Global accounting, taxation and business advisor association BKR International established a worldwide scholarship program to recognize the academic and career achievements of young accountants.

Six awards of $2,000 will be made to future accounting practitioners annually—two in each of the three BKR regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa; the Americas; and Asia Pacific.

"Quality people are the heart and soul of a professional accounting practice,” said Peter Chong, the Asia Pacific chairman of BKR International, which represents more than 135 firms in 300 offices around the world, in a statement. “We at BKR recognize that in order to maintain the flow of our future leaders in the profession, we need to assist in the early stages of career development. In many countries throughout the world, including developed countries, many bright students face the challenges, both academic and financial, of attaining a professional accounting designation. BKR's hope is that this scholarship program, in some small way, will give a helping hand to some of these young people."

Chong added that potential recipients must be working toward obtaining a professional accounting qualification and demonstrate initiative in their work, studies or a special project. They also may be working with the local member firm, though that is not a requirement.

"Through this initiative, BKR International is sending a clear message to young people around the world, that our economy's future depends on education and professional training,” stated London-based Stephen Hamlet, executive director of the EMEA region. “Not only in developing countries, but even in the United Kingdom, pressures are increasing due to high university costs and the added uncertainty for future employment. BKR members will be given the chance to promote recognition of a particular individual's dedication and enthusiasm to better themselves in such struggling times."

Local firms will propose recipients, to be approved by the regional board and awarded at regional conferences.