Mutual Recognition Agreement Signed with New Zealand


Representing the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) on Wednesday signed a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in New Zealand (NZICA) that is intended to help facilitate the process for U.S. CPAs to be recognized as chartered accountants in New Zealand and vice versa.  


The IQAB reviews accounting qualifications of foreign countries, negotiates reciprocity agreements with professional accounting organizations and makes reciprocity recommendations to state boards of accountancy based upon mutual recognition agreements adopted by the IQAB with foreign institutes. Agreements recommended by the IQAB are subject to approval by the boards of the AICPA and NASBA. The MRA with New Zealand has been approved by both boards.


In addition to the new agreement with New Zealand, the AICPA and NASBA have mutual recognition agreements with institutes from Canada, Mexico, Ireland and Australia.  Applicants from these countries are eligible to take the four-hour International Qualifications Examination (IQEX) as determined by those state boards that recognize the various mutual recognition agreements. In states that choose to recognize the MRA with New Zealand, applicants who receive a passing score on the IQEX exam will be eligible for licensure without sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination.


Last year more than 185 candidates sat for the IQEX exam, representing all countries that signed MRAs, though most were from Canada. As in the U.S., education, examinations and experience form the basis for licensure in New Zealand.


For reciprocity, each qualifying body will seek verification from its counterpart in the applicant’s country of origin that the applicant is a member in good standing. Each organization reserves the right to require individuals applying to the other body to maintain their affiliation with the original qualifying body.


—Matthew G. Lamoreaux is a JofA senior editor. His e-mail address is




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