Published: 27 November 2017
Last updated: 5 February 2018
Guidance to applicants for authorisation as an external accountant and external accounting firm.
New External Accountants Act from 2023
New External Accountants Act entered into force from 1. January 2023. The information on the website applies to the previous External Accountants Act. We are working on updating the information.
Requirements for authorisation
External accountants and external accounting firms must be authorised by The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet). Requirements for authorisation as an external accountant are set out in Act of 18 June no. 109 on authorisation of external accountants (External Accountants Act) and associated Regulations of 8 February 1999 no. 196 on authorisation of external accountants (External Accountants Regulations).
According to the External Accountants Act section 2 accounting comprise bookkeeping and preparing reports as annual accounts, VAT reports, reports for tax etc.
An external accounting firm shall have a chief executive officer who is an authorised external accountant. An external accounting firm is required to designate a specific authorised external accountant as responsible for an engagement, in accordance with the External Accountants Act section 3 first subsection.
To be eligible for authorisation, external accountants need to hold a bachelor's degree in business economics and administration with concentrations in specific subjects; see the External Accountants Regulations section 1-1. Two years of relevant job experience within the past five years are also required. Job experience gained both before and after completion of training may be approved. Applicants must be of good repute, financially trustworthy, of legal age, not have been adjudicated incompetent, and be resident in an EEA member state; see the External Accountants Act section 4.