- Members can practice using a variety of structures
- Members may be able to practice with non-members, and may practice using a variety of structures
- Only practices controlled by Members can use the Chartered Accountants description or logo
- Business names entail some restrictions
Practice business structures options
Chartered Accountants in Australia operate their practices in a number of ways: as sole practitioners, using trusts, partnerships or companies, and any combination of these.
As members there’s no limitations on the types of business structures you can use to meet your business needs. However, understanding the impact of relevant legislation and regulations on your practice structure can help you decide the best structure for your practice. Obtaining legal, tax or financial planning advice is recommended to help make this decision.
If you practice through a company in an Australian mainland state, it’s worth considering Practice Entity Membership. This has the added benefit of liability capping to your corporate entity.
Whatever type of practice structure you choose, please ensure you let us know:
- When you start your practice
- When you change your practice structure
- When you change partners, directors, shareholders or trustees
- If you end practice
Explore Practice Entity Membership in AustraliaFind out more
Practice Details Advice
Use the Practice Details Advice to advise us of details of your practice, both initially and when changes occur.Download form now
If you practice with principals who aren’t members, they need to be approved. The ratio of principals who aren’t members must not be over 49% of the principals of the practice on a national basis.
In some circumstances we may be able to approve practice entities that don’t meet all of the above requirements.
Understanding the impact of relevant legislation and regulations on your practice structure can help you decide the best structure for your practice. Obtaining legal, tax or financial planning advice is recommended to help make this decision.
To understand the practice entity requirements in more detail:Member Handbook: NZICA Rules
Practices with non-members
Members can practice with non-members in Australia.
However, If your firm describes itself as Chartered Accountants or uses the CA logo, there are some rules about non-member principals in your firm you need to be aware of. For example, if you have too many non-members as principals this could change your ability to call yourself a CA practice or use the CA logo.
By supplying us with information about non-members in your practice we can advise you on the rules and how they apply to your practice. It also helps us ensure we communicate to non-members how important our regulatory framework and code of ethics are. This is discussed in more detail below.
A principal in a practice is a defined term in the regulations. Typically it’s someone in a leadership role in the practice, usually a partner, director or shareholder. As leaders they have ability to influence the actions of the practice. Therefore non-member principals need to apply for recognition as an Affiliate member.
Explore about Affiliate membershipsFind out more
Members in New Zealand can practice with non-members who have been approved as non-member principals.
Explore how to apply practice with a non-member through Affiliate membershipFind out more
Using our logo and business name
Members are welcome to call themselves Chartered Accountants and to use the CA logo in their business stationery, website and office branding. However, it’s important to note this is only available for practices where the majority of the principals are members.
Due to regulatory requirements the rules are slightly different in Australia and New Zealand.
Using the Chartered Accountants ANZ brand
An Australian practice can describe itself as Chartered Accountants and use the Logo when it complies with CA ANZ Regulation CR9 Public Practice Regulations. This means:
- All principals in the practice are either a member with a certificate of public practice (CPP) or an affiliate member
- There aren’t more affiliate members than members with a CPP
- Affiliate members don’t control more than 50% of the capital, financial results or voting rights of the practice.
Please note, only practices that meet CR9 can belong to the Liability Capping Scheme.
If your practice doesn’t meet CR9 you can apply to the Chartered Accountants ANZ Board to become a CA practice. If you think this might apply to you please contact us.
If you are part of a network of firms operating under a common brand name please ensure only those firms entitled to call themselves a CA practice do so. It is important to make this distinction clear for members of the public.
Want to use our brand?
Check if your firm can use the term Chartered Accounting and our branding using our handy survey
All approved practice entities in New Zealand can call themselves Chartered Accountants and use our logo.
Practice Entity membership
Find out more about Practice Entity Membership in New Zealand
Are there limitations on my business name?
Choosing a name for your practice is an important decision. If you’re officially a CA Practice we encourage you to include the words Chartered Accountants to describe your business and use the CA logo in your branding.
However if you’re using the CA branding please don’t use business names that are:
- Unprofessional, offensive, or amounts to conduct unbecoming of a Chartered Accountant,
- Likely to reflect adversely on the profession,
- False misleading or deceptive, or
- Unlawful or undesirable
Please note Australian members cannot include “Chartered” or “Chartered Accountant /s” in their registered business name.
For example don’t use the following:
Northside Chartered Accountants Pty Ltd
Smith, Wang & Patel Chartered Accountants
Do use the following:
Northside Accountants Pty Ltd
Smith, Wang & Patel
For more information refer to our regulations and By-LawsRead more
Appointing power of attorneys
When you establish your practice it’s important to think about who will manage your clients if you are not able to. This is especially important for sole practitioners. It’s part of managing risk and ensuring your clients are protected in case something unexpected happens to you. It also makes things much easier for anyone winding up your estate in the event of your death.
We recommend appointing Power of Attorneys. When you grant a person power of attorney you authorise them to supervise your practice and make necessary decisions when you, the owner, can’t.
If you want to appoint a Power of Attorneys in New Zealand you need approval under the NZICA Act. Complete the relevant power of attorney document and have it signed, witnessed and returned to the NZ Regulation team for approval.