June 2000


Eight professional organizations, including the AICPA, have formed a global task force to explore the creation of a new international business professional designation. The proposed designation is being compared to the medical profession's basic MD credential, which acts as a foundation for the various specialty designations.

The eight organizations propose a designation that would enable professionals from a wide range of disciplines to build on high ethical standards, traditional skills, and technical expertise to provide a broader range of globally relevant services. Some envision this basic business credential (with the placeholder name XYZ) as the foundation upon which other credentials such as CPA, CMA, or CFP would be added.

"International market research indicates a demand for multidisciplinary business advisors who offer far more than the services based on the competencies of a single profession," said Robin Hamilton Harding, former CFO of Bell Canada and COO of the task force. "The aim of the task force is to create a globally recognized designation that would enable professionals to seize the opportunities presented by an increasingly globalized economy."

The task force and sponsoring organizations are initiating discussions with leading business professions and accountancy institutes around the world to attract support for the new designation. As conceived, the designation will complement existing professional credentials, as well as the work of international associations such as the International Federation of Accountants.

In an interview in the July CPA Journal, AICPA President Barry Melancon describes the thinking behind the new credential and why, in his mind, there is a place for it in the marketplace. *

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