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January 14, 2008

Recognition encourages mobility

The global recognition of accounting and auditing qualifications from different parts of the world is encouraging greater mobility of professionals, according to a report on the education and training of accountants.

The report revealed that co-operation between professional bodies, and the activities of regional bodies and donor agencies has led to a rise in mutual recognition agreements, which allow accountants to practice in foreign jurisdictions with greater ease.

Entitled ‘Global Accounting Education’, the report examines the accounting education provided by 32 of the world’s leading professional bodies in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Middle East. It was published by the Centre for Global Accounting Education, Benchmarking and Research and supported by the Dutch accountancy institute Royal NIVRA and the Scottish Chartered Accountants Trust for Education.

The report found the spread of the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) International Education Standards is allowing accounting and auditing qualifications from across the world to be benchmarked against one another, which is driving greater recognition of less established professions.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland executive director of education Mark Allison said the globalisation of accounting knowledge offers big opportunities to accountants in emerging regions such as China and India. He added: “We are entering new territory, where the professional accounting skills of someone in Perth, Australia are the same as a chartered accountant in Perth, Scotland… Most of all, it is good news for the capital markets to which professional accountants provide assurance and stability.”

Gert Karreman, who was responsible for the basic research, observed: “It is amazing how quickly the IFAC International Education Standards [IES] have been accepted as the standard for the qualification of accountants all over the world. The IES increasingly are the basis of international co-operation between countries and between professional bodies and universities. The combination of professional and academic expertise is one of the pillars of the accountancy profession.”

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