New Guidelines for Reciprocity
The World Trade Organization adopted Guidelines for Mutual Recognition Agreements on professional accounting qualifications. The guidelines are intended to make it easier for qualified accountants to practice across international borders by providing a common approach to negotiating reciprocity arrangements.
"The guidelines assure us that we are on the right track in negoitating with other countries to create more opportunities abroad for U.S. CPAs and to make it easier for foreign accountants who meet our standards to practice here," said Harris W. Widmer, chairman of the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB). The IQAB is a joint body of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs.
The objective of the guidelines is to ensure the process of negotiating mutual recognition agreements in accounting is open and that qualification standards are applied in a fair, objective and nondiscriminatory manner. They are nonbinding and are intended to be used by members of the WTO on a voluntary basis.
A copy of the guidelines is available on the WTO Web site at http://www.wto.org .