. Linkedin Learning
  8. Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

Free CPD

  1. CPA Australia Library
  2. Accounting app software training
  3. Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand
  4. Deakin University's Counting on U training
  5. Tax on the Couch
  6. Advisers Digest
  7. Tax & Super Australia

Podcasts for CPD

  1. CPA Australia podcast
  2. Tax Yak by Tax Banter
  3. Tax Wrap
  4. Tax Talks
  5. Television Education Network

Why are accountants required to have CPD hours?

CPD is an essential requirement for accountants in Australia. It allows them to develop their skills and knowledge to stay updated with the latest developments in the industry.

There are so many benefits of CPD for both you as an accountant and the profession. 

  • Gain new skills and build on existing knowledge to achieve your career goals
  • Helps stay up-to-date with technical, legislative and regulatory changes and developments
  • Increase your value to your profession, your company and your clients

How many hours of CPD do you need?

The minimum number of hours accountants must have each year in CPD is 20, but the total hours required over three years is 120. 

This means that if you only completed 20 hours in year one per the requirement and 20 hours in year two, you would be required to complete 80 hours in year three. 

Any members who joined CPA Australia before June 30 will have their three-year period start on January 1 that year. Any members who joined after June 30 will have their three-year period begin on January 1 of the following year. The three-year period concludes on each 3rd-anniversary from that date.

What qualifies as CPD hours?

Sometimes it's difficult to know what qualifies as CPD hours because the rules are vague and the options for increasing your knowledge, skills, and abilities are endless. 

CPA Australia recommends asking yourself the following questions before starting a CPD activity to see if it's relevant:

  • What is the relevance of the activity to your current and future role?
  • What are the intended learning outcomes?
  • What benefits will be gained for you, your employer, your staff or client/s?
  • Are there long-term benefits to undertaking the activity?

This ensures that the CPD activity increases your knowledge, skills and ability to do your job and is relevant to your career plan.

CPA Australia also outlines the most common activities available for CPD with restrictions as long as they meet the requirements. CPD hours can be claimed for activities such as:

  • conventions and conferences
  • courses, webinars, seminars and workshops
  • formalized study completed with an external provider can be recognized as CPD.
  • discussion group meetings
  • in-house learning
  • tertiary and professional body/university courses
  • researched/technical publications
  • technical or research committees
  • reading, listening or watching media (maximum 10 hours each year)
  • mentoring (maximum 10 hours each year) 
  • partaking in the CPA Australia Recognised Employer Partner program (40 hours automatically recognized for each year of employment)
  • completing a Professional Level Segment at CPA Australia (120 hours per year automatically recorded or 20 hours if you fail)

Here are some of the most popular CPD offerings to accelerate your career and catch up on CPD hours. With paid in-person or online CPD courses or webinars, you can get exceptional education that you cannot get for free. 

In comparison, conferences allow you to hear from outstanding professionals and complete a good chunk of your CPD requirements in a short period, which enables you not to be stressed about completing CPD hours for the rest of the year.

Tax Banter

Tax Banter specializes in tax courses and training and is well known for its in-house training used by many firms. But they also offer online training options and in-person workshop-style sessions for CPD. They aim to deliver high-quality training that is practical, comprehensive and relevant.

For online CPD options, Tax Banter offers monthly tax updates and other helpful webinar topics, such as "Foreign Exchange Gains and Losses." Each webinar earns 1.5 CPD hours and costs $198, or you can get the entire year of monthly tax updates for $1633.50. 

For in-person options, they offer public tax training sessions that start at $200, per person, per session and in-house training for your firm that can be tailored to your firm's needs.

The popular Tax Fundamentals course is offered online for $1320, and in person, for $1430.

Tax Nuggets

Tax Nuggets Academy offers short, easy-to-digest tax videos that cover basic topics and break down more complex issues. 

Joyce Ong, founder and CEO of Tax Nuggets Academy, wanted to provide accounting training that wasn't boring, so she started creating short tax videos that are both entertaining and educational.

In her videos, she breaks down complex tax issues like Division 7a. For example, "Division 7a: 6 strategies to fund minimum repayments."

You can get unlimited access with one of their monthly memberships. 

CCH Learning

CCH Learning offers a wide range of live or on-demand e-learning accounting webinars. For example, "Common Disclosure Mistakes" and "Key Steps in Impairment Testing."

Their webinars range from $185-$220 for 1 CPD hour, but they also have some free webinars available. You can also pay an annual fee of $654.50 to have unlimited access to their over 350 hours of content and have your CPD tracked automatically. 

Many accountants find CCH Learning's membership a great bang for their buck, and new technical and non-technical content is added regularly.

Television Education Network 

TVED offers professional development for lawyers, accountants and business executives, focusing on webinars and two-day conferences.

A webinar lasting about 100 minutes will get you the equivalent CPD hours and cost $269.50.

You can catch the webinars live or purchase the recorded version after.

Tax Institute

Tax Institute offers single-subject CPD courses, including Corporate Tax and Advanced Superannuation, to improve your tax career. The CPD courses range from $1800-$2250 for 30 hours.

CPE.tv

CPE.tv is an offering from Tax Institute that provides flexible, online education for tax issues that can be viewed on-demand as often as you'd like and is $649 for 1-5 users.

Linkedin Learning

Members of Chartered Accountants ANZ can receive access to LinkedIn Learning valued at over $350 per year. Linkedin Learning offers more than 16,000 on-demand CPD courses, from professional development to unique technical skills, such as "Excel for Accountants." 

