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ACCA IFRS program expected to get adversely affected by ICAI's new course

At this point in time, most of us would know about the change in the ICAI course curriculum to include Global Financial Reporting Standards (one of the optional papers) as a complete examination at CA final level. Interestingly, the Group 1 still has Financial Reporting paper as a part of ICAI's curriculum where will include IND-AS (minor changes against IFRS). Therefore, a bigger likelihood exists that most of the students will opt for the Global Financial Reporting Standards as a preferred option to clear their examination.

This may adversely impact the number of participants looking to gain knowledge of IFRS through a recognized qualification, which so far, was offered by the ACCA in form of Diploma in IFRS. A CA student or member may not be willing to study anything additionally beyond the CA curriculum if the course content itself comprises of a global content.

There is a likelihood further that the ICAI picks up questions as tested in the ACCA IFRS curriculum, that however, will only be clarified after the ICAI publishes its course content and the examination pattern for May 2018 examination.

The above change in the ICAI course is also going to bring ICAI's course at par with ACCA to some extent to be offering global curriculum in IFRS and other domains. Interestingly, the other optional papers like Risk Management etc. are likely to be influenced by the other global programs like FRM or CFA. This is likely to strengthen the ICAI's hold in other domains including global accounting and risk management. There is yet another option of Case study examinations, which directly affects the courses like CIMA, ICAEW or even ACCA's current testing patterns. This is likely to play a spoilsport for these Institutions which are trying to establish their presence in the growing Indian economy.

Having stated all of the above, ACCA in the past has been able to bring its best on the table in the past. The UK, which already has more than 5 Chartered Institutions in the accounting domain (including ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA), has seen wider acceptance of ACCA qualification, despite being a private Institution. So, ACCA will be monitoring the changes in ICAI course cautiously and will ensure that it makes its presence felt seriously by the CIMA and now the ICAI.

Disclaimer: The views of the author on the topic are personal and do not intend to disrepute any Institution, qualification or individual.

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