Accountants Failing to Invest in Themselves

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) Code of Professional Conduct (Code) requires registered agents to meet continuing professional education (CPE) obligations. The object of this it to ensure that tax agent services are provided to the public in accordance with appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.

Registered tax agents are required to complete a minimum of 90 hours of CPE over three years. Examples of CPE activities include:

  • Seminars, workshops, courses and lectures
  • Structured conferences and discussion groups (including those undertaken by telephone or video conference)
  • Tertiary courses provided by universities, registered training organisations (RTOs), other registered higher education institutions or other approved course providers (including distance learning)
  • Other educational activities, provided by an appropriate organisation
  • Research, writing and presentation by the registered agent of technical publications or structured training
  • Peer review of research and writing submitted for publication or presentation in structured training
  • Computer/internet-assisted courses, audiotape or videotape packages
  • Attendance at structured in-house training on tax related subjects by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area covered.

When the TPB recently reviewed the CPE activities of 800 registered tax agents they found that 30% had failed to meet the minimum CPE obligations required under the Code. These agents are failing to invest the time and money in themselves with detrimental effects to both clients and the tax system.