Grant Thornton students in audit qualification first

Business students
By Michael McGlinchey

27 August 2015

Accountancy students at leading financial and business adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP have become the first to sign up for a unique and new Integrated Qualification (IQ) in Audit.

The IQ in Audit has been developed by leading professional bodies ICAS (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) and CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) to meet the needs of accountants working in both the corporate sector and public sector.

Grant Thornton students who have just embarked on the new qualification will enjoy greater flexibility and movement in their careers through the IQ, which draws on the respective strengths and experience of ICAS and CIPFA in corporate and public sector audit.

The students will embark on 11 ICAS CA (Chartered Accountant) modules and four CPFA (Chartered Public Finance Accountant) modules over a three-year period.

The professional study, training and practical experience will give Grant Thornton students a deeper and wider knowledge of the audit world and the IQ is also unique in enabling students to become members of both ICAS and CIPFA - greatly enhancing their career and networking opportunities.

The IQ is aimed at prospective students and existing practitioners who will be working within this expanding mixed private/public sector environment, and this is the first in a series of initiatives which ICAS and CIPFA hope to announce, heralding a new working relationship between the two institutes.

Sarah Howard, Head of Public Sector at Grant Thornton, said: "We are delighted to support this exciting new qualification which reflects the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors as they work together to drive growth and deliver better service outcomes to local communities. We believe the new IQ provides a great opportunity to invest in equipping our public sector students and clients to deal effectively with the challenges and opportunities arising from commercialisation, new service delivery models and increased joint working between the public and private sectors."

ICAS CEO, Anton Colella, said: "We welcome these Grant Thornton students on to this new and pioneering qualification. The IQ offers students the best of both worlds and responds to the changing demands of modern audit, with a firm grounding in both corporate and public sector disciplines. We are very pleased to have developed this forward-thinking qualification and to be working closely with CIPFA on other ventures for the benefit of the profession."

Rob Whiteman, CEO of CIPFA, said: "We are delighted that Grant Thornton students have become the first to sign up to this new ground-breaking accountancy qualification. We are confident that the IQ - which we have developed jointly with ICAS - will fast become the gold standard for anyone who wants to pursue a career in audit. Not only will it give students and existing practitioners world-class training, but it will also enable them to work with dual specialist skills across both the public and private sectors in all areas of the economy."

About the integrated qualification in audit

The integrated qualification responds to the growing need for accountants to be able to audit all entities in all sectors due to the mixed economy within which organisation now operate. The increasing fluidity between public and private sectors means many employers now require staff to have a registered audit status in both public and company audit.

The qualification will be aimed at prospective students and existing practitioners who will be working within this expanding mixed public/private sector environment.

It will lead to:

  • Both public and company audit registration
  • The right to use both the CA and CPFA designations
  • Membership of both ICAS and CIPFA

The training in the qualification aims to start in autumn 2015 and can be delivered in a classroom across three years or as a blended learning model.

Find out more about the integrated qualification in audit PDF [317 KB].


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