ACCA has stolen a march on the English ICA by offering students the option of answering a selection of papers according to either UK or international accounting standards.

From December, ACCA students around the world will be able to sit four papers – accounting framework, audit framework, accounting and audit practice and financial reporting – based on UK GAAP, international accounting standards or national variants. It is the first time an accountancy body has given students such a choice.

So far, 3,000 students have taken the option, which is designed to reflect the trend by multinational companies to use international standards.

Mike Walsh, an ACCA director, said: ‘The market is going global and all the emerging markets are using international standards.’

Peter Wyman, chairman of the English ICA’s education and training committee, admitted ACCA had taken a lead. ‘It’s got there before us, but we are considering the idea as part of our ongoing syllabus review.’

But he added: ‘If you’re capable of interpreting standards which change periodically, you will have the skills necessary to interpret any standards.’

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