Loan scheme to support accounting students

fee-help CAANZ

A government assistance loan scheme, Fee-Help, is making university courses in accounting more accessible to entice talent to the profession. 

The federal government has approved Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) as a higher education Fee-Help provider, saying it will make it easier for new entrants to start their career in the industry.

CAANZ is the only industry body that currently offers Fee-Help, which is a study assistance loan scheme that helps eligible full fee-paying students pay all or part of their course tuition fees at Australian universities and other higher education providers.

CAANZ chief executive Ainslie van Onselen said: “Accountants play an integral role in every Australian community. Now, no matter your background or location, becoming a chartered accountant is more accessible than ever – it’s a big win for the future of our profession.

“It’s welcome news for small and medium-sized practices who are also facing inflationary pressures on their costs base. Fee-Help means they now can attract and retain talent as part of their employee proposition.”

Van Onselen said the next challenge was making the accounting profession attractive and study not too costly to undertake, particularly for those who have not had experience in the workforce.

“When I represented the profession last year at the Jobs and Skills Summit, it was clear that better pathways had to be created in professional services and that the perception that the skills crisis was only impacting blue-collar industries was dangerously simplistic,” she said.

“This really could be the game-changer the profession was looking for in ensuring the attractiveness of the designation when deciding on career pathways. It will help open the door to a broader and more diverse pool of talent who may have felt a career in accounting was out of their reach.”

Eligible CA Program candidates will be able to access a Fee-Help loan to pay all or part of their Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting subject tuition fees from term 2 this year.

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