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Brexit deal ‘cautiously’ welcomed by ACCA, but clarity is still needed


08 Jan 2021



ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has been reviewing the recent UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (UK-EU TCA) and considers the agreement brings a broad level of certainty for businesses in the UK, Europe and globally about the status of trade in goods and services, the movement of people and tariffs.

However, the global professional body says what’s missing is absolute clarity about this deal’s impact on the accountancy profession in the UK, EU and globally. It is disappointing to see barriers in the deal which effectively means the end of mutual recognition of professional qualifications, including those for accountancy.

Given this situation, it is uncertain how successful the mechanism for future mutual recognition agreements will be, but ACCA will work tirelessly to ensure its current and future MRAs are forged in the best interest of its members and the profession. ACCA also asserts that there is more work to be done on this deal, especially for financial services.

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA sits on the UK government’s Trade Advisory Group for professional advisory services and says: ‘For our members and future members, it’s welcome news that a deal has been agreed. While we anticipate opportunities ahead, there are still gaps – hence our cautious welcome.

‘A significant gap is the status of financial services’ equivalence, with further negotiations to commence with a deadline set for 31 March. The deal also reveals major EU carve-outs about the scope for UK service providers to access their EU customers.’

Helen Brand adds: ‘What the UK economy and business needs is long-term certainty, especially as the headwinds of the pandemic continue to hit confidence. Negotiations will continue, and so ACCA will keep on advocating for common global standards, open access to the profession, and shared recognition of professional accountants across international borders.

‘Now the deal has been announced we are reminding our members, operating in a regulated profession such as statutory audit, that if they want to have access to a regulated role in another country in the future they must check with the relevant competent authority.’

The ACCA Qualification will continue to be relevant to the regulatory regime for statutory audit and accountancy in the EU and the UK. The ACCA Qualification continues to be recognised nationally within UK and Ireland for Statutory Audit as well as in several European Economic Area (EEA) states. It is also recognised nationally within a number of EEA states for access to regulated accountancy bodies.’

ACCA’s Brexit Hub contains the latest advice and guidance and will be updated regularly: Also, ACCA’s advice on our website about the recognition of professional qualifications after 1 January 2021 will be kept up to date as further details are confirmed.

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For media enquiries, contact:

Helen Thompson


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Twitter @ACCANews

About ACCA

ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.

Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.

Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow. Find out more about us at


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