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

IPA offers conferences, such as the Cryptocurrency Hybrid Conference, discussion groups and on-demand websites.

The conference ranges from $440-$700 depending on whether you attend in person or virtually and if you are a member of IPA.

Popular free CPD courses & webinars


CPA Australia Library

CPA Australia offers its members a wide range of complimentary 1-hour CPD courses, including monthly tax updates and accounting and leadership topics, such as Leading Change.

Any CPD hours from here will be recorded in your CPD Diary automatically.

Accounting App Software Training

Completing app software training is a great way to learn new software, earn certifications, and get CPD hours for free. Here's a list of some that may relate to your work:

Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand

CAANZ offers lots of 1-hour webinars for free, such as Inclusive Leadership | how driving diversity is key to attracting talent

They also offer training in Tax, IFRS, Risk Management, Financial Planning and SMSF.

ACIS, Red Chip Lawyers, Australian Tax Office, Tax Practitioners Board and the State Tax Departments offer many complimentary PCD webinars.

Deakin University's Counting on U training

Deakin University offers free online mental health training for accountants and bookkeepers who work with SMEs. You can learn how to support your clients through financial and emotional distress and challenging times and earn up to 14 CPD hours.

The program combines Mental Health First Aid with Relationship Building training and consists of pre-work, 2-3 zoom workshops over a 1-2 week period and two booster sessions 1 and 3 months after.

To be eligible to participate in the free Counting on U training, you must provide business advice to small and medium-sized business owners and meet with them at least three times per year.

Registration is closed, but you can put your name on the waitlist for future sessions here.

Tax on the Couch

Tax on the Couch is a comprehensive monthly tax update available Online, on CD or on DVD. 

Each edition comes with notes including direct links to all information included.

Tax on the Couch allows you to earn 1.5 CPD hours/month or 16.5 CPD hours/year with an annual subscription of $880. 

Advisers Digest

Advisers Digest offers free weekly tax training, paid webinars, courses and events.

Peter Johnson formed Advisers Digest to provide high-level technical support, advanced and introductory training and SMSF auditor CPD training. Peter is a CPA with lots of experience as both a practitioner and practice owner and is a highly respected instructor for CPA Australia and SMSF specialist.

Tax & Super Australia

With Tax & Super Australia, you can invest in CPD pro, which allows you to fulfil your CPD requirements without searching for CPD events. It includes structured and unstructured learning with over 40 hours of CPD available in a single subscription for $450. Members can access this subscription at a discounted price of $275.

Tax & Super Australia offers seminars, webinars, such as "Cyber Security: How to Know Your Business and Data is Safe," and discussion groups.

Popular CPD podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to obtain your CPD for free and on the go, but you'll have to keep detailed records and listen throughout the year to get enough hours.

CPA Australia podcast

The CPA Australia podcast provides commentary and thought leadership across business, finance and accounting. They cover business strategy, public practice, current issues, accounting updates, and career skills for a well-rounded host of topics.

Some of their most recent episodes discuss business strategies like "Should tax time be delayed?" and "The three biggest challenges facing practitioners" in public practice.

Listen and subscribe on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Tax Yak by Tax Banter

Tax Yak is a podcast by the popular Tax Banter focused solely on tax topics.

Some of their most recent episodes discuss tax strategies like "Cryptocurrency and tax" and "Asset protection - a risky business!".

Listen and subscribe on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Tax Wrap

Tax Wrap is a podcast by Tax & Super Australia and provides professional insights through informed discussion about current issues in tax & super.

Some of their most recent episodes discuss "Scams in the time of a pandemic" and "Effective client communication."

Listen on iTunes or the Tax & Super Australia website.

Tax Talks

Tax Talks interviews subject matter experts about pressing issues, new updates, and useful basics on their podcasts. 

Some of their most recent episodes discuss "Insights from an offshore accountant" and "Expansion into the US."

Listen and subscribe on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Television Education Network

TVED produces a monthly podcast that is between 10 and 35 minutes long on legal and accounting issues. All podcasts have a supporting technical paper to download and can be listened to online or with the ordered CD.

Unlike the other podcasts you can listen to for free, the TVED podcasts are obtained through a paid annual subscription and range from $825 to $2838 depending on the topics.

Less formal CPD options

While it takes more detailed tracking, you can also get your CPD hours by reading accounting blogs, like Banter blog by Tax Banter or ours! Join discussion groups that meet regularly to discuss accounting updates and news.

Where to keep track of your CPD hours

Keep track of all your activities throughout the year in your CPD Diary and maintain records for 12 months after the end of the triennium. 

CPA Australia selects members annually for reviews, and documents and proof must be provided. CPD through the CPA Australia library is recorded automatically for you but otherwise, it's easier to document your hours throughout the year rather than try to remember months later.

Get your CPD done early this year

CPD is one of those things that can be put off until the last minute because you are busy during the year. But it's important to do it throughout the year and record it. 

CPD is more bearable when it directly relates to what you're doing for your clients or something you've wanted to learn. Throw a podcast in the car on your drive to work, go with colleagues to an in-person conference, or earn a certification to add more value to your clients.

Use your time saved using Content Snare to catch up on CPD

Content Snare allows you to save time collecting documents without back-and-forth emails and automates follow up reminders.

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Kathryn Yanchycki, CPA

Kathryn is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 7 years of experience in both public practice and industry accounting. She has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of individuals and companies, which gives her a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in the industry. Kathryn loves all things business and productivity and has been able to combine her love for creating content into writing for accounting firms looking to improve their businesses.

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