Washington (Sept. 2, 2004) -- The Division of Firms, an affiliate of the National Association of Black Accountants, has forged an alliance with its Southern African counterpart, the Black Firms Forum of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa that aims to maximize the exchange of business and professional resources between black-owned accounting firms in Southern Africa and the U.S.

The agreement, which was signed during NABA's 33rd annual national convention in Orlando, Fla., expands the nearly 10-year-old relationship between the two groups.

Under the agreement, NABA and ABASA said that they "will foster the growth and development of black-owned accounting firms through mutual cooperation in the areas of economic and cultural awareness, staff exchanges, continuing professional education and business development." Members of both organizations will attend each other's annual convention to leverage networking opportunities and to forge a better understanding of the economies of Southern Africa and the United States.

The agreement also includes a cultural exchange program, under which select U.S. black accountants will be temporarily employed by a Southern African firm and select African accountants will temporarily work for a U.S. firm in order to promote career and cultural development for the participants. NABA will provide arrangements for housing, transportation, stipends and other support needed to facilitate the U.S. exchange.

This summer, the first African participant worked at Walker & Co. LLP in Washington. By the end of the year, two other African accounting professionals are expected to come to the U.S. for temporary employment with a DOF member.

"The NABA and ABASA partnership will create unprecedented opportunities for black businesses competing in the global economy," said Darryl R. Matthews Sr., NABA executive director and chief operating officer.

-- WebCPA staff

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