A New Credential for a New Economy



A New Credential
for a New Economy

n today’s evolving global marketplace, there is a growing demand for skilled strategists who draw upon a wide array of competencies to provide solutions that create wealth and a competitive edge for businesses. Responding to this need, the American Institute of CPAs and an international consortium of professional organizations have proposed a global business credential (also referred to by the placeholder name, XYZ). Honoring the CPA profession’s 100+ year tradition of quality and integrity, this visionary new badge of excellence would complement current credentials and validate the holder’s breadth of strategic business ability, experience and commitment to ethics, professional standards and continuous learning across disciplines.

In essence, the proposed global business credential would stand for broad-based knowledge, much like an MBA does today, and add in the professional rigor associated with the CPA (code of ethics, defined competency set, relevant work experience, continuous learning and re-assessment, rigorous examination). Its requirements are clearly rooted in the values and traditions of the CPA profession. Moreover, these requirements would be consistent from country to country. As a result, the global business credential would signify the same professional quality and level of expertise wherever and whenever it is used, and would not be dependent on the reputation of any particular academic program. Potential credential holders would have to earn their way through a system as rigorous as the one associated with the CPA profession, including passing an admission exam as psychometrically stringent as the CPA exam, but not focused on A&A.

In addition, credential holders would be members of a global organization dedicated to ensuring that its members are aware of emerging practices necessary for success in a rapidly changing world. They would have access to an online worldwide knowledge resource, as well as a unique network of elite professionals across the globe.

CPAs who are likely to benefit the most are those already operating beyond foundational services such as audits, taxes and financial planning— areas in which the CPA will remain singularly positioned as the premiere expert. Yet market research suggests that the CPA profession as a whole is likely to enjoy added value from its early association with and leading role in the credential’s development.

Commissioned by the Global Credential Steering Committee, studies by a leading international market research firm indicate strong demand for interdisciplinary business advisers.

75% of clients and 83% of employers are more likely to hire global business credential holders for senior strategic business planning positions or to engage a professional services firm employing global business credential holders.

Executives are willing to pay a premium to holders of the global business credential—14% on average for an employee and 11% for a professional services firm.

83% of all college students see the global business credential as a complement to the CPA.


Complements Current Credentials: The CPA/global business credential would be a unique combination, signifying a wide range of interdisciplinary competencies not conveyed by the CPA license alone, yet possessed by many CPAs working today—while underscoring the ongoing value and integrity of the well-established CPA hallmark.

Internationally Consistent and Market-Driven: The global business credential is designed to be portable across national and international borders, providing a globally recognized standard. A new, self-funded Global Institute, operated and managed separately from the AICPA, would oversee its development and execution. The credential would be market-driven and not regulated by government.

International Knowledge Resource: Credential holders would have access to a robust and broad-based online learning platform, available on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis, as well as unique networking opportunities among an elite, global group of interdisciplinary professionals.

Early Adopter Advantage: The majority of pioneering global business credential holders would likely be CPAs, giving them first-to-market advantages and an opportunity to broaden their brand equity.


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