January 21, 2021

Brexit deal ‘cautiously’ welcomed by ACCA, but clarity is still needed

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has been reviewing the recent UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (UK-EU TCA) and considers the agreement brings a broad level of certainty for businesses in the UK, Europe and globally about the status of trade in goods and services, the movement of people and tariffs.

However, the global professional body says what’s missing is absolute clarity about this deal’s impact on the accountancy profession in the UK, EU and globally. It is disappointing to see barriers in the deal which effectively means the end of mutual recognition of professional qualifications, including those for accountancy.

Given this situation, it is uncertain how successful the mechanism for future mutual recognition agreements will be, but ACCA will work tirelessly to ensure its current and future MRAs are forged in the best interest of its members and the profession. ACCA also asserts that there is more work to be done on this deal, especially for financial services.

Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru Wales, says: “For our members and future members, it’s welcome news that a deal has been agreed. While we anticipate opportunities ahead, there are still gaps – hence our cautious welcome.

“A significant gap is the status of financial services’ equivalence, with further negotiations to commence with a deadline set for 31 March. The deal also reveals major EU carve-outs about the scope for UK service providers to access their EU customers.”

Lloyd Powell adds: “What the UK economy and business needs is long-term certainty, especially as the headwinds of the pandemic continue to hit confidence. Negotiations will continue, and so ACCA will keep on advocating for common global standards, open access to the profession, and shared recognition of professional accountants across international borders.

“Now the deal has been announced we are reminding our members, operating in a regulated profession such as statutory audit, that if they want to have access to a regulated role in another country in the future they must check with the relevant competent authority.”

The ACCA Qualification will continue to be relevant to the regulatory regime for statutory audit and accountancy in the EU and the UK. The ACCA Qualification continues to be recognised nationally within UK and Ireland for Statutory Audit as well as in several European Economic Area (EEA) states. It is also recognised nationally within a number of EEA states for access to regulated accountancy bodies.