FAQs: Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) Passport 


gaa logo
Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) Passport to Member Service. Questions are organized by topic.

Information about the CPA and the AICPA:
1.  How can I become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?
2.  Is there an accelerated pathway and/or mutual recognition for members of GAA institutes?
3.  Can I join the AICPA if I am not a CPA?
4.  What are the membership requirements of the AICPA?

GAA Passport Benefits:
5.  What are the GAA Passport benefits and how do I register for these benefits?

Public Practice:
6.  Will I be able to use my home designation/license in the USA?
7.  What restrictions, if any, are there on the use of my home designation / license?
8.  How can I obtain a public practice license?
9.  What are the licensure requirements for someone in public practice?
10.  Are there additional requirements for specialty practitioners such as Insolvency, Tax, Financial Planning and Valuations?
11.  What is required of accountants in industry (i.e. CPAs not in public practice)? 

Members in Industry:
12.  What is the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation?
13.  How can I obtain a CGMA designation?
14.  What resources are available for CGMAs and other accountants in industry through the AICPA?

Work Visas:
15.  How do I obtain a US work and/or residency visa for myself and/or my spouse and family members?

Resources for Job Seekers:
16.  What is the overview of the CPA profession in USA?
17.  What is the economic outlook for the accounting industry?
18.  What resources are available through the institute to help obtain a job in the profession?


1.  How can I become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

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 the 54 U.S jurisdictions - the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. (The 55th jurisdiction, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, is not yet ready to accept CPA applicants). Candidates must 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 be eligible as CPAs. Learn more on becoming a CPA


Back to Top


2.  Is there an accelerated pathway and/or mutual recognition for members of GAA institutes?

Yes, in some cases, the IQEX Exam is 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. Mutual recognition agreements on behalf of the U.S. accounting profession are prepared under the oversight of the International Qualification Appraisal Board (IQAB), a joint body of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). At present, the U.S. accounting profession has mutual recognition agreements in effect with the following professional bodies:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)

Back to Top


3.  Can I join the AICPA if I am not a CPA?

Yes, the International Associate member category welcomes members who have qualified under a select, non-US accounting association. As an International Associate, you enjoy all the benefits of membership, together with the eligibility to apply for access to our specialized interest sections to assist your career development. You may apply for this category if: You are a full, regular member of one of the following organizations:

  • Australia - Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • Canada - Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA)
  • England and Wales - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Germany - Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.v. (IDW)
  • Hong Kong - Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
  • Ireland - Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Japan - Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)
  • Mexico - Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • New Zealand - New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
  • Scotland - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • South Africa - South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)

Learn more about the International Associate membership.

In addition, we offer the Non-CPA Associate membership.

Back to Top


4.  What are the membership requirements for the International Associate Membership?

International Associate members meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Hold a valid non-U.S. accounting credential from a professional organization, government entity or similar accountancy body approved by the AICPA Board of Directors.
  • Meet either the CPE requirement for a CPA or its equivalent in my home country.
  • Agree to abide by the decisions of the Board of Directors
  • Agree to be governed by and to comply with the Bylaws and Code Of Professional Conduct of the Institute, including requirements for Continuing Professional Education (CPE).
Read the AICPA and CPA.com joint Privacy Policy outlined here.

Back to Top

5.  What are the GAA Passport benefits and how do I register for these benefits?

As a member of one of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) institutes, you can obtain free benefits/services from the AICPA while you reside in the USA? GAA members visiting the US are eligible to receive the following AICPA member benefits with the Global Accounting Alliance reciprocal membership:

  • Discounts on Publications and CPE Self-Study products
  • Electronic newsletters and information
  • Access to the Technical Information Hotline
  • Access to AICPA Library services
  • Attendance at AICPA CPE programs and conferences at member rates (not state society programs)

A GAA member wishing to take advantage of AICPA Member benefits, should fill out the application and submit an email to us.

