National Institute of Accountants

National Institute of Accountants

The National Institute of Accountants (NIA) is an Australian professional accounting body.

History

The history of the NIA dates back to 1923:

* 1923 - Institute of Factory and Cost Accountants, formed in Melbourne, Victoria.
* 1950 - Institute of Taxation and Cost Accountants, name change.
* 1957 - National Institute of Accountants, name change.
* 1967 - Institute of Commercial Studies, name change.
* 1970 - Institute of Affiliate Accountants, name change.
* 1988 - National Institute of Accountants, adoption of the precedent name.
* 2002 - NIA gazetted as an authorised assessing authority for skilled migration to Australia
* 2004 - NIA becomes a member of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

Membership

The NIA has several grades of membership:

* Associate (AN
* Member (MNIA)
* Professional National Accountant (PNA)
* Fellow Professional National Accountant (FPNA)

Students studying towards an accounting qualification can join the NIA Student Register.

Membership requirements

* ANIA membership requires the completion of an Advanced Diploma in Accounting or a university degree in accounting

* MNIA level membership requires:
** Advanced Diploma in Accounting plus the NIA "Professional Education Program Stage 1" (Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting); or
** University degree in Accounting; plus
** 3 years experience in accounting

* PNA level membership requires
** MNIA membership; or
** University degree in accounting plus
** Completion of the NIA "Professional Education Program Stage 1&2". This leads to a Master of Commerce (Professional Accounting) from the [http://www.une.edu.au University of New England] plus
** NIA "Mentored Experienced Program". This constitutes 3 years structured experience in accounting, under the supervision of an accountant qualified at PNA level or equivalent.

* FPNA membership requires
** PNA status
** 10 years experience in accounting (5 of which at senior level)
** 6 years membership of NIA

Members of other professional bodies

Members of certain other professional bodies may apply for membership of NIA at PNA level based on their existing qualifications. This includes members of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

The NIA has a mutual recognition agreement in place with the [http://www.cfa-sa.co.za Institute of Certified Public Accountants of South Africa] .

PNA/FPNA members of the NIA are recognised by the UK's [http://www.sii.org.uk Securities & Investment Institute (SII)] for admission to SII's full membership (MSI). Full membership of SII is recognised by several national investment professional bodies such as the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), formerly the Australian Institute of Banking and Finance and the Hong Kong Securities Institute (HKSI).

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

All members of NIA must complete at least 80 hours CPE every two years.

Market reputation of NIA

The NIA has the same Australian legislative recognition as the other two Australian accounting bodies, CPA Australia (CPAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA). In particular, the three accounting bodies are defined as 'professional accounting bodies" in the Corporations Act 2001. Such recognition entitles each of the three bodies to nominate a representative to the Australian Financial Reporting Council, the Australian Government's peak body responsible for providing oversight of the setting of accounting and auditing standards as well as monitoring the effectiveness of auditor independence requirements in Australia and giving the Government reports and advice on these matters.

The PNA designation was introduced in 2000 as part of a strategy to upgrade the standing of NIA in the Australian market. At the time, to become a PNA, the applicant required a university degree in accounting plus 3 years work experience in accounting.

The NIA became a member of the International Federation of Accountants in November 2004. In order to obtain IFAC membership, the NIA upgraded the academic requirements for the PNA designation to a Masters degree, developed in conjunction with the University of New England. Existing persons with the PNA designation were allowed to retain their status without further examination, and transitional arrangements were made for those completing their studies.

From 1 July 2005, the NIA upgraded the experience requirements for the PNA designation to a three year competence-based mentored experience program. Aspirants for this class of membership must demonstrate to a senior accountant that they have the competence to undertake various tasks required by the NIA.

The reputation of the NIA is also recognised in the Government forums and committees that it is represented on. These forums and committees include those of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Australian Taxation Office.

Qualification assessment

Effective from 1 July 2002, the NIA was gazetted by the Australian Minister for Immigration as an authorised assessing authority for accountants seeking to migrate to Australia under Australia's skilled migration program. This gives the NIA the authority to assess the accounting qualifications of such persons.

The requirements to obtain a qualification assessment as an accountant for migration purposes are not the same as those for actual membership of NIA.

Public practice

Members of NIA at MNIA, PNA and FPNA level may apply for "public practice" certificates, after completing additional requirements set by NIA.

External links

* [http://www.nia.org.au National Institute of Accountants]


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