Part qualified CAs:
Previously a person who was unable to complete CA examinations in full was known as part qualified CA.
Issues are faced by such persons in searching for job outside Pakistan more than inside the country because local market knows what is CA Inter/finalist and international market does not. Persons with CA inter + Articles are always able to get reasonable jobs inside Pakistan, however due to non-recognition of this part qualification on international level the issues faced in searching job are alarming.
Introduction of certifications:
After ICAP has officially notified the certifications AFC, CAF and CFAP as a “Complete Qualification”, the definition is revised technically to “A person who fails to pass all the papers of a particular certification”, which means that:
1. You have passed AFC level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
2. You have passed CAF level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
3. You have passed CFAP level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
The impact of this is positive more for international markets rather than local. Now you can tell the Sheikh that you have a certificate in accounts and finance (CAF) from institute of chartered accountants of Pakistan, and a post qualification experience of 4 years from ABC Chartered Accountants. Seems good?
However, local market still knows CA Inter and Final, and these terminologies are not much familiar. Even those employers who know what is CAF, they still consider you a part qualified CA.
Recognition of CAF certificate and introduction of Professional Accounting Affiliate (PAA):
The purpose of introducing CAF certification was to provide recognition to part qualified CAs. Initially there was a requirement to complete 1 year of training in order to write “CAF” with your name, which is no more. However, the institute failed to get recognition of CAF from HEC and has now introduced a new degree named “Professional Accounting Affiliate”. After passing 16/21 required papers and completion of mandatory training from an approved training organization, you shall be awarded this degree. Still HEC has not recognized this degree as equivalent to graduation. Let’s discuss pros and cons of this step by ICAP:
- Recognition in international market
- Probable improvement in recognition in local market if HEC recognizes it
- In local market, you are still part qualified CA. Not much improvement in job prospects.
- You shall be deemed a person who failed to qualify CA.
- Non-equivalency with graduation and still payment of annual membership fee.
Institute should get recognition from HEC and international institutes as well for PAA and take steps to generate awareness in local and international markets. If it fails to do so, it should award this degree to “CAF + Article” persons without condition of additional 3 papers. Apparently, there is not much incremental benefit to a person having CAF certificate + Training experience if he opts to avail this degree.