Agreement gives US CPAs path to Australia, New Zealand audit rights

By Ken Tysiac

Qualified U.S. CPAs are eligible to obtain a credential that is a pathway for obtaining audit rights in Australia and New Zealand under a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) that has been renewed.

The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) renewed their MRA with the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). The AICPA and NASBA had signed an MRA with CPA Australia in July 2018, so qualified U.S. CPAs have two paths to licensure in Australia and New Zealand.

Under the renewal, qualified U.S. CPAs may obtain the CA ANZ credential if the holders meet eligibility requirements detailed in the appendices of the MRA. CA ANZ credential holders who are citizens or legal residents in Australia or New Zealand are eligible to obtain the U.S. CPA credential if the holders meet the eligibility requirements described in the MRA's appendices.

"I want to thank our colleagues in Australia and New Zealand, as well as NASBA and the state boards it represents, for their support of this cross-border commitment to accounting excellence," AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said in a news release. "We are pleased to renew our support of this reciprocal agreement with CA ANZ, which provides a streamlined process for U.S. CPAs to practice in Australia and New Zealand."

NASBA President and CEO Ken L. Bishop said in a news release that the agreement builds on the original agreement and embodies a continued effort to improve fairness and balance of requirements between the countries.

"In an increasingly global economy, implementing practical and intuitive processes for reciprocal practice privileges for qualified accountants is the right course of action," Bishop said.

During the five-year period of the agreement, the International Qualifications Appraisal Board will work on developing alternative requirements that would expand access to CA ANZ credential holders who are neither citizens nor legal residents of New Zealand and Australia.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA's editorial director.

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