How to Become an Accountant in Australia

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Accountants are one of the most highly respected professionals out of any career you can choose.

With high salary expectations, great job prospects and plenty of room for different working environments, it’s also a very popular choice with Australians.

Keep reading to discover how to become an accountant in Australia:

A Career in Accounting

Accounting is one of the most secure careers you can currently choose to enter, and filled with interesting benefits.

There are plenty of jobs all over Australia, and the industry is only expected to continue growing.

In general, it’s an accountant’s role to help individuals and organizations with their financial situations.

Here are some of the day-to-day tasks of an accountant:

  • Manage the income and expenditures of an individual or organization
  • Advise on tax obligations
  • Create budgets, financial statements, and more
  • Work with senior management to establish accounting policies that adhere to Australian financial rules and regulations
  • Deliver financials for business plans
  • Manage investments 
  • Undertake financial audits and investigations
  • Establish and manage bank accounts, funds, and trusts for clients

Accounting is also a field that spans across all industries, meaning that you can pick and choose from a wide variety of working environments.

If outdoor adventure is your thing, then guess what – they need accountants.

The same goes for the world’s biggest consulting firms and just about every other industry in Australia.

With such a variety of options across Australia, becoming an accountant is a very good career move

Do You Need a Bachelor’s Degree to Become an Accountant?

In Australia, there are three professional accounting bodies in charge of regulating the accounting industry in the country.

For a career in accounting and bookkeeping, you’ll need to register with one of them.

They are:

For both the ICAA and CPA, a bachelor’s degree in accounting is necessary to join. They also accept similar degrees, such as a bachelor’s in business with a major in accounting.

To be accepted into the IPA, you’ll need to hold at least a Diploma of Accounting.

Working in an accounting role doesn’t exactly require a bachelor’s degree. However, to produce certain financial reports, and any other work that is going to be analyzed externally, you will need to be a member of one of the above bodies.

So, in general, if you’re aiming for a career in accounting you should be aiming to complete at least a bachelor’s degree at some point.

How to Become an Accountant in Australia

The first step you should take to become an accountant in Australia is to familiarise yourself with the industry.

We’ve given a brief overview of what the role entails above but dig a little deeper before committing to a career in accounting.

If you’re not ready to undertake a bachelor’s degree yet, you can also take a smaller first step towards becoming an accountant by completing an accounting and bookkeeping course.

Rather than a broad focus of the accounting field, these courses are designed to teach you the necessary skills currently required in the industry.

Completing one of these courses will also allow you to work as a registered BAS or tax agent, and count as credit towards a bachelor’s degree down the line.

It’s a great way to start out in the industry, as you’ll learn the exact skills employers are looking for.

The final option to become an accountant in Australia is to complete a postgraduate qualification, such as a Master of Professional Accounting.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, this postgraduate degree will also allow you to become an accountant in Australia.

After you’re qualified, then all that’s left is to start the job hunt!

Salary Expectations

The average salary for accountants in Australia is just below $90,000 a year. Entry-level accountants can expect to make between $40,000 and $55,000 a year, depending on the organization and industry.

However, once you’re getting into the senior roles, you can expect to be making over $100,000 a year. 

It’s a highly paid career choice, and accountants are very rarely out of work because there are always lots of jobs.

The job market for accountants is also expected to continue growing in the coming decades.

About the author

AP Community

AP Community

Accounting Path community writers are passionate financial & businesses thought leaders eager to share their experience & ideas. Please note, community articles may contain links to products or services which we do not formally endorse and/or for which we may receive compensation.