A new chair has been elected to head the Toronto chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Neeraj Mehta, a Chartered Accountant (CA) from India, currently working as a Financial Planner and Investment Advisor in Toronto, was voted to power last week with unanimous consent to the Board of the Toronto chapter.
The Certified Financial Planner has worked in many countries including Canada, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and India. He has a B.Com Honours degree from the University of Delhi and has completed Canadian Investment Management focused on consulting, investment and commercial banking.
The new Chairman’s first priority will be to increase membership and ensure that more and more Indian CAs in the country participate in the activities of the Chapter. .
“There are currently around 700 Indian Chartered Accountants living in the Greater Toronto area, out of which 200 are members of the Toronto chapter,” says Mehta. “It will be our endeavour that every Indian CA from India benefits from networking and professional development opportunities through our Chapter.”
The Toronto chapter formed in 2006, an alumni association for members of ICAI living in Canada, also has a mandate to interact with professional bodies in Canada.
“Part of our mandate is to liaise with the professional bodies in Canada like Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO) and others to increase and enhance the awareness of ICAI and its members to eventually get full reciprocity,” says Mehta.
Earlier this year, in a historic move, ICAI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) on reciprocal membership arrangements for Chartered Accountants from Canada and India. According to the MOU signed on February 7, 2011, the similarity of accounting education for Chartered Accountants (CAs) in both countries will be recognized, reducing the admission requirements for qualified CAs from India.
“This was a momentous achievement, an unprecedented move,” says the new chairman. “It was our key objective to achieve reciprocity arrangement with the CICA by initiating a continuous dialogue and bringing Indian Chartered Accountants to the forefront in the Canadian mainstream.”
The MOU, that specifies the criteria by which members of one body are eligible for membership in the other, was signed by the CICA on behalf of the provincial and territorial Institutes/Ordre of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda, which has long been affiliated with the CICA.
"It is important to forge closer links with our CA colleagues in India with that country emerging as a significant presence in the global marketplace," Kevin Dancey, president CICA had said at the time. "Finding ways to help internationally trained professionals earn their Canadian CA fosters mobility and helps Canada attract the brightest and the best in today’s global economy. Our profession is known as a leader in international labour mobility and in foreign credential recognition."
According to the MOU, an ICAI member who holds a recognized university degree will be eligible to become a Canadian CA by passing the Canadian Uniform Evaluation (UFE) and meeting the profession’s experience requirements. Individuals with a Canadian CA designation will be eligible to become an ICAI member by passing the ICAI’s examinations in corporate and allied laws and tax.
“This is a significant step in the journey towards achieving full reciprocity in the future for which both the Institutes will continue to work together,” says Mehta.
Other members elected to the Board are Moin Ahmed as Vice Chair, Ajay Widge as Secretary and Ajay Rao as Treasurer.
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