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The International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination

Todays Date: November 17, 2018

IQEX is an acronym for the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination and is sometimes referred to as The U.S. CPA Reciprocity Exam.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) offers the IQEX to qualified international candidates each fall. If you are an internationally trained accountant, you may wish to sit for the IQEX exam and seek a reciprocal CPA designation, since the CPA is globally the most recognized accounting designation.

IQEX is designed to evaluate a canadates professional competence as delineated by the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board. The board will evaluate your education, examination scores, and experience to determine if you meet requirements which are substantially equivalent to United States CPAs. The IQEX exam will test you on your knowledge of U.S. business law, professional standards, and U.S. taxation codes.

In a later article is a list of the international designations eligible for reciprocity. If you do not hold one of those, you can still apply through one of the 54 U.S. jurisdictions, pass the CPA exam, and become a CPA. IQEX

What is Reciprocity?

“Reciprocity,” a term commonly used by professional and occupational licensing bodies in many countries, means mutual professional recognition. Two independent bodies guarantee each other’s members certain commercial or professional privileges.

Reciprocity can be either absolute or conditional. Absolute reciprocity exists when two license-granting bodies enter into bilateral agreements recognizing each other’s licenses in total, without requiring applicants from either jurisdiction to take additional tests or prove requirements have been met.

In conditional reciprocity, two license-granting bodies recognize each other’s licenses only if some mutually agreed-on additional education, experience or examination requirements are satisfied. Internationally, reciprocity would recognize the license of a duly certified professional accountant from one county who seeks to practice in another.

Eligibility for the Test:

Detailed information about IQEX eligibility requirements and IQEX application materials are available from NASBA.

Eligibility International candidates are eligible to qualify as U.S. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) as long as they meet Board of Accountancy eligibility requirements in one of 54 U.S jurisdictions – the 50 states, District of Columbia , Puerto Rico , U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. (The 55th jurisdiction, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands , is not yet ready to accept CPA applicants.) International candidates must be prepared to take the Uniform CPA Examination in one of the 54 U.S. jurisdictions. (It is not offered anywhere else.) They must also be able to take the CPA Examination in English. (It is not available in any other language.) Qualifying through a board of accountancy is the ONLY route to the CPA designation. There is NO central professional body in the U.S. through which candidates may qualify as CPAs. Application: The application process is basically the same for U.S. and international candidates alike. Prospective candidates must select the U.S. jurisdiction to which they will apply, contact the Board of Accountancy (or its agent) in that jurisdiction to obtain application materials, submit completed applications and required fees as instructed, and once deemed qualified, schedule the examination. Any special requirements that international applicants must meet (such as arranging for an evaluation of their educational credentials by an agency approved by the board) are explained in accountancy board application instructions. Prospective candidates who are undecided about the jurisdiction to which they should apply may wish to review the requirements of several Boards of Accountancy before making their decisions. Contact information for all boards is available at NASBA.

Applying for the Test: Applying for IQEX (International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination) Reciprocity with: IQEX designed to facilitate the U.S. CPA qualification process for those accounting professionals from other countries whose professional bodies have entered into reciprocity agreements with the U.S. accounting profession. Such agreements are currently in effect with the following organizations:

