Validity Period of Certificates of Registration
1. All public accountants have to renew their certificate of registration as a public accountant between 1 December to 31 December of each year.
2. The certification of registration as a public accountant is valid from the date of registration or, upon subsequent renewal, from 1 January of the year and expires on 31 December of each year. The registration must be renewed each year between 1 December to 31 December.
How to apply for renewal?
3. All applications for renewal of certificates of registration as a public accountant must be submitted online via BizFile. To renew, a public accountant may either:
a) login to BizFile to submit an online transaction for the renewal of certificate of registration; or
b) engage the services of a professional firm or a service bureau for assistance in submitting the online application for renewal of certification of registration for public accountant.
Login using SingPass
Public accountants can easily perform the renewal of their certificates of registration online via BizFile. To do so, the public accountant will require to have his / her SingPass to login to BizFile to perform the renewal applications.
If you do not have or have forgotten your SingPass, you can apply or reset your SingPass at these locations.
Login using Professional Numbers
Public accounting entities can also submit the online renewal applications on the public accountants’ behalf or public accountants can engage the services of a professional firm (e.g. corporate secretarial firm or service bureau) to submit their online renewal application.
Professional firms carrying out the renewals on behalf of the public accountants will require to have access to BizFile via a duly authorised professional number to carry out the renewal applications on behalf of the public accountants.
To apply for a professional number, professional firms should login to BizFile using SingPass. Under the “Security” heading of BizFile homepage, click on “Apply for Professional Number” hyperlink. It takes approximately 7 working days to process an application for a Professional Number. For more information, please refer to ACRA’s brochure on “How to BizFile”.
4. A public accountant shall not be entitled to have his certificate of registration renewed if he has failed:
a) to pass any practice review conducted by ACRA under Part V (Practice Monitoring Programme) of the Accountants Act or comply with any order or requirement made by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee (PAOC);
b) to meet the required standard of professional conduct or practice as determined by ACRA; or
c) to comply with the prescribed requirements relating to continuing professional education (CPE).
For the purpose of renewal of certificate of registration for the year 2012 and thereafter, a public accountant must fulfill a total of 120 CPE hours in each rolling 3-year period of which:
a) 90 hours must be structured learning; and
b) a minimum of 20 hours of structured learning must be completed in each calendar year.
The CPE Syllabus and the first rolling 3-year CPE period will apply from 1 January 2011. This means that a public accountant who applies to renew his or her certificate of registration for the calendar year beginning 1 January 2012 must ensure that the CPE that they are relying on in their application (i.e. the CPE obtained in 2011) complies with the new CPE syllabus. The CPE obtained in 2011 will count towards the first rolling 3-year CPE period.
Public accountants are required to maintain their own CPE records in the format set out in Appendix V of the CPE Syllabus. Public accountants are responsible for accurate recording of the appropriate number of CPE hours undertaken and must retain appropriate documentation of their participation in structured and unstructured learning activities including:
a) name and contact information of CPE programme provider;
b) title and description of content;
c) date of programme; and
d) number of CPE hours.
5. The PAOC has determined under section 13(3)(c) of the Accountants Act that it is a requirement for a public accountant who wishes to renew his certificate of registration to pay up in full all amounts due and payable or outstanding to ACRA in respect the following fees, penalties, costs and expenses before submission of any application by a public accountant for renewal of his certificate of registration renewed:
a) Fees for the conduct of Practice Monitoring Programme under section 33 (2) of the Accountants Act, read with rule 4 and the First Schedule to the Accountants (Public Accountants) Rules;
b) Penalties imposed on the public accountant following disciplinary proceedings :
i) by the PAOC under section 52(2)(d) of the Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2005 Revised Edition); and
ii) by the former Public Accountants Board under section 34(2)(d) of the repealed Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2001 Revised Edition); and
c) Costs and expenses of and incidental to any disciplinary proceedings against the public accountant ordered to be paid:
i) by the PAOC under section 52(3) of the Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2005 Revised Edition); and
ii) by the Chairman of the former Public Accountants Board under section 33(3) of the repealed Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2001 Revised Edition).
