In a joint statement, the professional bodies said the new IPA Group will be based on the principle of 'one group, two institutes'.
The autonomy and brands of each institute will be preserved and provide the foundation for a stronger, more powerful voice for their members and the sector globally, according to the statement.
IPA president and chairman Jason Parker said IPA members will benefit from greater global reach and influence and an expanded membership pathway.
“We are extremely excited that the IPA and IFA consolidation has culminated in such a managed and structured transition driving member value and achieving substantial efficiencies,” Mr Parker said.
“The advancement of member recognition goes hand in hand with the development of professionalism. We see this amalgamation as a key platform to assist in the enhancement of the profession and therefore the public interest,” he said.
IPA chief executive Andrew Conway told SMSF Adviser’s sister publication AccountantsDaily the newly formed group will specifically champion the agenda of small and medium-sized accountancy practices (SMPs).
Mr Conway said the two bodies, both members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), actively support SMPs in their respective jurisdictions and the new structure will give the IPA more effectiveness in promoting SMP issues.
“The issue that we see, particularly in the IFAC network, is that it is heavily dominated and influenced by debate in relation to audit, and that is important, that has to happen, but our view is that it should not happen at the expense of issues in small and medium-sized practices.”
“If we look at addressing issues in the global profession purely from an audit perspective with top firms in mind, I think we can miss the boat. The reality is that the vast majority of accountants live and work in the small and medium-practice space so we have to be addressing those issues and making sure the voice of small to medium-sized practices is heard,” Mr Conway said.
The new IPA Group will have over 35,000 members and students across more than 80 countries. Under the arrangement, the IPA designation will be professionally recognised in the UK through the IFA designation.