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In September 2019, during the VI Congress of Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados in Lisbon, Portugal, the União dos Contabilistas e Auditores de Língua Portuguesa (UCALP)—translated as the Portuguese Speaking Countries Accountancy Union—was launched to serve as a platform to enhance both the communication between professional accountants and the mutual collaboration among its members. 

Representing over 700,000 professional accountants from four different continents, eight different legislative and political systems and ten professional accountancy organizations (PAOs), including members from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinee Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal and Saint Tomas and Prince, UCALP will now serve as the key bridge between professional accountants and their economies.

Based on recent research, 800 million jobs worldwide are forecast to be replaced by automation and software advances, with the accountancy profession highlighted as one of the sectors most likely to be affected by this change. There was an urgent need to prepare and anticipate the challenges ahead, set a strategy to overcome them and, in parallel with personal and professional preparation, execute a unified strategy of professional reinvention and innovation.

Enter UCALP—an organization united not only by a common language but by their culture, roots, experience, ancestors, historic challenges, actions, goals and dreams. UCALP will now connect the PAOs and empower professionals by promoting professional development and supporting the growth and evolution of their economies. Professional development organized by the UCALP provides opportunities to break down borders, as well as geographical, financial and social obstacles, in order to equip Portuguese-speaking professionals with the necessary tools to provide high-quality services.

Given UCALP member countries share strong economic relations, including investments, trade, and migration, it is essential to have competent, multilateral professionals that can support their clients within all UCALP jurisdictions. UCALP will serve as an information hub, providing a platform with the latest tax and accounting legislative developments of the member states, helping professional accountants and other stakeholders to stay abreast of the legal frameworks that are integral to their decision-making processes. This knowledge should ultimately enable professional accountants to become better advisors and investment agents, thereby reinforcing their value-add.

Furthermore, to facilitate consistency, UCALP will promote strong ethical principles in order to ensure the quality and reputation of the profession. It will defend the interests and rights of professionals and communicate and raise awareness of the importance of the accountancy profession and PAOs. UCALP will also assume an advocacy role by promoting adoption of international standards and the harmonization of national legislation to regulators as part of providing a solid basis for sustaining foreign investment.

UCALP recognizes its position to promote cooperation at multiple levels (e.g., educational, environmental and civic) and fields (e.g., health, technology, agriculture, public administration and culture) to strengthen the overall well-being of its members.

With the significant changes ahead and the need for the accountancy profession to work globally, the UCALP is eager to leverage these shared experiences and resources as the most effective way to achieve a brighter future.

Paula Franco


Paula Franco was born on September 29, 1969, in Lisbon. She is a certified accountant, tax consultant and trainer. She owns an accountancy and tax consultancy SME and has been the President of Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados (Portugal) since 2018.

She is the author of technical opinions and various articles published in various media. She has been an interlocutor in clarification sessions and seminars on taxation and accounting in Portugal and all over the world.

She is also a member of expert groups from international organizations such as EFAA, FCM and CILEA. In the latter organization, she holds one of the vice-presidencies and she imported the best practices and international contributions to the profession in Portugal. She is president of the Portuguese-speaking Union of Accountants and Auditors (UCALP), created in 2019.