Public accountants must pass the Practice Reviews conducted 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).
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements
A public accountant must fulfil a total of 120 CPE hours in each rolling 3-year period (e.g. for 2018 renewal, the hours are to be obtained from 1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2017) of which:
- 90 hours must be structured learning comprising the following:
|For ALL public accountants except for:
- those public accountants who are registered only for the purpose of becoming judicial managers and do not perform audits; and
- those public accountants who are also approved liquidators)
|At least 60 structured hours of learning must be in Core Expertise area of which:
- at least 18 hours must be in Financial Reporting Standards and Pronouncements (Category 1);
- at least 9 hours must be in Ethics and Professionalism (Category 2);
- at least 18 hours must be in Auditing Standards, Pronouncements and Methodology (Category 3); and
- remaining 15 hours can be in Category 1, 2 or 3.
|For public accountants who are also approved liquidators
||At least 60 structured hours of learning must be in Core Expertise area of which:
- at least 18 hours must be in Category 1;
- at least 9 hours must be in Category 2;
- at least 18 hours must be in Category 3;
- at least 9 hours must be in Insolvency and Restructuring (Category 4); and
- remaining 6 hours can be in Category 1, 2, 3 or 4.
|For public accountants who are registered only for the purpose of becoming judicial managers and do not perform audits
||At least 45 structured hours of learning must be in Core Expertise area of which:
- at least 30 hours must be in Category 1 and Category 4 (combined) of which at least 9 hours must be in Category 4; and
- at least 9 hours must be in Category 2.
- remaining 6 hours can be in Category 1, 2 or 4.
- a minimum of 20 hours of structured learning must be completed in each calendar year.
Public accountants are also required to:
- maintain their own CPE records in the format set out in Appendix V of the CPE Syllabus (PDF, 179KB).
- keep accurate records of their participation in structured and unstructured learning activities. The records must include the following:
- name and contact information of CPE programme provider
- title and description of content
- date of programme, and
- number of CPE hours
- retain records and evidence of participation (such as form of certificates, receipts, attendance lists, employers’ or lecturers’ letters of certification) for a period of three years. Evidence of participation must be produced when requested, together with the reasons for classifying a particular course in that category.
If the public accountant is unable to meet the CPE requirements, he can apply for an exemption from the CPE requirements (see more details under “Application for Exemption from CPE Requirements” section below).
Continued Registration Requirement
Public accountants must continue to meet the following requirements:
- that he is carrying on or about to carry on the public practice in Singapore;
- that he is maintaining or is about to maintain an office or place at which his services may be engaged;
- that he is available to undertake work on behalf of the public; and
- that he is a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.
Payment of Outstanding Fees
Public accountants who wish to renew their certificate of registration must pay in full all amounts due or outstanding to ACRA before submitting any application for renewal. This includes the following:
- 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;
- penalties imposed on the public accountant following disciplinary proceedings by the PAOC under section 52(2)(d) of the Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2005 Revised Edition); and
- costs and expenses of and incidental to any disciplinary proceedings against the public accountant ordered to be paid by the PAOC under section 52(3) of the Accountants Act (Cap. 2, 2005 Revised Edition).
Fees for Renewal of Certificate of Registration
The annual renewal fee for the certificate of registration is S$600 with effect from 2018 renewal.
In addition, public accountants are also charged a separate variable fee. The variable fee is based on the number of clients the accounting entity in which the public accountant is practising has audited.
|Number of listed corporations audited by the accounting entity*
||Fees payable by each public accountant in the accounting entity in which he is practising**
|1 – 10
|11 – 100
* For the period 1 January to 31 December of the year prior to the renewal year (e.g. 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 for 2018 renewal)
**Beginning 1 January of the renewal year
Application for Exemption from CPE Requirements
All public accountants should fulfil their CPE requirements.
If the public accountant is unable to meet the CPE requirements, he can apply for an exemption from the CPE requirements. Public accountants who have submitted a CPE exemption application should wait for the outcome before submitting the renewal application
Please note that ACRA will not process any incomplete application for exemption and that CPE exemptions are only granted in exceptional cases.
How to Apply
|Step 1: Prepare
||Prepare documentary evidence (e.g. doctor’s letter) to support your reasonable excuse (e.g. illness) for non-fulfilment of CPE requirements.
|Step 2: Submit
||Submit an "Application for CPE Exemption for Renewal of Registration as a Public Accountant" application via Bizfile+ using SingPass or CorpPass. The application should indicate the reason for the non-fulfilment.
|Step 3: Attach
The application should be accompanied by:
- the duly completed template (Excel, 28KB) providing details of their CPE shortfall such as the extent of the shortfall and the CPE category to which the shortfall relates;
- details of CPE hours acquired in the year, in the format set out in Appendix V of the CPE Syllabus (PDF, 179KB);
- evidence of participation of structured CPE hours acquired in the year. Evidence of participation can be in the form of certificates, attendance lists, employers’ or lecturers’ letters of certification; and
- Whether you have signed up for any courses to meet the requirement and if so, the evidence of course enrolment, the number of hours and the categories that these courses fall into.
|Step 4: Pay
||A fee of $50 is payable via Bizfile+ .
What to do After Applying
Wait at least 3 working days for ACRA to acknowledge your letter before following up.
If the application for exemption is approved, the PAOC may require the public accountant to make up for the CPE shortfall and acquire additional CPE hours within a certain timeframe as a condition for allowing the public accountant to renew his certificate of registration.
If the application for exemption is rejected, the public accountant will have to cease practising as a public accountant.
Application for Extension of Time to Renew a Certificate of Registration
If the public accountant missed the renewal in December, he can apply for an extension of time between 1 January and 31 January.
How to Apply
|Step 1: Submit
||Submit an "Extension of Time to Renew a Certificate of Registration" and an "Application for Renewal of Registration as a Public Accountant" application in the same transaction via Bizfile+ using SingPass or CorpPass during 1 January and 31 January.
|Step 2: Pay
||A fee of $30 for the extension of time in addition to the renewal fee is payable via Bizfile+
Consequences of Non-Renewal
Removal from Register of Public Accountants
Public accountants who fail to renew their certificate of registration from 1 December to 31 December or apply for an extension of time (till 31 January) will be removed from the Register of Public Accountants on 1 February.
A public accountant will not be able to provide public accountancy services if his certificate of registration has expired. It is illegal to practise as a public accountant without a valid certificate of registration.
A public accountant whose name has been removed from the Register will have to apply through BizFile and pay a fee of S$50 to reinstate his name and particulars to the Register of Public Accountants from 1 February to 21 February.
The removed public accountant will have to reapply for registration as a public accountant and pay the prescribed fees if he wishes to practise as a public accountant after 21 February.