New agreement smooths pathway to UK audit signing rights for US CPAs


The Mutual Recognition Agreement signed by the AICPA, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy in February provides a clear route for U.S. CPAs to obtain the CA designation from ICAS and be on the pathway to U.K. audit signing rights. It would also provide CAs with a clear path to the U.S. CPA designation and licensure.

Eligible CAs and CPAs need only pass one exam, in addition to satisfying other requirements: 

  • CAs need only pass the International Qualification Exam (IQEX); and
  • CPAs need only complete the international qualification pathway.

To apply, a U.S. CPA must be a licensed CPA in good standing with a state board and have completed:

  • An undergraduate degree;
  • The Uniform CPA Examination;
  • State board experience requirements for licensure; and
  • Two years of post-qualification practical work experience.

For CAs to take advantage of this agreement, they must be an ICAS member in good standing and have completed:

  • A baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree;
  • The ICAS CA qualification program; and
  • Two years of post-qualification relevant practical work experience.

AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said in a news release that the agreement will help build increased international recognition for U.S. CPAs in every corner of the world.

"We welcome the mutual recognition that is at the heart of this agreement," he said. "It will give U.S. CPAs a clear and accelerated path to obtaining a credential in the United Kingdom. And the same is true of ICAS members with an interest in practicing in the United States."

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