ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
Today’s accountants not only grow and protect a business’ financial foundations; they grow and protect its reputation too. Yet, in ACCA’s experience, many countries in Europe continue to experience a shortage of qualified finance professionals and accountants
—Mark Gold, President, ACCA

ACCA president calls for single market in professional services; Lack of recognition an ‘artificial barrier’ to profession in Europe

Patronage of the Polish EU Presidency

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) president Mark Gold has used a speech in Warsaw, Poland to urge EU lawmakers to complete the single market in professional services. He warned that EU restrictions on the recognition of professional qualifications are ‘artificial barriers’ that ‘hurt businesses… [and] the development of the accountancy profession in Europe’.

Mark Gold spoke at the annual ACCA President’s Debate on 19 July. Mark Gold was speaking alongside Polish government ministers, business leaders, Big 4 representatives, academics, and representatives of the European Commission in a series of panel debates.

Mark Gold will told the audience:

‘From my and ACCA’s point of view, the process of creating a truly single market is incomplete. This is holding back Europe. Obviously, in some spheres we do have an effective single market. But in others, such as the free movement of services, artificial barriers remain.

‘Today’s accountants not only grow and protect a business’ financial foundations; they grow and protect its reputation too. Yet, in ACCA’s experience, many countries in Europe continue to experience a shortage of qualified finance professionals and accountants.

‘There are plenty of accountants out there; they just can’t get to where they’re needed. Holding accountants back is the lack of recognition of their qualifications in different jurisdictions in the EU. The lack of recognition is an artificial barrier. It’s a barrier that’s denying businesses all over Europe, particularly in Europe’s developing economies, internationally experienced top-class accounting talent.’

This year’s ACCA President’s Debate was held to mark Poland’s six-month presidency of the EU Council, which began 1 July. The event took place with the official support of the Polish presidency.

Mark Gold also said that the Polish presidency is in a ‘fantastic position to help shape the debate over professional qualifications in Europe over the next couple of months.’

The ACCA President’s Debate included panels and lectures on the priorities of the Polish presidency of the EU Council, how private enterprise can deliver growth and employment in the EU, how the EU can support industry and enterprise, the ‘green economy’, and access to finance after the financial crisis.

The panels were filmed and can be viewed via ACCA’s free, online, on-demand Research and Insights Conference from 27 July.

Taking part in the day’s debates were representatives of: the Polish government; the European Commission; PwC Polska; the Polish Confederation of Private Employers; the Polish Institute of Directors; BPP Romania; Deloitte; Employers of Poland; Adam Smith Center; and the Union of Polish banks.