Indian Chartered Accountants can look forward to practice in Singapore and the UK as the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) is in the process of signing a mutual recognition of professional agreement with the two countries.
ICAI president TN Manoharan said that the association, the apex body for CAs in India, was in very advanced stage of discussion with its counterpart in Singapore for signing the agreement.
"I am hopeful that in next two months, everything would be finalised between both the institutes," he said, pointing out that this was a part of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with the city-state.
ICAI has also initiated talks with its counterpart in the UK. "This is at a preliminary stage now," he said, adding that besides mutual recognition of degrees, many other areas are being looked into for cooperation.
"For this, an Indo-UK study group has been formed at the instance of the Commerce Ministry and I expect that the agreement with the UK would be through by the end of this year," Manoharan said.
Apart from the two countries, SAARC nations like Nepal and Sri Lanka had also evinced interest in having similar kind of agreement with ICAI. "Dialogue would start soon," the ICAI president said.
Mutual recognition will help Indian accountancy professionals to get a job in that country without appearing for exams as per their syllabus. "However, the professionals will still be required to clear a few examination papers, which will help them familiarize with the corporate law of the land," he added.
Manoharan said ICAI was also expanding its network of overseas branches by adding two more countries this year. "ICAI currently has 15 chapters. Canada would be our next base as our council has given approval for this. By the end of October, we will have a chapter in Canada, he said.
He said Australia has also evinced interest in allowing ICAI to set up a chapter. "Formalities have begun and I expect it to be completed by the end of this year," he said.
ICAI Chapters function as examination centres so that students settled abroad can write CA examinations from their itself.
ICAI, the third-biggest chartered accountant body in the world with a total membership of 1.3 lakh, is also participating in the World Congress for Accountants being held at Istanbul in November.