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September 29, 2009

CPA Australia allows students to specialise in Singaporean tax

Australia’s largest professional services organisation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the tax academy of Singapore. The agreement will allow CPA Australia students to study specialised units on Singaporean tax.

This is the first time an international accounting body has offered a localised taxation component from another jurisdiction as part of its qualification, CPA Australia said. To date the organisation has only taught Australian taxation.

The Singaporean tax component will be available to all CPA Australia members and students. It will be offered as part of the professional qualification and as continuing professional development.

CPA Australia executive general manager of international development Paul Wappett said the agreement reflects the increasingly international nature of the organisation.

“We are a consciously global organisation now, whereas many years in the past we might have been an accidentally global organisation,” he explained.

Wappett said CPA Australia recognises that while areas such as accounting and auditing standards, and management accounting, are converging around the world, there are still local differences in company law and taxation.

“[The Singaporean tax programme reflects] the recognition that not all of our members will want to live and work in Australia, so we need to equip them and equip the employers who employ them and the regulators that regulate them, with local knowledge where that is appropriate,” he said.

CPA Australia hopes to roll out similar programmes for tax regimes in jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Malaysia.

MEMBERSHIP: CPA AUSTRALIA

Total members: 77,885*

Total student members: 68,532

Total overseas members: 29,424

Total overseas students: 17,009

Members in Singapore: 5,617

Students in Singapore: 2,900

* Total member figure does not include associate/student members. Source: The Accountant

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