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A potential tie-up between the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, its sister body, will be put to members for consultation after winning unanimous support from both boards.
Both boards have announced they will put their work to the NZICA's and ICAA's elected leaders for feedback as they seek to win support for a merger of the entities.
The trans-Tasman industry groups have been working more closely since September 2010 as regulators push for greater harmonisation between New Zealand and Australia.
The boards "believe there is a strong case for creating a new, single trans-Tasman institute and have unanimously agreed to move to the next stage of the process being full consultation with our elected members", they say in a statement on the NZICA website.
"The boards believe the institutes can best address the opportunities and challenges facing the profession together, by creating a new future-fit member-centric body ready to adapt, innovate and grow for the benefit of members and the community."
New Zealand auditors have come under greater scrutiny in the past couple of years after legislators decided to introduce a new layer of oversight, with the Financial Markets Authority acting as an independent watchdog of the NZICA's monitoring function.
The accounting bodies will set up a trans-Tasman joint working council to stress-test and provide guidance on the work to date. That work will then be used for wider consultation.