Back to Top


6.  Will I be able to use my home designation/license in the USA?

If you were to come to the U.S., the letters you would be able to use after your name would depend entirely on the state where you reside. Some states prohibit persons without a CPA license granted by that state to enhance the term “accountant" in any way on their business cards or letterheads. This means that you could not use “CA” or “CPA” in those states, even if you held those designations in your country (or even sometimes another U.S. state).

It is prohibited for those without a CPA license granted by the state where they intend to practice to use the letters “CA” or “CPA” after their names, even if they hold those designations in their countries (or even another U.S. state), unless they specifically indicate that it is a designation granted by that other jurisdiction.

The reason for these laws is to avoid confusion in the market place. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are accounting professionals of the United States who have passed the Uniform CPA Exam and have met additional state-specific requirements for licensure as a CPA. CPAs are professionally licensed to provide attestation (including auditing) opinions on publicly disseminated financial statements. The state laws are designed to ensure that it is perfectly clear who holds a license in that state, and who does not. In fact, similar laws are in place in many other countries for the same reason.

Back to Top


7.  What restrictions, if any, are there on the use of my home designation / license?

It is prohibited for those without a CPA license granted by the state where they intend to practice to use the letters “CA” or “CPA” after their names, even if they hold those designations in their countries (or even another U.S. state), unless they specifically indicate that it is a designation granted by that other jurisdiction.

Back to Top



8.  How can I obtain a public practice license?

You get your CPA license from an individual state. The AICPA does not license CPAs—it’s up to each state to do it their own way. So first, pick the state you want to be licensed in. Then, contact that state’s Board of Accountancy and CPA society for details on their requirements. Learn more

Firms are also licensed through State Boards of Accountancy, for more information on this process. Learn more about firm licensure requirements.

Back to Top



9.  What are the licensure requirements for someone in public practice?

Licensure requirements vary by state and only CPAs are professionally licensed to provide an attestation (including auditing) opinions on publicly disseminated financial statements. However, individuals who do not hold a CPA license may perform most other accounting-related work in the U.S.

Back to Top



10.  Are there additional requirements for specialty practitioners such as Insolvency, Tax, Financial Planning and Valuations?

The AICPA offers specialized sections, credentials and designations. Learn more

Back to Top



11.  What is required of accountants in industry (i.e. CPAs not in public practice)? 

There are no specific additional requirements for those not in public practice, as all requirements for CPAs in industry are met through the qualification process.

Back to Top



12.  What is the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation?

The CGMA designation is the global designation for CPAs working in business and government. Powered by the resources and expertise of AICPA and CIMA, two of the world’s leading accounting organizations, the CGMA designation gives you research, tools and a global network.

Back to Top



13.  How can I obtain a CGMA designation?

Both AICPA and CIMA offer pathways to becoming a CGMA designation holder. These pathways share a combination of exams, experience and membership requirements. Discover your route to CGMA and learn more about the CGMA Competency Framework.

Back to Top



14.  What resources are available for CGMAs and other accountants in industry through the AICPA?

The CGMA exam is an integrated, comprehensive strategic case study that assesses the competencies required in today’s business environment. Candidates are required to apply theoretical and practical knowledge to a real-world scenario in order to demonstrate their ability to guide business decisions.

Candidates from both AICPA and CIMA are required to pass the same capstone examination in order to become CGMA designation holders. Learn more about the exam

Back to Top



15.  How do I obtain a US work and/or residency visa for myself and/or my spouse and family members?

The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every yea.  Each employment category for admission has different requirements, conditions and authorized periods of stay. It is important that you adhere to the terms of your application or petition for admission and visa. Learn more

Back to Top



16.  What is the overview of the CPA profession in USA?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations in the United States. Learn more

Back to Top



17.  What is the economic outlook for the accounting industry?

Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records. Learn more

Back to Top



18.  What resources are available through the institute to help obtain a job in the profession? 

The CPA Career Center - The official job board of the AICPA brings together accounting professionals looking for their next career opportunity and employers searching for the best accounting and financial talent.


Back to Top




A A A


 
Copyright © 2006-2017 American Institute of CPAs.