Step-by-step guide on Public Accountant registration using BizFile+
|Step 1: Ensure
||Ensure you have met all registration requirements listed in Requirement for Registration as a Public Accountant.
|Step 2: Log on to BizFile+
Log on to BizFile+ to submit the online transaction.
For Registered Filing Agents (on behalf of applicants)
Engage the services of a registered filing agent (e.g. law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm).
|Step 3: Submit
||Submit an online application via BizFile+.
|Step 4: Pay
||Pay an application fee of S$1,000 via the following options:
Note: Payment by cash or cheque is not accepted in BizFile+ transactions.
- Credit card (MasterCard, VISA and American Express only)
- ACRA Deposit Service (for registered filing agents)
|Step 5: Gather and Scan
You would need to enclose the following documents in the online application:
- Certificate of passing final examination (if the examination passed is not one of those in the list stated in the legislation);
- Testimonials of past and current employment (both audit and non-audit experience);
- Evidence of participation of structured CPE hours;
- Letter of support by the firm (if you are joining an existing accounting entity); and
- Confirmation letter by the professional body or organization of your membership and qualification i.e. certificate of good standing from the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.
For applicants relying on Foreign Qualifying Audit Experience - Gather and scan the information and relevant supporting documents set out in Addendum to Application to be Registered as a Public Accountant (PDF, 182KB) (that are not attached in the online application above).
|Step 6: Email
For applicants relying on Foreign Qualifying Audit Experience - Email all documents to email@example.com within 5 working days from the date of your online application.
(Important: If you do not submit the information and relevant supporting documents set out in the Addendum to Application to be Registered as a Public Accountant (PDF, 182KB) or seek an extension of time to submit the documents, your application will be processed based on the information available in the application form.
In such an event, it is likely to be rejected on the basis that you have not provided the required evidence that you satisfy the requirements for registration. The application fee is non-refundable)
What to do After Applying
You will receive an email about the result of your application.
ACRA will liaise with you via email to seek clarification (if necessary).
Wait at least 8 working days for ACRA to respond before following up.
|If your application is successful
If approved, your certificate of registration (in PDF format) will be enclosed in the email. The certificate is valid from the date it is issued to 31st December of the same year.
Your certificate of registration must be renewed annually from 1 to 31 December.
Please see Renewing Certificate of Registration for more information.
|If your application is unsuccessful
||If your application is unsuccessful, the reasons for rejection will be indicated in the email. The application fee is non-refundable.
Submitting an Appeal
If you would like your application to be assessed again after ensuring that you have met all the registration requirements, you may submit a fresh application.
The right to appeal under section 11(6) of the Accountants Act is only available when an application for registration as a public accountant is refused by the PAOC on one of the following grounds set out in section 11(4) of the Accountants Act. That is, where the applicant –
- is not of good reputation or character;
- is engaged in any business or occupation that is inconsistent with the integrity of a public accountant; or
- is otherwise unfit to practise as a public accountant; or
- has had his registration, licence or approval to practise as a public accountant in any other country withdrawn, suspended, cancelled or revoked.
The appeal must be made to the Minister of Finance within 30 days of receiving the rejection.
Practising without Registration
Without being registered as a public accountant, you shall not:
- practise as a public accountant
- hold yourself out to be a public accountant
- use your name or otherwise assume, use, or advertise any title or description that gives the impression you are a public accountant registered under the Act, or authorised to provide public accountancy services in Singapore.
Consequences of Practising without Registration
It is an offence for a person to practise as a public accountant without registration.
If convicted, they may be fined up to S$5,000, face imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, they may be fined up to S$10,000, face imprisonment of up to 24 months, or both.