US Uniform CPA for the first time in the UAE

Filed on March 14, 2011

ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA), an independent body mandated to oversee transparency and accountability across Abu Dhabi Government, hosted today a press conference at the Emirates Palace to announce the beginning of the international administration of the Uniform CPA Examination this coming August in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon.

The US CPA exam is being offered internationally for the first time due to rapidly escalating international demand for US CPA licensure, whereby more than 10,000 candidates travelled to the US last year to take the exam marking a 22% increase from 2009.

In October last year, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), and Prometric (the three organizations collaboratively offering this exam) reached an agreement on how to begin the administration of this exam internationally and the locations most suitable to host it.

ADAA was informed upon reaching this agreement, since it had launched an initiative to bring the US CPA Examination to Abu Dhabi back in 2008 which coincided with the review and research being conducted by the Committee of Internationalization of the CPA Examination to identify potential international exam sites and setting the governing regulations and security policy for this process.

Riyad Al Mubarak, Chairman of ADAA noted: “We are very pleased at Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority with the news; it is overwhelming to see that our efforts have been successful and our initiative becoming a reality. It has been a long journey since our first contact with the Illinois Board of Examiners proposing to administer the exam in Abu Dhabi.”

“Bringing the exam to the UAE and the region will contribute tremendously to the improvement and development of this profession. It will certainly help us at ADAA fulfill one of our strategic goals and that is to develop human capital and train Emirati graduates specifically our female graduates that can now sit for the exam here in the UAE.” Al Mubarak added.

At the press conference, Ken Bishop, Executive Vice President & COO of NASBA told the press “I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet with our associates in accounting regulation and examination delivery in the UAE and the Middle East during this visit to discuss the local delivery of the Uniform CPA Examination later this year. The business and financial relationships between the Middle East region and the United States are long held. It is appropriate that the historical initiative to deliver the Uniform CPA Examination outside of the United States begins here,”

Registration for the international exam will begin on May 1, and applications may be made through certain US state boards of accountancy offering eligibility for international candidates. Initially the exam will be offered internationally during a one month testing window per calendar-year quarter whereby the first exam will be during the month of August in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Japan.

The international exam, which will be offered in English, is the same as the US exam administered by the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric in the United States and will have the same licensure requirements. Future testing months during which the exam will be administered in the Middle East and Japan will be November 2011 and February, May 2012.

Along with passing the Uniform CPA Examination, international candidates must meet educational and experience requirements as mandated by US state boards of accountancy which have the governmental legal authority to award the US CPA license.

Testing in the new locations will be open to citizens and long-term residents of the countries in which the exam is being administered. In the Middle East, citizens of Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia may take the exam in one of the Middle East locations. US citizens living abroad are eligible to test at any location.

“Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority” (ADAA) was established as an independent authority in 2008 under the authority ofthe Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, primarily responsible for enhancing and promoting transparency and accountability across Abu Dhabi government and public entities, ensures that these entities are managing and utilizing their resources and funds efficiently, effectively, economically, ethically and in alignment with achieving the overall vision of Abu Dhabi.

ADAAs’ responsibilities also include providing it’s Subject Entities with independent and objective assurance and advisory services assisting in applying leading practices and standards. It also takes special interest in qualifying Emirati graduates in the Accounting and Audit profession and enhancing their knowledge and skills to excel in the world of business and stay aligned with the latest developments in this field; through its dedicated training facility the “ADAA Training Center”.

ADAA subject entities include all Abu Dhabi local departments, councils and authorities as well as institutions and companies in which the government’s ownership is equivalent to or exceeds 50% along with their subsidiaries constituting over 300 subject entities.

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