According to the institute, students who sit exams in 2004 will face questions wholly based upon global standards rather than the institute’s traditional stamping ground of UK GAAP. The institute has only recently introduced limited coverage of international standards, with questions mentioning them featuring on exam papers for the first time in March.
The move comes as the European Union works toward the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005. EU regulations state that all companies incorporated within the EU and trading on a regulated market of any member state must comply with the new IFRS standards.
Lindsey Byrne, head of learning materials at ICAEW, said that professional stage exams would all be entirely based on the new rules next year and advanced stage would follow in 2005. For those that miss out an intermediate stage will be provided so that students get sufficient education on the standards.
As such, next year’s advanced stage candidates will sit exams that will incorporate FRED’s 23 to 30, standards that are aimed at moving from UK GAAP to international rules.
Following the introduction there will still be concessions to UK GAAP for those working for smaller companies that will not use IFRS when it is introduced. However, such differences should be smoothed over by moves to harmonise standards.
By moving to international standards the ICAEW is following the other UK accounting institutions that already use them in their training courses.
ACCA has had its full syllabus based on international rules for several years now. A spokesman for the body said that ‘global standards fit much better with ACCA’s global strategy’. ICAS has also for some time featured international standards in its syllabus as part of its CA qualification process.
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