The NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) is continuing to work on the development of mutual recognition agreements (MRA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants – but have not yet reached final agreements. Negotiations are continuing as differences between the systems for training auditors in the United Kingdom and South Africa exist, but the parties agree that the quality of the chartered accountants developed through the programs under consideration is substantially equivalent to the US CPA.

The 150-hour education requirement in the United States is beyond the formal education requirement that is in place in the UK or South Africa. However, in those countries the professional programs and mentored experience requirements are more extensive than what is required for licensure in the US. In addition, where the US CPA grants a license to perform audits of public companies, in both the UK and South Africa, first membership in a professional association is required and, once that is obtained, additional requirements must be met to become a registered auditor. IQAB is continuing to work on the agreements to ensure the State Boards’ requirements for licensure are met, as set out in the Uniform Accountancy Act. AICPA’s examination team and NASBA’s education evaluation services are working with IQAB in the development of these agreements.

“We are looking forward to completing both of these MRAs in the near future,” IQAB Chair Sharon Jensen (MN) said. “Given Brexit and changes in the UK’s financial regulatory structure, probably the agreement with SAICA will be the next one to be achieved. This will be a particularly exciting event as it will be the first agreement with a professional group in Africa.”

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