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Legal & finance: Plans for European harmony in exams.

Eight of Europe's leading accountancy bodies this week produced a consultation document on plans to harmonise their entry qualifications.

The proposals, which have been developed by a steering group of representatives of the participating institutes in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, aim to create a core of common content in each of the participating Institutes' national qualifications.

Taking part are Ordre des Experts-Comptables (OEC), France; Institut der Wirtschaftsprufer (IDW) and Wirtschaftspruferkammer (WPK), both Germany; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI), Ireland; Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti (CNDC), Italy; Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut van Registeraccountants (NIVRA), the Netherlands; Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), UK; and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Scotland.

Each institute will still determine a component of their respective qualifications dealing with such matters as country-specific tax rules.

The common international content focuses on five service areas of professional accountants - assurance and related services; performance measurement and reporting; strategic and business management; financial management; and taxation and legal services.

At the launch of the consultation in Brussels, Peter Wyman, chairman of the Common Content Steering Group, said: 'This historic move to unify some of Europe's premier accountancy qualifications will benefit accountants who qualify in the future, users of their services and those who train and employ them.

'If these proposals are adopted, the result will be a new generation of European accountants whose international knowledge and professional experience have been assessed using a common high-quality syllabus. Qualifying accountants will enjoy improved cross-border career opportunities. It will also become much easier for them to become members of participating institutes in other countries.'

The institutes will be consulting interested parties on the proposals up to June 30 The timetable for obtaining final approval is scheduled for 2006. National implementation is expected over the following two years.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 21, 2005
Words:306
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