USA and Hong Kong Sign Mutual Recognition Agreement for Accounting Profession

NEW YORK and NASHVILLE (October 24, 2011) – The U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board (U.S. IQAB) and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants have entered into a five-year Mutual Recognition Agreement that establishes the basis for reciprocity between the U.S. and Hong Kong accounting professions.

“The agreement we’ve signed today with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants will make great strides in advancing the reciprocity of CPAs in the U.S. and in Hong Kong,” said William Treacy, chair of the U.S. IQAB.  “IQAB has thoroughly evaluated the educational, examination and experience requirements of CPAs in Hong Kong and is confident they are substantially equivalent to those of the U.S. CPA.”

The agreement was signed at NASBA’s 104th Annual Meeting in Nashville.

“Our agreement with the Hong Kong Institute validates our purposeful and determined quest to be truly global in mutual recognition of high quality accounting credentials.  We look forward to our association with the Hong Kong Institute and to more effectively facilitating the professional practice of accountancy on behalf of the public interest of both the United States and Hong Kong,” said David Costello, NASBA President & CEO.

The U.S. IQAB is a joint body of the American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

“This new agreement will allow qualified accountants in the U.S. and Hong Kong to work across borders,” said Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO.  “Globalization is rapidly changing the way business is done across the globe and CPAs will continue to play a vital role in the financial systems in the U.S. and abroad.”

Mutual Recognition Agreements facilitate cross-border reciprocity by streamlining the process for qualified professionals with accounting credentials to become certified and licensed in each other’s countries.  Although approved by U.S. IQAB, the AICPA and NASBA, the agreements are subject to individual state board of accountancy acceptance.  The agreement with the Hong Kong Institute has been recommended to the boards of accountancy in all 55 U.S. jurisdictions for their adoption and implementation.

“This agreement is a tribute to the quality of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs’ qualification program.  The bodies in the U.S. that recognize overseas accreditation are stringent in their criteria for recognition.  The fact that our graduates can now qualify in the United States says a lot about the depth and breadth of the Hong Kong program,” says Philip Tsai, president of the Institute.

Greg Anton, AICPA chairman, Winnie C.W. Cheung, Hong Kong Institute of CPAs chief executive, David Costello, NASBA president and CEO, Michael Daggett, NASBA chairman, Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO, William Treacy, chair of U.S. IQAB and Tsai Wing Chung, Phillip, Hong Kong Institute of CPAs president, were the signatories on the agreement.

This is the sixth agreement U.S. IQAB has effected for accountancy with non-U.S. professional bodies. The Hong Kong Institute of CPAs joins professional bodies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand.

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