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) CPA Australia

You must apply no later than the end of July. The test may be taken at your convenience in September at a Prometric Center in Canada (most major cities) or the U.S. Upon passing, you will be eligible to join one of 42 State Boards as a CPA. It doesn’t matter when you received your Canadian designation. There is virtually no testing of Accounting or Auditing. 80% of the material covers the basics of U.S. Tax, Law and CPA Ethics. As long as you are an original Canadian CA and a member in good standing of a Provincial Institute, your application will be accepted automatically, although it may take some time before you receive your Notice to Schedule. We strongly recommend that you start your studies as soon as possible to avoid the need to cram. Reasons to become a CPA 1. You may be living in the U.S. or may decide to move to the U.S. or to another jurisdiction where the CPA is more readily recognized than a CA. 2. You may have clients that are U.S. parents or subsidiaries of Canadian firms. 3. You may be employed, or decide to become employed by a U.S.-based entity (or a Canadian subsidiary) even if you don’t relocate. Canadian History: Before 2009, IQEX was offered in October and November. Many CAs attended summer preparation courses to become acquainted with the required material. With the change to a September testing period, the window for “live” courses has shrunk dramatically. In many cases, previous courses offered too much information, because they were designed for both IQEX and the full 4- paper Uniform CPA exam that non-CAs must take. Now, our course developer Henry Zimmer has prepared a Comprehensive IQEX Self-Study Program that covers everything a Canadian CA needs to learn to successfully write the exam. All registrants will receive study notes written in an easy-to-follow conversational style that emphasize the most likely topics for examination. You will also receive a textbook which forms the basic core of Mr. Zimmer’s notes and also contains over a thousand sample multiple choice questions with detailed solutions. Many of these questions are from old exams and the questions tend to be repeated from year-to-year. You will not need to refer to the text except to study those questions recommended in your notes. How to Apply You should access the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website and review the material on IQEX. Our study materials include a summary of the major points. However, before you register with CPA-NOW, there are a few things you must know. 1. You may print a copy of the IQEX application form from the NASBA website and complete it manually. The fee to write IQEX is $845 U.S. payable by money order only and is to be mailed with your application. 2. You must obtain a Letter of Good Standing from your Provincial Institute. NASBA must receive it before you are granted permission to schedule your examination. To be eligible to write IQEX, your CICA experience requirement must have been completed. However, we have been informed verbally that NASBA will take a lenient position with regards to “new” CAs. You may request permission to write as long as you have passed the UFE and expect to have completed your term of service, with membership in your Provincial Institute granted before the grade release date in December. Contact NASBA by telephone or email to make these special arrangements. 3. The application deadline is the end of July although it is subject to change. The earlier you apply (and your Letter of Good Standing is submitted) the greater your chances are of securing the testing date you desire. Testing is administered at Prometric Centers in Canada and the U.S. A list of testing locations can be found at Prometric’s website. Effective 2009, the examination is offered in September. Please be aware that each Prometric Center has a limited number of computers and they administer many different kinds of tests (eg. LSAT, MCAT etc.) simultaneously. The Test Itself: IQEX is a four-and-a-half hour examination. T The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in the U.S. offers Canadian CAs a multiple-choice International Qualifying Examination (IQEX) consisting of 150 questions, all taken from previous Uniform CPA examinations. The IQEX Content Specifications Outline (CSO) listing examination topics is available from the AICPA. Click here to access. Review the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs) CSOs are definitions of the scope of examination sections. To prevent unwelcome surprises on the day of the examination, learn what subject matter comprises every section. Review the CSOs before you begin to study for the examination. Click here to view the CSOs (in effect until December 31, 2010). The new Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSOs) are available here (effective date: January 1, 2011).

IQEX Syllabus & Grading Subject Area Percentage of Exam Approximate Number of Questions Business Law 20% 30 Ethics 15% 23 Federal Taxation 43% 64 Recent Regulatory Issues 5% 7 Business Structure 10% 15 Miscellaneous Accounting Issues 2% 3 Accounting and Reporting for Governmental Entities and Non-Profit Organizations 5% 8 100% 150 Study Time Obviously, your study time will be dependent on whether you have prior knowledge of Business Law and/or U.S. Taxation. (Please note that IQEX only requires an entry-level knowledge of U.S. taxation matters. Accordingly, the CPA-NOW course is not designed to provide the expertise needed to handle “real-life” client situations. See FAQs for more details.) Assuming you have no prior knowledge about any of the topics in the IQEX Syllabus the following is an estimate of average time requirements after an initial run-through of the material: Subject Area Total Hours Business Law 20 Ethics 4 Federal Taxation 26 Recent Regulatory Issues 3 Business Structure 3 Miscellaneous Accounting Issues 2 Accounting and Reporting for Governmental Entities and Non-Profit Organizations 12* 70 * Based on past experience, Governmental Accounting is an area with which most Canadian CAs are unfamiliar. You may decide to reduce your time budget on this topic since you can expect it to comprise no more than 3% of IQEX. Instead, you may decide to devote an extra 6-8 hours to Business Law and/or Federal Taxation. (By way of contrast, you will find the Non-Profit issues very easy to grasp.)

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