State Board Report

September 2011

Rather than requiring a minimum of three years of practical experience as a qualification for professional accountants, the International Accounting Education Standards Board has released proposed changes to International Education Standard (IES) 5, Practical Experience Requirements for Aspiring Professional Accountants, that allows its member bodies (such as the AICPA) to take other approaches to measurement of experience. With the revised IES 5, each IFAC member organization would establish its own preferred approach to measuring practical experience using one of three approaches: output-based, input-based, or a combination of input-based and output-based.

The IAESB’s release explains, “This view is consistent with the Framework (2002), which recognizes that a mix of input, process, and output measures is often adopted in measuring the effectiveness of professional accounting education to develop competence.” Charles Calhoun (FL), chairman of the IAESB Consultative Advisory Group (CAG), commented that he believes this is “a giant step to get the U.S. in compliance with international standards” (as the Uniform Accountancy Act calls for only a year of experience). However, the process is not yet completed, he noted: “We have got to get it through.” The comment period concludes on October 8, 2011. Dr. Calhoun, who serves as NASBA’s representative on the CAG, credited this proposed change to the work of Karen Pincus, IAESB Deputy Chair, and Dennis Reigle, AICPA Special Projects Business Adviser. Dr. Calhoun and Mr. Reigle spoke at NASBA’s 4th International Forum in Vancouver.

Also included in the revisions is a provision that would allow others besides members of IFAC bodies to supervise experience. The IAESB “supports the role of the mentor, but proposes that supervisors can also direct the practical experience of the aspiring professional accountant, provided that both the mentor and the supervisor are professional accountants. In expanding this responsibility, the IAESB is recognizing that mentors or supervisors are an important link between aspiring professional accountants and IFAC member bodies.”

Dr. Calhoun will retire as CAG chair at the end of 2011. Raymond Johnson (OR) has been selected to replace him as NASBA’s representative to the CAG. NASBA is an associate member of IFAC, as it is an association of regulating boards.

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