CPA Australia - recognised by American CPA?

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5 years, 4 months ago (Last modified 5 years, 4 months ago by the original author)

I would like to know if I can use CPA Australia qualification as a pathway to the US CPA.

Looking at the website it seems only Chartered Accountants are recognised from Australia for the IQEX pathway?


NASBA offers the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) to qualifying candidates each year. Internationally trained accountants seeking a reciprocal CPA designation in the United States may be interested in writing the IQEX.

IQEX is used to examine the professional competence, from a United States perspective, of accountants from foreign bodies, determined by the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board to have education, examination and experience requirements substantially equivalent to United States CPAs. The IQEX tests reciprocity applicants on their knowledge of U.S. professional standards, U.S. taxation and business law.

> Australia – CA

> Canada

> Ireland

> Mexico

> New Zealand

If your professional credential institute is not listed and you want to be licensed as a CPA in the U.S., you will need to take the Uniform CPA Examination as a candidate of one of the 55 jurisdictions.

5 years, 4 months ago

Hey Alex,

Interesting question! Unfortunately this is outside of anything I have come across in my understanding of how accounting qualifications are recognised around the world. I do know that CPA is well respected in Asia so you would hope with the number of American organisations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China that accountants with CPA will be transferable to the American domestic market but I just don't know.

I would call CPA Australia as a first point of call. If you do find this answer out I would really like to know, as it will help me guide other grads in the future.


5 years, 4 months ago

Hi Mike

Thanks for that, I will ring CPAA to confirm. However based on my google search, there's discussion in a British expat forum

"The Mutual Recognition Agreement between the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board and CPA Australia has expired effective December 5, 2010 and is not being considered for renewal. Members of CPA Australia interested in becoming licensed as a CPA in the U.S. must complete the Uniform CPA Examination."

However the link supplied appears to have been taken down.

Based on which I accessed today, 20/9/11:

What is a Mutual Recognition Agreement?

The NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) is the link between the U.S. accounting profession and that of other General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) signatory countries. Through a mutual recognition agreement (MRA),  qualified professional accountants from another country can practice in the United States without having to completely re-credential. Similar recognition is given to U.S. CPAs who wish to practice in that same country.

Current Agreements

IQAB has currently established MRAs with the following professional bodies:

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia 

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

Canada, Mexico, and United States Memorandum of Understanding 

Chartered Accountants Ireland 

Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants 

Instituto Mexican de Contadores Publicos 

New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants


Also last year, in the CPAA website, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) was included in the list of international affiliations.

But based on which I accessed today, 20/9/11, the following are listed:


Certified General Accountants Canada

Certified Management Accountants Canada


Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

CPA Ireland: Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland

Hong Kong 

Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants 


Institute of Chartered Accountants India 


Malaysian Institute of Accountants 


Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore

5 years, 3 months ago (Last modified 5 years, 3 months ago by the original author)

A representative from CPA Australia confirmed to me personally that there is no affiliation between CPA Australia and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) at this time.

Apparently from my research, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) is the only Australian accounting body with an alliance with the AICPA, and the CA is the only Australian qualification to get exemption from the US Uniform CPA Examinations and eligible to take the IQEX instead.

I am confused now. Does it mean the U.S. CPA bodies no longer consider Australian CPA's to have the required education, examination and experience qualifications? How could this happen!

5 years, 2 months ago

Hi Alex,

I was too looking to apply to AICPA under the reciprocity arrangements.

While it appears the MRA between CPA Australia and AICPA lapsed in Dec,2010 we can still send some suggestions to the Institute to consider renewing the MRA in the near future.

Hope the Institute can benefit members looking for global opportunities.

5 years, 1 month ago

I'm taking the CA instead because of this. US CPA just recently renewed its mutual recognition with Australian CA. I wonder why they did not renew with CPA Aust???

1 year, 5 months ago

I think the reason for AICPA not recognising Australian CPA is because many U.S. States require a masters degree to hold a license to practice and CPA Australia program does not meet this criteria, while the CA program does meet the equivalent of a U.S. masters Degree.