The American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy have renewed a trilateral mutual recognition agreement with professional accounting bodies in Canada and Mexico.

The five-year agreement with the Chartered Accountants of Canada and Mexico's Contadores Publicos Certificados was signed April 17 in Alexandria, Va.

"This trilateral agreement represents leadership by the accounting and auditing profession in all three countries by setting the standard for other professions to follow in meeting the goals of the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA, which was enacted in 1994," said Robert Harris, vice chairman-nominee of the AICPA, in a statement.

In addition to Canada and Mexico, the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board has mutual recognition agreements with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Mutual recognition agreements facilitate cross-border mobility by streamlining the process for qualified professionals with accounting credentials to become certified and licensed in each other's countries. Canadian CAs and Mexican CPCs are able to take the four-hour International Qualifications Examination rather than the 14-hour regular Uniform CPA Examination to become licensed in most states.

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