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New Accounting Education Standards

Earlier this year the International Accounting Education Standards Board, IAESB, published three new International Education Standards. The IAESB — formerly the IFAC Education Committee — develops guidance to improve the standards of accountancy education around the world and focuses on two key areas:

  • Essential elements of accreditation: education, practical experience, and tests of professional competence
  • Nature and extent of continuing professional education needed by accountants

Each of the new standards specifies competence areas and learning outcomes relating to the professional competence required of aspiring accountants. The new standards take effect July 1, 2015 and include:

IES 2 prescribes the learning outcomes for technical competence aspiring accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of their initial professional development, including the ability to apply professional knowledge to perform a role to a defined standard.

IES 3 describes the learning outcomes for professional skills aspiring accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of their initial professional development. The professional skills include intellectual, interpersonal, personal and organizational skills that an accountant integrates with technical competence and professional values, ethics and attitudes to demonstrate their professional competence.

IES 4 covers the learning outcomes for professional values, ethics, and attitudes aspiring accountants are required to demonstrate by the end of their initial professional development. Professional values, ethics, and attitudes are defined as the behavior and characteristics that identify accountants as members of a profession. They include the ethical principles generally associated with, and considered essential in defining, the distinctive characteristics of professional behavior.

These, and other IAESB standards, greatly influence accounting education and training worldwide. The goal of these important standards is to ensure the competence of professional accountants regardless of the country where the accountants received their education and training. For employers operating globally, these standards are vital tools in identifying future accounting staff.

If you are an aspiring accountant or an accounting hiring manager, learn more about the IAESB and their standards of accountancy education at http://www.ifac.org/Education/