PAIBs Around the World

Last week I attended the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee meeting in Brussels. IFAC is composed of over 170 professional accounting organizations from around the world including the AICPA. By meeting in Brussels at the same time as Federation of European Accountants (FEE) which is an organization covering the European professional accounting member bodies, we had the opportunity to discuss how many of those membership organizations think about and support their PAIB members.

Professional accounting member bodies run the gamut from organizations composed almost entirely of PAIB members like the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to organizations that have no PAIB members. For example, in Germany and France, if a professional accountant decides to leave public accounting then the professional accountant must give up their license and can no longer be a member of the professional accounting society of their country. Other organizations in Europe just take away your license, but they kindly allow you to remain a member of the professional society, although they rarely focus on any specific needs of PAIBs.

Of course there are some that are similar to the U.S. and fully embrace their PAIB members, but the fact that some prominent societies don’t allow or care about their PAIB members makes me truly appreciate what we have here in the U.S. State Boards allow CPAs to keep their license as long as they continue to meet the ethics and CPE requirements and most State societies and the AICPA not only allow you to remain members, but look to provide services that meet the specific needs of PAIB members. These organizations have B&I, not-for-profit, governmental and academic committees to make sure the PAIB voice is heard in the profession and they put on CPE specific to PAIB needs.

Three years ago those efforts resulted in the launching of the CGMA in conjunction with the CIMA which both notes the unique talent of PAIBs by recognizing them with their own certification, and provides CGMA designation holders with a cornucopia of tools and resources to help CGMAs and the businesses they work for succeed. I feel blessed each morning I wake up that I am part of such an esteemed profession. Now I wake up and feel doubly blessed that my profession cares about me no matter where my career takes me in serving others.

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