CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) have jointly welcomed the in-principle announcement of the Australia-United Kingdom (UK) Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Their joint communique said the agreement had the potential to deliver great benefits to the accounting professions in both countries, "through provision for mutual recognition of qualifications and expanded rights for Working Holiday Maker visa holders".
"The accounting profession is a global profession," the group said. "There is a well-established market for Australian accountants in the UK and vice versa, with detailed mutual recognition agreements in place between the professional bodies of Australia and the UK.
"Together, CA ANZ, CPA Australia and IPA have almost 12,000 members in the UK. In a standard year, around 1000 of our members travel to the UK on a variety of visas.
"Once there, they provide high quality accounting services and through their engagement in corporate life solidify the economic relationship between Australia and the UK. Many of them support the trade and investment flows between Australia and the UK.
"There is a great commonality in the accounting, auditing, accounting ethics and accounting education standards between these two countries. The mutual recognition of accounting skills in both jurisdictions produces a vibrant, efficient and mutually beneficial exchange of talent," the group said.
"The shared approach, style and skills between Australian and UK accountancy professions are vital to growing exports and investment in both directions. Yet realising these benefits is dependent on accountants being recognised overseas.
"Although the final text of the agreement has yet to be finalised, we are confident it will facilitate greater movement of accounting professionals, transfer of specialist knowledge and innovation, and certainty for skilled accounting professionals."
Chartered Accountants ANZ chief executive Ainslie van Onselen said, “This deal provides the opportunity for accounting professionals to work across UK and Australia to gain the global experience and diversity of thought that is essential for better outcomes for their clients and strong commercial growth as we bounce out of COVID.
“Given the profession is bound by international accounting, auditing, education, ethical and potential sustainability standards, this announcement will spark the ambition for accountants to use their mutually recognised qualification to widen their global perspective which will enhance the societies and the economies of both countries.”
CPA Australia CEO Andrew Hunter said, “Accounting is a global profession and we are a global organisation. This agreement has the potential to make it easier and simpler for our members to work in the global economy. We’re pleased to have had the opportunity to advocate for this outcome for our members.”
IPA CEO Andrew Conway said, “The Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement provides an enhanced framework to support our global profession. We have an opportunity to build the very strong relationship that exists between our countries and enable a strong focus on a sustainable profession supporting businesses through the global pandemic and beyond.”
In 2020, Chartered Accountants ANZ, CPA Australia and IPA made a joint submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in support of a comprehensive FTA between Australia and the UK.