ICAP revamps chartered accountancy programme

By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune

KARACHI: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) Education Scheme 2013 , introduced on Tuesday, aims to revamp the chartered accountancy qualification in Pakistan.

The restructuring of the study programme will introduce a new modular system that has four tiers of the CA qualification, with each stage having a stand-alone recognition. Each certification is going to have its own market recognition and a revised syllabus with exam-specific study material is likely to increase the output of chartered accountants in Pakistan by as much as 50%, according to ICAP Vice President (North Region) Naeem Akhtar Sheikh.

ICAP qualifications make candidates eligible to be appointed as chief financial officer, head of internal audit and company secretary in a listed company.

New replaces the old

Under the prevailing system, CA aspirants have to clear the foundation level (modules A and B), intermediate level (modules C and D) and final level (modules E and F), with a student completing the last level while working for a chartered accountancy firm.

Under the new scheme, however, the chartered accountancy programme has been divided in four stages, namely Assessment of Fundamental Competencies (AFC), Certificate in Accounting and Finance (CAF), Certified Finance and Accounting Professional (CFAP) and Multi-subject Assessment (MSA). AFC will have four papers, CAF will have nine papers, CFAP will have six papers and MSA will consist of two papers.

CAF and CFAP are standalone qualifications. After passing these stages, candidates may use these descriptions with their names. The change has been made to facilitate a significant number of students who would get stuck at advanced levels of ICAP qualifications for a long time.

Moreover, ICAP has ordered ‘study packs’ for each subject. These will contain three books, including a text book, a summary booklet and another text containing question-and-answer exercises.

The scheme will be effective from the autumn of 2014.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29, 2013.

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