The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), a professional body for accountants which is headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), a forum for the 55 U.S. Boards of Accountancy which license more than 650,000 U.S. CPAs, have signed an agreement which will provide a streamlined process for accounting professionals to practice in the other country.

The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) provides a clear route for ICAS members to achieve the U.S. CPA and licensure, and U.S. Certified Public Accountants to attain the CA designation and be on the pathway to UK audit signing rights.

Leadership of the three organizations took part in a signing ceremony for the MRA in New York City.

Anton Colella, ICAS CEO commented: “This is an historic agreement. It’s the first of its kind between a UK Chartered Accountancy body and American accountancy bodies, and comes at a pivotal point for the UK.”

“It not only creates new opportunities in the world of transatlantic trade, but also reinforces the high standing in which we hold our American colleagues, and the expertise they value in us.”

“We welcome the mutual recognition that is at the heart of this agreement,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “It will give U.S. CPAs a clear and accelerated path to obtaining a credential in the United Kingdom. And the same is true of ICAS members with an interest in practicing in the United States.”

“Agreements like this come to fruition through the dedication of the respective accounting bodies, the diligence of member volunteers who serve on the International Qualifications Appraisal Board, and the commitment of NASBA and the state boards it represents. Together, we are building increased international recognition for U.S. CPAs in every corner of the world.”

“It is remarkable that is has taken decades to reach this historic agreement positively impacting the accounting professions of the United States and Scotland. I applaud the tremendous effort and perseverance of the staff and volunteers of the respective organizations to finalize this crucial agreement,” said Ken L. Bishop, President and CEO of NASBA. “We appreciate the participation and support of the UK’s FRC in this endeavor. The relationships developed during this process will serve us well as we work together on future agreements.”

UK International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, commented: “This is a really welcome initiative, which my department supports, and shows the huge benefits which greater UK-U.S. co-operation can bring to our businesses.”

“Mutual recognition of qualifications can help boost trade in services, making it easier for our world-leading professionals to operate in other countries. Through our UK-U.S. Trade and Investment Working Group we are looking at how we can support our services industries to work and trade across the Atlantic, building on our £50bn of annual services exports to the USA.”


Eligible CAs and CPAs need only pass one exam, in addition to satisfying other requirements:
• CAs need only pass the International Qualification Exam (IQEX); and
• CPAs need only complete the international qualification pathway.

For CAs to take advantage of this agreement, they must be an ICAS member in good standing and have completed:
• A baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree;
• The ICAS CA Qualification Program;
• Two years post-qualification relevant practical work experience.

To apply, a U.S. CPA must be a licensed CPA in good standing with a State Board and have completed:
• An undergraduate degree;
• The Uniform CPA Exam;
• State Board experience requirements for licensure; and
• Achieved two years post-qualification practical work experience.

About ICAS
ICAS is a professional body for more than 21,000 world class business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. Members have all achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant). ICAS is an educator, examiner, regulator and thought leader. Almost two thirds of ICAS’ working membership are in business; many leading some of the UK’s and the world’s great companies. The others work in accountancy practices ranging from the Big Four in The City to the small practitioner in rural areas.

For more information please contact:

Hannah Downie, ICAS Senior Digital Editor and Media Manager
0131 347 0126/07799 583 409

About the American Institute of CPAs
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at

For more information please contact:

Jay Hyde
Senior Director – Public Affairs, Advocacy Communications and Media
American Institute of CPAs

Celebrating more than 100 years of service, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) serves as a forum for the nation’s Boards of Accountancy, which administer the Uniform CPA Examination, license more than 650,000 certified public accountants and regulate the practice of public accountancy in the United States.

NASBA’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness and advance the common interests of the Boards of Accountancy in meeting their regulatory responsibilities. The Association promotes the exchange of information among accountancy boards, serving the needs of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.

NASBA is headquartered in Nashville, TN, with a satellite office in New York, NY, an International Computer Testing and Call Center in Guam and operations in San Juan, PR. To learn more about NASBA, visit

For more information please contact:

Thomas G. Kenny
Director, Communications

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