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Private Sector Development
Accounting Reform

Pragma supports the adoption and implementation of market-based accounting practices to foster enterprise efficiency, economic growth, and regional economic integration. Pragma’s activities in this area include training in International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), technical assistance to government regulatory bodies; and assistance in translating and publishing supporting technical materials. In addition, Pragma (i) conducts training, testing, and certification of professional accountants in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, finance, tax law, and management information systems (MIS); and (ii) assists professional accounting associations in the adoption of charters and bylaws that meet international standards for governance and professional ethics. For example:

  • In Central Asia, Pragma’s Certified International Professional Accountant (CIPA) program carries out testing and certification in the Russian language. The CIPA exams are as follows: Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II, Management Accounting I, Management Accounting II, Finance, Audit, Tax and Law, and MIS. The CIPA exams are supported by courses that can be delivered in training, academic, or self- study programs. In the training format, each of the CIPA courses comprises 60 hours of contact time. In delivering the courses, Pragma works with local training providers throughout the former Soviet Union.

  • Successful participants can achieve two levels of professional certification: (a) Certified Accounting Practitioner (CAP)—earned by passing exams for Financial Accounting I, Management Accounting I, and Tax and Law; demonstrating computer literacy; and having at least one year of experience and a good reputation as a member of a professional association; and (b) Certified International Professional Accountant (CIPA)—earned by passing exams for Financial Accounting II, Management Accounting II, Finance, Audit, Tax and Law, and MIS. A successful CIPA candidate must also have work experience of not less than three years, higher education, and a good reputation as a member of a professional association. The CAP and CIPA certificates bear the logo of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which indicates that the program is based on and in compliance with IAS.

    In April 2002, Pragma founded the CIPA Examination Network (CIPA–EN) to serve as a centralized independent examination administrator for CAP and CIPA exams for members of the Eurasian Council of Certified Accountants and Auditors (ECCAA), an Almaty-based umbrella organization of thirteen professional associations from Central Asia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia. CIPA–EN is an independent corporation registered in the United States. The CAP exams are offered once each quarter, whereas the more comprehensive CIPA exams are offered in May and November. The CIPA program was the first to offer these certification exams in the Russian language. Both exams are offered in Russian.

    Exams are delivered simultaneously in numerous locations throughout the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Pragma and CIPA–EN have been approached about the possibility of offering the exams in other local languages. Since the beginning of 2003, an examination fee has been introduced on a gradual basis. Between 2003 and 2008, approximately 83,000 people took exams sponsored under the CAP/CIPA program across 10 countries of the former Soviet Union; and approximately 20,000 accounting and auditing professionals received certification.

  • Pragma provided technical assistance to ECCAA, which uses the CIPA program to harmonize accounting and auditing standards among the associations of former Soviet Union countries. ECCAA co-issues the CAP and CIPA certificates with the appropriate local association. It also holds a yearly conference at which the associations discuss issues of mutual concern.

  • ECCAA in collaboration with Pragma/USAID worked with the national professional accounting association members to adopt the CIPA program as the core technical requirement for full membership. Pragma through its USAID-funded projects/CIPA provides support for institutional development. In particular, the projects have assisted professional associations in adopting charters and by-laws that reflect world standards in governance and professional requirements, based on guidelines promulgated by IFAC, the world governing body for accountants.

  • To address the acute shortage of accounting professionals in Azerbaijan financial sector and to meet the growing demand of qualified accounting professionals in the industry, Pragma supported the Azerbaijan Bank Training Center and helped introduce CAP courses for Financial Institutions. Pragma prepared materials and conducted training courses outlines for Financial Accounting 1, Management Accounting 1, and Tax & Law in conformity with the CIPAEN standards and Syllabi. Pragma also delivered a series of Training of Trainers (TOT) courses.

  • In Afghanistan, the USTDA/Pragma Corporation's Accountancy Training Program at Kabul University helped build Afghanistan's accounting sector capacity in two ways: 1) through provision of accountancy courses to approximately 200 Kabul University students (two basic bookkeeping and accounting and two sector specific courses—telecommunications and aviation), each of which is intended to meet Afghan employers’ requirements for trained accountancy personnel; and second, through development of operational standards and provision of basic equipment for the “Accountancy Training Resource Center at Kabul University” which assisted the University in the development and implementation of future accountancy training programs, accountancy training curricula and trained accountancy faculty. On the web: <www.atku.org>

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