Important Information - ACCA Practising Certificate
Who needs a practising certificate?
Any member who is a principal in an accountancy firm and/or undertakes public practice work, for example as a BAS Agent or a Tax Agent, must hold an ACCA practising certificate. This is even if he/she holds a practising certificate from another body.
The requirement to hold an ACCA practising certificate has always extended beyond audit to cover all situations where a member is giving an opinion on, or verifying the accuracy of, financial information which may be relied upon by a third party. This means that in addition to audits and producing accounts, preparing personal and/or corporate tax returns, even where the client submits them directly to the tax authorities is public practice work.
It is in members' interests to familiarise themselves with ACCA's requirements to hold a practising certificate. Problems can arise where members undertake work that falls on the fringes; an example would be the preparation of management accounts. Where the management accounts are used solely by clients for internal purposes, such work does not require members to hold a practising certificate. However, where the management accounts are passed to a third party, most commonly a bank, this is public practice work regardless of whether the third party is aware of the member's involvement. Where the information is to be used in such a way, a member will need to hold a practising certificate. In some cases members may wish to hold a practising certificate despite the fact that the work they undertake does not require them to hold a practising certificate. This may be because they wish to describe themselves (or their firms) as Chartered Certified Accountants.
Members need to assess carefully whether the work they undertake requires them to hold a practising certificate. To that end ACCA has produced a factsheet; Do I need a practising certificate? which sets out the common areas where a practising certificate is required. Access the factsheet
How to obtain a practising certificate?
Practising certificates are available to members who meet the eligibility requirements, wherever they are based.
There are two ways to achieve an ACCA practising certificate.
To achieve a globally portable practising certificate members must, amongst other things, achieve the three years of supervised experience in an ACCA approved employer that is registered under the practising certificate development stream, of which at least two years must be after admission to membership, and documented in a Practising Certificate Training Record (PCTR).
Alternatively, members who already hold a licence to practise issued by a recognised national accountancy body or regulatory authority may apply for an ACCA practising certificate which is valid only in the country where the local licence allows the member to practise. Members can apply by forwarding a copy of their local licence to the Authorisation team along with an abbreviated practising certificate application form
The eligibility requirements for an ACCA's practising certificate are set out in the Global Practising Regulations which are contained in ACCA's Rulebook
Renewal dates and fees
Practising certificates valid in Australia and New Zealand are annually renewable on 30 June and there is currently no fee payable.
Find further information on how to obtain and the ongoing conditions for holding a practising certificate ACCA will host a webinar on ACCA Practising Certificate at 6.30 pm - 7.30pm (Sydney time) on Thursday 5 May 2011. View more information and how to register for this webinar.
Additionally, if you wish to clarify your specific situation or require any support with your application, please contact:
2 Central Quay
89 Hydepark Street
Glasgow G3 8BW
tel: +44 (0)141 534 4175
fax: +44 (0)141 534 4237