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AICPA brings US profession to European members

Koziel: AICPA could be looking at similar initiatives in other parts of the world

Frankfurt, Germany: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) today launched its first European summit in Frankfurt, Germany, in an effort to reach its European members.

AICPA vice president firm services and global alliances Mark Koziel gave the introductory remarks to the summit. He said the institute had 200 members in Germany and 650 in Europe, and that the summit was a first step in bringing a strong program year-on-year to the AICPA's European members.

In his remarks, Koziel highlighted the important role played by the German Certified Public Accountants Society (GCPAS) in the organization of the summit.

GCPAS chairman Alex Spiess told The Accountant that the society was created in 2000, at a time when accounting was starting to become international.

"There was a need to have an entity which could help accountants and students to find information about the US CPA qualification," he continued.

"This was pre-computer time when the exam had to be filled in by hand so there was a need to provide the necessary information: where to register, how long it took, and all the details of the qualification."

Spiess recalled that the GCPAS and the AICPA met in Berlin at a conference last November and found a common objective in promoting the US profession in Europe and servicing the US qualified CPAs working in Europe. "That is how this summit came about," he said.

"The idea was to sort of take our services on the road to our members abroad," Koziel explained in his introductory remarks.

Speaking with TA he later said: "GCPAS was trying to form a community of CPAs in Germany and Europe, and we thought we wanted to participate in this project with the underlining objective to be able to support our members wherever they are."

The summit, which will become a yearly event, aims at bringing the latest news of the institute to its European members, Koziel continued. "And to show the value and/or the benefits for them to be AICPA members," he added.

Koziel acknowledged that the AICPA could be looking at similar initiatives in other parts of the world. "We have a lot of members in Japan for example," he said.

The summit will run today and tomorrow and was organized in partnership with the Chartered institute of Management Accountants, as well as the two German professional bodies the Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer (Institute of Public Auditors in Germany) and the Wirtschaftsprüferkammer (German Chamber of Public Accountants).


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