Big Five back global qualification

An international task force has been set up to research the interest in and need for an internationally-recognised business qualification, following talks between the English, Scots and Irish ICAs and institutes from the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Established last month, the task force has still not clarified what the qualification will encompass, although it has stated it will be broad-based and available to professionals of varying disciplines.

But accountancy profession experts say any international qualification should now centre on specialist skills.

‘If it is easier to start with a global business qualification, then fine,’ said Rodger Hughes, head of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ assurance and business advisory services. ‘But, in a world that is increasingly specialist, how would this business qualification fit in?’

Hughes’ concerns were echoed by KPMG partner Tom Brown.

‘A global business qualification is an exciting prospect. But, we must keep looking beyond,’ he said.

Individually Big Five firms have discussed developing a global qualification, but nothing has been set in stone. With the Big Five’s support, the institutes’ initiative could ease the passage of professionals in their career paths and ensure the task force follows up with a global CA qualification.

The task force aims to have a concrete plan on the table by the summer. The possibility of the eight professional bodies agreeing on the finer details of the qualification in the three-year time scale has nevertheless been met with weary optimism.

Related reading