How would you like to be an ACPA?

If you are a Philippine CPA, did you know that you may now apply for the ACPA (Asean Chartered Professional Accountant) title? Jun Cuaresma writes, in The Manila Times article, “And the Asean CPA is born . . .

To get the ACPA title, the provisions of the recognition agreement state that Filipino CPAs have to undergo initial qualification and eligibility screenings through the local Board of Accountancy (BoA) and/or the Philippine Institute of CPAs and then the ACPA Coordinating Committee would make the final approval.

Upon successful approval, the Filipino CPA will acquire the ACPA title and be accorded as a Registered Foreign Professional Accountant (RFPA) who then can, in all other nine Asean member states: (1) work as consultant or employee of commercial, industrial or educational entities, or (2) work as external auditor but in collaboration with designated external auditing firms in the host country.

Currently, Filipino CPAs can already work as accountants, auditors, consultants, etc., in countries among the Asean member countries and beyond, even without the ACPA title. Thus, I can’t imagine how this title can enhance one’s résumé.

So, unless a new and separate governing body is tasked to conduct qualifying exams (board exams) in lieu of the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission), I can’t see how else Filipino accountants will flock to acquire this title.


4,066 out of the total 8,525 candidates passed the recent CPA Licensure Examinations (October 2011). That’s a whopping 47.7% passing percentage — compared to that during our time ten years ago, which was around 17-18% only.

Okay, so now I’m making a bold statement here. But this is just my opinion, and this is my blog.

I personally believe that passing the CPA board exams is not a matter of whether you pass or fail. It’s not you versus the exams per se. Instead, it’s you versus the other candidates to make it to the top whatever percent the examiners wish to pass.

That’s why I find it rather unfair that they only allowed a really small percentage of examinees — less than 20% — to pass during our time. I’m sure some many of our contemporaries would have otherwise made it if they took the exams today, and thus enjoy the status as such — a licensed CPA. Statistics, by itself, does not necessarily mean the candidates of our time in general are any less intelligent/brilliant than the candidates of today.

Cebu CPAR Center

I didn’t know that such review center, Cebu CPAR Review, exists until of late. I’m not sure how they are related to CPAR in Manila, as they adopt the same name CPAR. But at least they have a website to offer some information about the institution, unlike its Manila counterpart and even the other review centers in Manila.

Browsing through the site, I’ve noted that:

  1. They are using Mambo as their CMS platform.
  2. It was their second batch that took the October 2006 exams.
  3. The roll of reviewers include former CPAR-Manila reviewers as well, namely:
    • Jekell Salosagcol
    • Hilario Tan
    • Michael Tiu
    • Almanzor Macmod
    • Apolinario Bobadilla

The CPA Licensure examination is one of the most difficult professional examinations in the Philippines today. Considering the gap between your undergraduate preparation and this licensure examination, successful completion of the 4-year BSA Course could not guarantee your passing. It is therefore our great honor and pleasure to fill this gap, serve you and help you become a CPA.

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