Fees for Renewal of Certificate of Registration
6. The fee for renewal of the certificate of registration payable by a public accountant is $450.00. In addition, a separate fee is payable by each public accountant in respect of the accounting entity in which he is practising, as set out in Table 1.
Number of listed corporations audited by the accounting entity*
1 – 5
6 – 20
21 – 50
Fees payable by each public accountant in the accounting entity in which he is practising#
* Number of listed corporations audited by the accounting entity from 1st January to 31st December of the year immediately preceding the year in respect of which the Certificate of Registration is renewed
# Fees payable by each public accountant in the accounting entity in which he is practising as at 1 January of the year in respect of which the certificate of registration is renewed
Clarification on Public Interest Entities
7. In completing the information on the number of clients the accounting entities audited in the renewal form, public interest entities include:
a) Companies listed on Singapore Exchange or are in the process of issuing its debt or equity instruments for trading on Singapore Exchange;
b) Entities in regulated financial industries (such as banks, insurance companies, funds, fund managers and securities/brokers/dealers); and
c) Other entities which raise funds from the public (such as charities, Institutions of a Public Character and religious organisations).
Application for an Extension of Time to Renew a Certificate of Registration and Waiver from CPE Requirements
8. Information pertaining to the application for an extension of time to renew a certificate of registration and waiver from CPE requirements are set out as follows:
Application for Extension of Time to Renew a Certificate of Registration
a) All public accountants must submit their application for renewal of their registration on or before 31 December of each year;
b) Applications for extension of time to submit renewal must be submitted before 31 December of each year:
i) in writing with the prescribed fee;
ii) supported by reasonable excuse (such as illness); and
iii) must be supported by documentary evidence (such as doctor’s letter); and
c) The Registrar of Public Accountants would consider the merits of each application for extension on a case-by-case basis. The Registrar will not consider as reasonable, excuses such as not having a SingPass or being overseas. As applications for renewal are open for the same fixed period annually and can be made via BizFile 24 hours a day from any part of the world, applicants are encouraged to plan ahead.
Application for Waiver from CPE Requirements
a) All public accountants must fulfill their CPE requirements. Please note that exemptions will be granted only in exceptional cases where the PAOC must be fully satisfied that the fulfillment of the CPE requirements was not practically possible due to exogenous factor(s) outside the public accountants’ control, e.g. inability to fulfill the CPE requirements due to challenges arising from medical conditions;
b) Applications for Exemptions from the CPE requirements must be supported by:
i) reasons and evidence resulting to the non-fulfillment of the CPE requirements, e.g. illness;
ii) the number of structured and unstructured CPE hours acquired from 1 January of the year to the date of application for exemption;
iii) ability to make up the shortage of CPE hours; and
c) Where the PAOC approves the application for exemption from the CPE requirements, it may require the public accountant make up for the shortfall and acquire additional hours within the first six months of the following year.
Fees for Application for an Extension of Time for Renewal and Waiver from CPE Requirements
9. The fees for an application for an extension of time to renew a certificate of registration and an application for waiver from the CPE requirements are set out in Table 2.
For an application for an extension of time to renew a certificate of registration under section 13(1) of the Act
For an application for waiver from any of the prescribed requirements relating to continuing professional education under section 13(3)(a) of the Act
Mode of Payment
10. Payment for online renewal of certificate of registration must be made by credit card (MasterCard and VISA only), internet banking (through an internet banking account with Citibank, DBS or UOB) or ACRA Deposit Service (if the firm holds a Professional Number).
11. Payment by cash or cheque is not accepted for BizFile transactions.
12. Applications for an extension of time to renew a certificate of registration and waiver from CPE requirements are required to be accompanied by a cheque made payable to “ACRA”.
Consequences of Non-Renewal
13. The Act requires the Registrar of Public Accountants to remove from the Register of Public Accountants the name and particulars of a public accountant who has, without reasonable excuse, failed to renew his certificate of registration after one month from the date of expiry.