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State Board Report

February 2014

State Boards were recently asked by NASBA’s Regional Directors if they were considering how changing forms of the delivery of education are impacting the education of CPA candidates. The most common response from the Boards was that they are depending on the schools of higher education, their accrediting bodies and education evaluation services to determine the adequacy of the candidates’ education. “That made the Regional Directors question if NASBA is taking steps to insure the Boards can rely on these bodies,” noted Douglas Skiles (NE), Chair of the Committee on Relations with Member Boards and Central Regional Director. “With courses for all professions being delivered to perhaps millions of people over the internet, via MOOCs (massive online open courses), and other new types of programs that distance the individual from the institution, how can Boards be sure that the 150 hours being required are providing the meaningful education that is envisioned in their standards for this profession?”

NASBA Chair Carlos Johnson reported to the Regional Directors that NASBA is actively participating in the work of the educational community. NASBA is working with the American Accounting Association’s (AAA) Pathways Commission (Melanie Thompson (TX)) and held numerous meetings with educators at the AAA’s Annual Meeting in August. Dr. Johnson will be attending a meeting of the AAA Accounting Program Leadership Group in February and will be at the international conference of the Association of Accredited Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB) later this year.

James Suh, NASBA Director of Continuous Improvement and Analytics, who will be attending the AACSB conference with Dr. Johnson, summarized the work of his division for the January Board of Directors meeting. He reported that in its first months of operation, NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) had completed approximately 6,000 evaluations of candidates’ transcripts from over 100 countries for 42 Boards of Accountancy. He estimated that was about 40 percent of the volume of this type of evaluation being performed for the Boards. Montana and Oregon were the Boards that most recently approved the use of NIES for their candidates and Mr. Suh believes other Boards of Accountancy will be doing the same within the next few months.

The division would like to leverage its expertise to offer similar international transcript evaluation services to other professional boards, as well as accounting firms and colleges. His group is also involved in performing analysis of candidate performance. Customized analysis is being done for individual schools, Mr. Suh reported. For example, one school used the information to track their graduates’ performance, another on performance by gender and a third for measuring the effectiveness of CPA Examination prep programs.

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