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Accounting bodies respond to COVID-19 impact

Exam cancellations and member event postponements are just some of the measures the professional accounting bodies have acted on as they monitor the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Professional Development Jotham Lian 18 March 2020
— 2 minute read

With indoor non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people now banned and Australia adopting a 14-day self-isolation measure for overseas arrivals, the major accounting bodies are now holding daily meetings to assess the developing COVID-19 situation and its impact on their member programs.


CPA Australia

CPA Australia has now announced that it will not be able to hold its Semester 1 CPA Program exams and Foundation exams at its exam assessment centres, with all associate members set to receive an update on 24 March.

All face-to-face member events have now been cancelled until 31 May.

Members who have registered to attend a specific event will be notified separately about that event, and in the case of paid events, they will be able to receive a full refund. 

“CPA Australia regrets any disappointment or disruption this may cause. We have made this decision with the health and wellbeing of members and staff as our priority,” said CPA chief executive Andrew Hunter.


Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is currently moving “as quickly as we can” to pivot all its face-to-face events into a virtual or online environment.

The accounting body will move to postpone or cancel ceremonies and events, but as of 16 March, will continue to run its CA Program as per usual, with the added flexibility for its CA Study Masterclass candidates to join webinar sessions in place of face-to-face workshops.

CA ANZ capstone candidates, who are required to attend compulsory workshops, will now be provided with an option to defer to the next offering of the capstone unit at no additional cost.

“Contingency planning is underway regarding our exam arrangements to ensure we are well prepared to respond as necessary, and we will continue to update candidates in the coming weeks as we work through the options and logistics,” a CA ANZ spokesperson told Accountants Daily.

“As we reimagine our new normal, please be assured your professional body will balance the community need for social distancing with the designation’s imperative to learn, connect, be informed and advocate for better policy and outcomes with governments and regulators to navigate through and past this event.”

Members and candidates will be informed via email of any changes to events over the coming days.


The IPA will be postponing any event or meeting of more than 50 members by the end of this week.

The IPA Program, delivered by Deakin University, is still set to go ahead, with the course delivered virtually.

Member quality assurance and practice reviews will now be postponed until the end of the calendar year to provide additional time to members to meet the needs of their clients.

The Tax Institute

Likewise, the Tax Institute will review all upcoming face-to-face workshops, lectures and events, with these activities set to proceed in the meantime.

Where such events are set to run, health precautionary measures will be put in place, including a health and travel declaration requirement and additional hygiene stations.

With the next exam week at the Tax Institute set for the week commencing 18 May, it is still scheduled to run, but that will change according to federal and state government advice.

The above information is current as of the time of publication. Updates will be made if and when necessary.

Accounting bodies respond to COVID-19 impact
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Professional Development