International Qualification Examination

International Qualification Examination

The International Qualification Examination (IQEX) is an examination set by certain non-U.S. qualified accountants seeking the Certified Public Accountant designation in the United States.

The examination is set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).


In principle the following overseas-qualified accountants are eligible:

* Australian Certified Practising Accountants, Australian Chartered Accountants and
* Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
* Irish Chartered Accountants
* Mexican public accountants who are members of the Mexican Institute of Public Accountants.

However, there are restrictions on eligibility to take the examination:

* Importantly, those who have acquired their overseas membership through mutual recognition or reciprocity are not eligible. For example, an Australian or Irish Chartered Accountant who originally qualified as a Scottish Chartered Accountant would not be eligible.

* Australian CPAs and CAs with less than four years university education, or who obtained their university degree outside Australia, may not be eligible [ Details] . Similar rules apply for Irish CAs.

* Australian CPAs who did not take the Audit section of the "Australian CPA Program" may be required to sit for and pass the Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Exam, as well as the IQEX exam. NASBA will issue a "Notice to Schedule" for this section of the Uniform CPA Exam to eligible candidates (without requiring state board approval), however like all Uniform CPA Exam papers, it must be sat for at a test center in the United States

* Those from recognized overseas bodies who are not eligible to sit for IQEX may apply to a U.S. State Board of Accountancy to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam under normal rules. The "Colorado State Board of Accountancy", "Delaware State Board of Accountancy" and "Illinois State Board of Accountancy" are popular choices for overseas qualified accountants.

* Details on IQEX eligibility, IQEX training programs and CPA licensure are available at []


The administration of the IQEX exam is similar to that for the Uniform CPA Exam, with a few key differences:

* Application is made directly to NASBA, not to a state board of accountancy
* The exam can be sat at Prometric test centers outside the United States (although Canada is the only other country in which the exam is normally offered)
* Instead of being available all year round, IQEX is only offered for three weeks in October or November each year.
* Results are sent directly to the candidate by NASBA (normally in February, following the exam in November)

The fee to sit IQEX is USD845 as a first time candidate, and USD795 as a re-examination candidate. Australian CPAs required to sit the AUD section of the Uniform CPA Exam must pay USD1,030 as a first time candidate, and USD795 for re-examination. Should AUD be applied for on its own the fee is USD185.

Licensure or certification as a CPA

After successfully passing IQEX, candidates must still meet the requirements of one of the 55 State Boards of Accountancy in order to be licensed or certified as a CPA.

Although state boards are not involved in the IQEX examination itself, they still reserve the right to decide on CPA licensure and certification.

* Most successful IQEX candidates (who do not need a license from a particular state) apply for a "CPA certificate" from the "Illinois State Board of Accountancy." This is the most straightforward option, as Illinois does not require any further educational, ethics or work experience requirements for certification.
* Some state boards do not accept IQEX, or only accept it under certain conditions. Some may not accept Irish Chartered Accountants, for example, or may only accept Canadian Chartered Accountants from certain Canadian provinces.


In recent times, there has been significant questioning as to the fairness of the IQEX rules Fact|date=February 2007 as applied to Australian Certified Practising Accountants.

Many accuse that the rule of requiring a Bachelor's Degree from the country in which the CPA is a member of limits CPAs who obtained their Bachelor's from countries such as Hong Kong, India, and China from qualifying for IQEX. These people allege that as members of their respective CPA boards, it should not matter where the Bachelor's degree was obtained. A CPA from Australia is simply a CPA from Australia whether or not he did his Bachelor's in India, Hong Kong, or Australia. They allege that there is little justification for such a measure, and it is merely designed to deter them from obtaining a U.S. CPA.

However NASBA is simply administering the agreement as concluded by CPA Australia.

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
* National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
* Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination

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