AICPA Council votes to offer specialized credentials globally

BY KEN TYSIAC

Members of certain qualified accounting bodies outside the United States will be eligible to earn AICPA specialized credentials as a result of a resolution approved by the AICPA governing Council on Monday in Washington.

As a result of the vote at the annual spring Council meeting, the AICPA will be allowed to offer its specialized credentials in business valuation, financial planning, forensics, and technology assurance to members of accounting organizations outside the United States.

The resolution gives the AICPA’s board of directors the authority to make available, through non-U.S. accounting bodies, the following credentials:

  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV).
  • Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP).
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).


The participating non-U.S. accounting bodies must have stringent codes of conduct and eligibility requirements and have enough national or international stature to maintain the integrity of the credentials. Professionals holding the AICPA’s credentials outside the United States will be required to meet rigorous criteria set by the National Accreditation Commission and remain in good standing with the relevant accounting organization.

The AICPA is initially exploring making the credentials available to members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), its joint venture partner on the Global Chartered Management Accountant designation. It is also exploring a pilot program focusing on forensics and IT with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. It could begin as soon as the fall, but details must still be worked out and approved by both organizations. The idea is to develop credentials that are recognized throughout North America.

In addition, the governing Council approved an amendment to the AICPA bylaws allowing persons who are not regular AICPA members to serve on the:

  • Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee.
  • Information Management and Technology Assurance Executive Committee.
  • Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee.
  • National Accreditation Commission.


Eligibility for the AICPA’s credentials and designations has previously been limited to AICPA members. The exception to this is the CGMA designation, which is jointly offered by the AICPA and CIMA to qualifying CPAs and all CIMA members.

Clients and employers worldwide are increasingly seeking specialized skill sets from accounting professionals. “The AICPA recognized the trend toward specialization more than two decades ago and has built a robust body of knowledge across practice areas along with credentials that signify the highest level of proficiency,” Anthony Pugliese, CPA/CITP, CGMA, senior vice president and COO of the AICPA, said in a news release. “With this vote, we now have the opportunity to drive broader awareness for some of the profession’s most demanding credentials while also leveraging those activities to create global opportunity for U.S. CPAs.”
 
Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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