Accountants Propose Greater Flexibility in Measuring Practical Experience

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has released for public exposure a proposed revision of International Education Standard (IES) 5, Practical Experience Requirements. IES 5 currently prescribes the practical experience International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member bodies should require before qualification as a professional accountant. In addition, this IES can be helpful to educational organizations, employers, regulators, government authorities, and any other stakeholders who support the practical experience of professional accountants.

 

The revision of IES 5 continues to support the use of practical experience in developing the competence of an aspiring professional accountant, but also proposes:

 

• greater flexibility in measuring practical experience;
• permitting supervisors or mentors to direct an aspiring professional accountant’s experience; and
• requiring practical experience to be recorded in a verifiable and consistent form.

 

“The IAESB believes that relevant practical experience is at the heart of the development of competence of a professional accountant. This revision of IES 5 reflects the different ways that experience can be gained, and is a significant step from a rules-based approach to a system based on principles,” explains Mark Allison, chairman of the IAESB. “IFAC member bodies will be required to demonstrate that the method of gaining experience follows one of three approaches: input-based, output-based, or a combination of input- and output-based approaches. We have ensured that this approach to experience requirements for Initial Professional Development is consistent with that recently issued for the Continuing Professional Development (IES 7) of experienced professional accountants.”

 

The IAESB has undertaken a project to redraft all eight of its IESs in accordance with its new clarity drafting conventions, as outlined in its 2010-2012 Strategy and Work Plan. This project began in December 2010 with the proposed revision of IES 7, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence. Proposed revisions of IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes, and IES 6, Assessment of Professional Competence, were released for exposure in April 2011. IES 1, Entry Requirements to a Program of Professional Accounting Education, was released on June 21. The comment period for these three IESs is still open. The current timetable envisages that all IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only, by the first quarter of 2013.

 

 

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