As a professional accountant, there is always a need to undergo further training to keep your skills up to date and to expand your career options. Short courses are a good way to gain the latest knowledge about a specific accounting topic, such as new tax law.
You might also want to upgrade your qualifications by completing a postgraduate university degree in accounting or a related field such as business management.
1. Online Study Australia
Online Study Australia (OSA) is the place to go to find the best online university degrees in accounting. OSA examines the online courses offered by all Australian universities and selects and presents the best ones. Course ratings of recent graduates are some of the statistics it uses to evaluate courses.
For professional accountants, OSA lists postgraduate accounting courses from the top online business schools. Distance education degrees include graduate certificates (1 semester of study), graduate diplomas (2 semesters) and online masters degrees (usually 3 semesters). You can study accounting part-time and, in fact, this is the way most students do online learning. Online study of accounting is a way to balance study with work and other commitments.
2. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) was formed from the amalgamation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. It offers an array of online, on-campus and at-work courses for professional accountants. But its cornerstone program is the chartered accountant qualifying program.
Chartered Accountants Program
To become a Chartered Accountant in Australia or New Zealand, aspiring members must undertake the Chartered Accountants Program. This is a Grad Dip CA which is internationally recognised. It provides Provisional Members with technical accounting knowledge and professional skills.
Blending online and face-to-face study, the Chartered Accountants Program is flexible. You are able to study whenever and wherever you want. The Program has been designed to suit many learning styles while maintaining the quality and rigour.The Program has four technical modules, which were developed in consultation with Chartered Accountants, academics, and other business professionals:
- Taxation (Australian and New Zealand modules)
- Audit and Assurance
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Management Accounting and Applied Finance
The Capstone module combines online learning with face-to-face workshops. Candidates develop professional skills in leadership, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. The module uses real-world business simulations and case studies.
The best way to develop professional competence is to combined real-world experience with academic training. Provisional Members must complete 3 years of approved employment under the guidance of an experienced Chartered Accountant mentor.
3. CPA Australia
CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) Australia also provides a qualifying training program for professional accreditation. Becoming a CPA is largely equivalent to becoming a Chartered Accountant. However, specialist accounting firms tend to hire Chartered Accountants whereas CPAs are employed more generally in finance and accounting industries.
About My Online Learning
As well as the CPA Program, CPA Australia offers online learning for continued professional development. My Online Learning is the online learning platform. It allows you to update skills, claim continuing professional development hours and it assists with studying in the CPA Program.
The online courses give you the opportunity to learn from home or on the move, and at a time that suits you. My Online Learning gives access to learning materials that match your interests. It also allows you to share your knowledge with others. It is available for members and non-members who have registered for an online CPA course.
4. Top Accounting Universities
Based on entry standards for undergraduate students, the top business schools in Australia are at UNSW, Sydney Uni, Melbourne Uni, UTS and the University of Queensland. These are the prestigious choices for studying accounting.
But teaching quality also matters. According the course satisfaction ratings, some other universities provide a better overall experience. Some of the top rated Australian universities for accounting are Bond University, the University of New England, and Swinburne University of Technology. For the latest rankings, see Good Universities for Accounting.