CPA Australia: Opening doors to global careers | Inquirer Business

CPA Australia: Opening doors to global careers

A CPA Australia designation will give you the additional knowledge and recognition you need to build an international career in accounting and finance.
/ 12:45 PM December 06, 2021

Marilou Capistrano CPA (Aust.), Finance and Admin Manager at South Australia-based Gadaleta Steel Fabrication, has benefitted not only professionally from the CPA Program, it has also inspired her children to strive for success. 

With the help of the knowledge gained through the program, she forged ahead and built her global career. 

Marilou Capistrano CPA

The reason why Capistrano was looking at the CPA Program in the first place was that after coming to Australia, securing a job that fit her skills and experience was difficult. “I was declined for jobs because I didn’t have a CPA designation. That was my turning point and why I started the CPA Program. I knew I had the skills, qualifications and experience but I was lacking this CPA designation,” she says. 


Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy (BOA), Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and CPA Australia have collaborated to deliver career and knowledge benefits to their members to help them develop international career opportunities. 

Capistrano adds, “Doing the CPA Program may not guarantee you getting a job abroad immediately but it gives you a competitive edge and can be a stepping stone to landing your dream job in the future. Even if you’re not actually physically in Australia, just doing that CPA Program and getting the designation can help you to work with an employer based in Australia.”

The Australian-specific knowledge gained through completing the program was also helpful for Capistrano. “I had no previous experience with Australian tax, so the CPA Program really helped me a lot in understanding this area.”

Broaden your horizons 

If you have a passion for learning, the CPA Australia books really have a lot of information in them. 

Capistrano says, “You can gain a broad understanding of what’s happening externally in regards to your own company as well as outside the industry. The CPA Program further explores what we have already learned in our bachelor degrees and applies it to real-world scenarios.” 

In the CPA Program’s capstone subject, Global Strategy and Leadership, Capistrano was able to get a grasp on being in a management position as well as learning new perspectives on global accounting problems. 

“I was able to find subjects covered in the program that addressed areas where I am lacking. For example, I don’t have enough experience in management accounting. By doing the CPA Program I was able to deepen my knowledge in this area and improve on my shortcomings.” 

At the time that Capistrano was doing the CPA Program, she was trying to get a government grant for one of her company’s projects. The knowledge she gained from the subjects helped her to take the most effective approach.

“I was able to apply the knowledge from the strategic management subject to the government grant application, and we received that two million dollar government grant. In doing so I increased my value within the company.”

On a professional front, it was the right time to do this program for Capistrano because her company was working on new strategies after being impacted by the pandemic. 

“We were thinking of diversifying or looking at other strategies to improve the business. So, with this subject, I was able to give certain ideas and contribute something to management about improving the strategy.” 

Learn at your own pace

Capistrano believes the CPA Program is ideal for mid-career finance professionals in the Philippines.

“We’re given six years to finish the program, so there are many options for us depending on whether we want to take multiple subjects in just one semester or just one subject per semester. 

Doing the CPA Program while working a full-time job and raising a family was very challenging for Capistrano. There was a lot of pressure for her to juggle everything at the same time. 

“CPA Program is highly manageable and it allows me to take the examinations at my own pace. For those who are working full time, it’s a great option.”

“I’m just very lucky that I have a very supportive husband and my teenager is also very understanding. I hope I was a good example to my son when he saw me studying. 

“One motivation in pursuing the program is that I want my children to be proud of me and see me as an inspiration so that they aim higher and dream bigger. I want them to realize that they will define their own future. If they want to achieve something, they need to pursue and work hard for it just like I did.” 

Attend a Become a CPA information webinar to learn more or apply for the CPA Australia Associate membership via Member Pathway Agreement (MPA) with PICPA.


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