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Scottish and USA institutes sign mutual recognition agreement

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NABA), have signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement.

The agreement simplifies the process and reduces the examination requirements for each institutes’ members to gain membership in the other institutes streamlining the process for members to apply to work in other jurisdictions.

Following the agreement, chartered accountants (CAs) will need to pass the International Qualification Exam and USA certified public accountants (CPAs) will need to complete the international qualification pathway, a two-year training contract and have requisite UK audit experience.

However, CAs and CPAs will have to have already gained certain qualifications in their own countries before becoming eligible to work in the respective jurisdiction.

Members of the ICAS will have to have an undergraduate degree, completed the CA Qualification Program, and have two years post qualification relevant practical work experience.

For a USA CPA, the applicant must be in good standing with the State Board, have completed and undergraduate degree, the Uniform CPA Exam, State Board experience requirements for licensure and two years of post-qualification practical work experience.

The agreement has been approved by both countries’ governing bodies. 

Liam Fox, the UK’s International trade secretary, has welcomed the agreement, commenting: “Mutual recognition of qualifications can help boost trade in services, making it easier for our world-leading professionals to operate in other countries.”


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