x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE to host CPA tests as US qualification widens its net

The Life: Companies will soon have access to more local accountants with knowledge of the US tax and accounting systems - with video.

The UAE will be one of the first countries in the world to let accountants take a test to assist US companies and expats.

The country is one of just five, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Japan, that will start offering the certified public account exam in local test centres this August. This will be the first time in the test's nearly 100-year history where it will be taken outside of its native US.

"It's very true that it's more difficult for some people to travel to the US [to take the test], whether it's for cultural reasons or financial reasons," says Ken Bishop, the chief operating officer for the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, which helps oversee the exam.

"Bringing the test here [to the UAE] is going to give employment opportunities. It's also going to mean that some of the work that may be done out of the country will be done inside the country."

The Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority was one of the first organisations in the world to initiate talks a few years ago to get the test offered internationally, says Mr Bishop. Thanks to these discussions, a committee was formed in the US to determine whether to expand the test—and where it could be taken.