Auditor regulation

Learn more about some of the licensing, registration or other recognition you may need before carrying out certain assurance engagements

In brief

  • Registered Company Auditors (RCAs) can carry out Corporations Act audits in Australia.
  • Australian members must meet minimum competency requirements to perform review engagements if they are not RCAs.
  • Licenced auditors at registered audit firms can audit FMC reporting entities in New Zealand.
  • People recognised as qualified auditors can perform other NZ statutory assurance engagements.

Australia: Corporations Act audits

Only RCAs can perform Corporations Act audits. To become an RCA, you need to show the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) that you meet the requirements of section 1280 of the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act). You need to:

  • have the qualifications listed in the Act, or equivalent qualifications and experience; and
  • have the skills contained in an ASIC-approved competency standard, or have an equivalent number of hours of practical experience; and
  • be capable, and be considered a fit and proper person to be registered as an auditor.

ASIC provides guidance on what you must do to obtain and maintain your registration in Regulatory Guide 180: Auditor Registration (RG 180). The guide also covers Authorised Audit Company registration.

In 2016, ASIC approved a revised competency standard for RCAs that was prepared by Chartered Accountants ANZ, CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants. RG 180 includes the log book you must use to document your compliance with the standard.

If you commenced documenting your competency under the previous 2004 standard, you can lodge an application until 30 June 2017. The previous version of the competency standard, guidance and logbook and guidance to assist you in documenting competency during the transitional period can be downloaded below.  As of 1 July 2017, ASIC will accept only applications made under the revised 2016 standard.

For more information on using the competency standard to meet the Act’s skills requirement, read our guidance document in the downloads section below.

Visit ASIC online

Read Regulatory Guide 180: Auditor Registration

Learn more

Competency requirements for Australian members performing review engagements

The Joint Accounting Bodies in Australia have agreed minimum competency requirements for members who are not RCAs who wish to perform review engagements. The competency requirements are available in the downloads section below.

New Zealand: Audits of FMC reporting entities

To perform audits of Financial Markets Conduct (FMC) reporting entities, the Auditor Regulation Act 2011 requires:

  • auditors, including engagement partners and engagement quality control reviewers, to hold a license; and
  • audit firms to be registered

Section 451 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 provides a full list of the types of entities considered to be FMC reporting entities, including issuers of regulated products, registered banks, licensed insurers, credit unions and building societies.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) sets the prescribed minimum standards that auditors must meet to obtain licenses and audit firms must meet to become registered.

For New Zealand auditors and audit firms, licensing and registration are handled by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA). NZICA has powers to add conditions to licenses, and to suspend and cancel licenses.

For overseas auditors and audit firms, the FMA is responsible for licensing and registration.

All licensed auditors are subject to regular quality review by the FMA.

Visit FMA online

Access further information on licensing and registration

Learn more

New Zealand: Other statutory assurance engagements

In New Zealand, you need to be recognised as a qualified auditor to undertake statutory assurance engagements other than audits of Financial Markets Conduct (FMC) reporting entities. There are a number of pathways to recognition:

  • If you hold a licence under the Auditor Regulation Act 2011, you are automatically recognised as a qualified auditor.
  • If you meet the requirements in section 36 of the Financial Reporting Act 2013, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) can grant you recognition.
  • If you operate through a limited company, it may apply to NZICA to be registered as a qualified auditor. There is no provision for recognition of partnership firms, but an auditor can sign auditor reports in the name of the partnership if the engagement partner is a qualified auditor.
  • If you are not a resident of New Zealand, you can apply to the Companies Office to be recognised as a qualified auditor. However, the Companies Office is not able to recognise an overseas company as a qualified auditor.

How to apply

Lodge a non-NZ resident application with the Companies Office

Apply now

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