State Board Report

August 2010

The California Board of Accountancy has established an Accounting Education Committee (AEC) to discuss a framework for the additional 20 hours of accounting study beyond the baccalaureate degree necessary for licensure after January 1, 2014 as required by the passage of Senate Bill 819. Another 10 hours of ethics education are required by the legislation. AEC Chairman Ruben A. Davila, clinical professor of accounting at the University of Southern California, explained: “We should develop a workable definition and a model that is responsive to the needs of relevant stakeholders while maintaining public protection as our primary objective. Regulatory language developed by the AEC should ensure that the courses taken by candidates are substantive and enhance the competency of candidates for licensure.”

To assist the AEC’s deliberations, the California Board’s staff outlined the education requirements for each state broken out by the total education requirement, accounting?related hours, business?related hours and additional requirements, and items of note. Their chart can be found on the California Board’s Web site as AEC June 23, 2010 Meeting Agenda Item V. They reported to the AEC:

“Eight states (AL, ID, IL, OQ, NJ, RI, WI and WY) accept a graduate degree in accounting in place of completing the specific accounting and business courses required for applicants with a baccalaureate degree.

Three states (LA, NC, WY) place a limitation on the number of internship hours that may be applied toward the 150?hour requirement.

Two states (NM and TX) require a minimum number of hours to be completed by physically attending courses on campus.

Five states (AL, LA, NV, VT and WV) require a certain number of hours to be completed in specific courses to fulfill the accounting? or business related requirement.”

Robert J. Yetman, an associate professor at the University of California – Davis, wrote to the AEC to sress the need for flexibility in their framework recommendations: “I can assure you no course in ‘basket weaving’ is offered at the University of California, and if it were do you really think that any respectable accounting firm would hire someone who willingly took their elective classes in ‘basket weaving’? Accounting students are an honest, hardworking bunch of kids who do not shy from the tough task of rigorous coursework.”

Letters from The AEC is scheduled to submit rulemaking materials to the California Department of Consumer Affairs no later than November 2011.

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