The business world has become more complex since the days when accountants sat, quill in hand, poring over ledgers by candlelight, says Low Weng Keong, president and chairman of the board of CPA Australia. Today's accountants are involved in almost every facet of business and they are increasingly called upon by their organisation to provide strategic vision and leadership.
The CPA program is aimed at providing the technical and management knowledge that today's professionals require to meet the demands of business. By providing a globally recognised, postgraduate qualification, the CPA program offers professionals who may not have come up through the traditional accounting degree path the opportunity to complete specialist training - and earn the valuable CPA (Aust) designation - that will enhance their careers.
"In addition to providing participants with technical skills, our goal is to nurture future business leaders, bearing in mind that not all accountants develop their careers only in the accounting profession," explains Theresa Chan, president for Greater China of CPA Australia.
The requirements for those admitted to the CPA program are determined by an assessment of the candidate's educational and practical experience.
Entry at the foundational level is for those who may not have an accounting degree, but seek an understanding of the core accounting principles and practices that underpin the financial aspects of an organisation.
Entry at the professional level is for those pursuing a higher level of analytical ability, judgment and decision making, and focuses on areas valued by most employers - ethics, governance, leadership and strategy. The practical experience requirement, undertaken concurrently with the education component at the professional level, actively develops the candidate's practical, business and leadership skills to produce a well-rounded and work-ready business professional.
Integrating education with practical experience, the CPA program equips graduates with the skills to implement strategy in order to translate vision into reality.