There are three generalist professional accounting bodies who have members that provide public practice services in Australia; and are recognised in s88B of the Corporations Act (Australia) to issue a certificate under paragraphs 708(8)(c) or 761G(7)(c) after compiling or auditing a financial report in public companies. These three bodies are the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ); CPA Australia (CPA) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA). Members of these 3 bodies, who have a practising certificate to provide such certifications as defined by the Corporations Act, need to be protected by Australian limitation of liability professional indemnity schemes.
The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is the only specialist management accounting professional accounting body in Australia. As ICMA members do not offer public accounting services or issue such compliance-based certificates; the ICMA does not fall under the s88B of the Corporations Act; and therefore, its members do not need to be protected by professional indemnity schemes.
ICMA is also the only specialist body operating at the post-graduate (Master’s Degree) level. Its education programs mainly consist of a Graduate Conversion Program for non-accounting graduates and a Certification (CMA) program for accountants. In Australia and other countries, these subjects are taught within university Master’s degree programs such as the MBA and Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programs. In fact, most CMA members have masters’ degrees or are already qualified as CA or CPA, and must have at least 5 years relevant professional experience.