The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, and Prometric announced the international administration of the Uniform CPA Examination will be offered during the month of August in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. CPA exam is being offered internationally for the first time as a service to foreign nationals in response to rapidly escalating international demand for U.S. CPA licensure. In 2010, more than 10,000 international candidates traveled to the U.S. to take the U.S. CPA exam, a 22 percent increase from 2009. Nearly one-third of international candidates came from Japan.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer this program in Japan and several countries in the Middle East," said Craig Mills, AICPA vice president for examinations and continuing professional education. "We believe the international administrations will provide additional opportunities for individuals who want to become U.S. CPAs. As we gain experience in international administrations, we are looking forward to expanding the program to other countries where there is interest."
The international exam, which will be offered in English, is the same as the U.S. exam administered by the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric in the United States. Future testing months during which the exam will be administered in Japan and the Middle East will be November 2011 and February, May 2012. Licensure requirements for international candidates are the same as for U.S. CPA candidates. Along with passing the Uniform CPA Examination, international candidates must meet educational and experience requirements as mandated by U.S. state boards of accountancy.
NASBA Executive Vice President & COO Ken L. Bishop said: "It makes excellent sense to extend the benefits of the U.S. state-based CPA examination and licensure processes to an international audience. We're looking forward to implementing international CPA Examination administrations so that we may bring the examination to candidates who would like an opportunity to qualify as U.S. CPAs."
In the United States, state boards have the governmental legal authority to award the U.S. CPA license. Registration for the international exam will begin on May 1, and applications may be made through certain U.S. state boards of accountancy offering eligibility for international candidates. A list of participating state boards and information about fees will be posted on the NASBA website  in April.
"Ensuring safe, secure delivery of the CPA exam has always been a priority for us," said Bill Murtagh, senior vice president of client services and sales at Prometric. "Carrying our commitment to security to other key locations around the world will simply be an extension of the diligence we provide in the U.S. to support the integrity of this high-stakes exam."
Testing in the new international locations will be open to citizens and long-term residents of the countries in which the exam is being administered. In the Middle East, citizens of Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia may take the exam in one of the Middle East locations. U.S. citizens living abroad are eligible to test at any location.
"The exam, regardless of where it's administered, provides opportunities for personal growth and contributes to economic prosperity," Mills said. "We continue to plan for an August administration in the Middle East and are hopeful that the local conditions will allow us to provide this service to the citizens of the region."
Initially the exam will be offered internationally during a one month testing window per calendar-year quarter. An international testing FAQ sheet  is available at the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination website .