On March 29th, 2021, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). This agreement allows members of both institutes to obtain professional recognition, use the respective member designations and provide professional services in the other jurisdiction.
The HKICPA is the professional accounting body in Hong Kong, with over 46,000 members and more than 19,000 registered students. The ICAEW is one of the world`s leading professional membership organizations for chartered accountants and has been operating since 1880, with over 180,000 members worldwide.
The HKICPA-ICAEW Mutual Recognition Agreement has been signed as both institutions are committed to promoting professional mobility and facilitating the mobility of their members. This agreement will also provide a platform for both institutes to share knowledge and experience, leading to a better and more efficient professional service.
Under the agreement, members of the HKICPA who hold the CPA designation can now apply for membership with the ICAEW and obtain the ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) designation, while ICAEW members with the ACA designation can apply for the HKICPA membership and use the CPA designation.
The MRA will also provide an exemption for specific papers in the respective professional programs of both institutes, allowing eligible members to pursue a shorter and more cost-effective path towards dual membership.
This agreement has significant implications for accountancy professionals who wish to expand their professional practice beyond their home jurisdiction. It provides members with an opportunity to develop their expertise in a broader global context and contribute to the internationalization of the accountancy profession.
In conclusion, the HKICPA-ICAEW Mutual Recognition Agreement is a significant milestone for both institutes as it promotes the mobility of their members and their professional development. It is a positive step towards greater collaboration within the global accounting profession and a win for professionals who seek to expand their client base and provide global services.