CPA Hot Topics 03/07/11 – The Exam Goes International

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates bimonthly emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

In December of 2001, Dr. Gleim collaborated with Randy Howard and Kotaro Anjo on an article titled “Global Demand for the CPA Exam.” The article was published in The CPA Journal and discussed the growing international demand for the CPA exam and the difficulties that international candidates face when coming to the U.S. to take the exam. As a CPA, I have always believed that international administration of the exam would improve international accounting practices and facilitate international trade and finance. At the same time, our inability to offer a solution to those international candidates who have emailed me about the obstacles in their way of taking the exam was very frustrating.

In October of 2010, I and other CPAs welcomed the announcement by the AICPA that 2011 would mark a turning point in the administration of the CPA exam. According to the press release, the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric had decided to offer the CPA in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. No details were given about registration or which window would be the first to have the international offering, but the CPA and review provider communities were abuzz with anticipation for this exciting and long-awaited development.

On Tuesday, March 1, the AICPA revealed the specifics about the new international administration of the CPA exam. The following details were confirmed:

  • Registration for the international exam will begin on May 1, 2011.
  • The exam’s first administration will be in August of 2011. Other confirmed dates of administration are November of 2011, February of 2012, and May of 2012.
  • The exam will be offered in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The exam will be given in English.
  • The exam will be the same as the one administered in the United States.
  • Licensure requirements, including education and experience requirements, for international candidates will be the same as for U.S. CPA candidates.
  • Citizens and long-term residents of the countries in which the exam will be administered may apply. Additionally, citizens of Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia may take the exam in one of the Middle East locations.
  • U.S. Citizens living abroad are eligible to test in any location.

There are still some unknowns. We are awaiting details regarding the following:

  • Which U.S. state boards of accountancy will international candidates apply through?
  • What will be the total cost for international candidates to apply and register for the exam?

The AICPA’s website has a complete FAQ that you should peruse for any details not covered in this Hot Topics email.

Gleim has a positive reputation for helping international candidates pass the CPA exam in the U.S. I have heard from customers whose native language is not English that the linear format of the Gleim CPA Review materials makes them easier to understand. As the son of a first-generation American and someone who has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, I am very conscious of communication difficulties. As such, I always make an effort to produce concise, easy-to-understand sentences. We will continue our commitment to international candidates as they become eligible to take the exam here in the U.S., and these newly announced select locations, by producing CPA Review materials that are both effective and easy to use.

Do you have any questions or comments about this week’s Hot Topics article or the CPA Exam? Email me at hottopics@gleim.com. Gleim Personal Counselors are available to help you develop a manageable study schedule and help you pass the CPA exam. Contact them at 800.874.5346, ext 498 or personalcounselor@gleim.com. Take advantage of the opportunity to get help from our extraordinary team!

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