October 28: The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) and its U.S. counterpart recently concluded a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) that allows both parties to recognize accounting qualifications acquired in each other`s jurisdiction. It is assumed that this step is a major step towards the reciprocity of CPAs in the United States and Hong Kong. The signing of the agreement with IQAB – a joint body of both NASBA and the American Institute of CPAs – allows the five-year pact to be recommended to accounting boards in all 55 U.S. jurisdictions and streamlines the recognition process. To reach an agreement, HKICPA and IQAB have conducted a long and painstaking review of each institute`s training, examination, experience requirements and standards of professional practice. The IQAB – which is generally strict in its overseas CPA recognition – stated that it was “confident” that the CPAs in Hong Kong “essentially correspond to those of the U.S. CPA.” The NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) is the link between the U.S. accounting profession and that of other States Parties to the General Convention on Trade in Services (GATS). A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) allows qualified professional examiners from another country to operate in the United States without having to re-tender. Similar recognition is given to U.S.

CPAs who wish to practice in the same country. Information for professional organizations seeking recognition – NASBA / AICPA IQAB – Hong Kong-US Mutual Recognition Agreement The inclusion of the U.S. agreement in the package of reciprocal membership agreements with accountants in other parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and South Africa, will make Hong Kong the most internationally recognized accounting profession and provide the highest level of mobility for HKICPA members. Any professional accounting organization wishing to enter into a mutual agreement with u.-IQAB must submit a letter of intent to nASBA. The letter should contain a brief written description of the nature and objectives of the organization, the extent of its membership and its interest in applying for an MRA. If the organization is not entitled to grant exercise qualifications, including supervisory rights, it must demonstrate that it can facilitate the receipt of these qualifications for U.S. CPAs by the receiving authority. The Institute has agreements with different recognition requirements: members of foreign audit organizations that have different types of recognition agreements with the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs (“Institute”) are entitled to a full or partial exemption from the Qualification Program of the Admission to Membership Institute.

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