Author: David Costello, CPA, NASBA President and CEO
Posted: August 11, 2011

Few would argue that the mobility movement is the most significant thing to happen in the world of accounting for years, even decades. Given the merging of the world economy, it’s a definite necessity, but it’s also something that has required a great deal of work to make happen.

Leading the way

NASBA has been able, through a collaborative effort with state CPA societies, the AICPA, state boards of accountancy, and other professional groups, to help get the concept written into law in dozens of states and has also been working to take the concept global by expanding the Uniform CPA Examination to five countries (with more on the way) and working with our U.S. and international partners on other new, innovative ways to help the CPA designation continue to grow in prominence.

It used to be a luxury to be able to practice in two or three other states. Now, it’s necessary to go to the next state and even the next country. We are interconnected through technology, and because we have similarly educated people with similar experiences, we knew we had to find a way to let them practice elsewhere without all the additional paperwork required to obtain a reciprocal license or other permit.

Breaking down barriers

Mobility has cut through all that. And NASBA was able to make sure that along with no notice and no fees, there was also a no escape clause built into legislation; if someone misbehaves, they are disciplined in both their working location as well as their home state. We knew mobility’s time had come, but we also wanted to ensure that our member boards and jurisdictions had safeguards they could rely on, and that those who hire CPAs knew that they were still being held to the highest standards.

Mobility has also removed a lot of barriers among our boards. They are more interconnected and more consistent nationally which serves a mobile public much more effectively.. NASBA is proud to have been as involved as we have in the issue, and we will continue that level of engagement going forward. This is perhaps the most significant beneficial development for CPAs, clients of CPAs and the public at large that I have seen in my professional lifetime, and we are determined to see that it continues to grow and expand in a positive, meaningful way.

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