The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has joined with most of the other major national accounting profession organizations around the world to create a Global Accounting Alliance. That group, much like its individual members, plans to promote professional standards for accounting practitioners and will gather information to deliver a unified profession voice on key issues.
However, this group, as its name implies, will be focused on international issues and in its information gathering it will work with the national regulators and accounting profession stakeholders in the countries of its members. The group’s other members are the chartered accountants associations or institutes of England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the separate institutes for Scotland and Ireland appear to be the new alliance’s driving force. The ICAEW’s Web site, hosts the press release announcing the group’s formation, which says that those three institutes came together with the other five members to launch the alliance
In the announcement, Eric Anstee, ICAEW chief executive officer, calls the alliance “an important step in the development of a global approach for our profession and for our respective bodies. By working more closely with our colleagues in the other capital markets around the globe, we will be able to provide leadership to the profession, working as one on key issues and initiatives that are important to our members.”. Pat Costello, chief executive officer of Ireland’s institute, adds, "There are a number of issues facing our members where our voice will be much stronger if we speak as one body.”
The release lists the AICPA as a founding member but does not feature any comments from the institute. In fact, the release only identifies and quotes executives from the ICAEW and the Scottish and Irish institutes.
Just the same, the AICPA will likely be a major force since it is by far the largest individual accounting body in the group. Its 337,000 members, compares to approximately 700,000 for all the global alliance members combined, 128,000 for the ICAEW, 16,000 for Scotland’s Institute and 15,000 plus 4,000 students in Ireland’s institute.
Gary Scopes, the AICPA’s director of international relations, will be the institute’s representative to the alliance. The AICPA did not release any other information about its membership or potential role in the alliance.
Conversely, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) features a news report about the alliance on its Web site and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) issued a lengthy press release about its membership in the group. “This is an important step for us. We’ll be working more closely with our colleagues in other capital markets around the world and providing leadership to the profession,” said David Smith, the Canadian institute’s president and chief executive officer.