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Patricia Hartman, NASBA Director of Client Services;
Maria-Lisa Caldwell, Esq., NASBA General Counsel and Director of Compliance Services;
Rebecca Gebhardt, NASBA Manager of Compliance Services
Posted: November 17, 2011

As international candidates began taking the
Uniform CPA Exam in August, they started the clock ticking on a requirement to obtain licensure within three years of passing the exam. NASBA wants them to know there is a way to help simplify the licensing process right from the start.

As a part of the international exam, each candidate must sign an informed consent document agreeing to become licensed within three years of passing
the exam. That's because the CPA license, not just passing the exam, should be the end goal for candidates.

That said, many of them will sign the form without fully realizing just how complex the licensing procedure can be, especially from overseas. To aid international candidates, NASBA recommends
using the Accountancy Licensing Library (ALL) resource. ALL is a single source for any candidate, domestic or international, looking for instructions
and forms for CPA licensure.

How ALL can help

By utilizing ALL, a candidate can look up the requirements for any of NASBA's 55 member
boards and jurisdictions. Otherwise, he or she
would need to research that information at each board website, which can be a complicated and
time-consuming process.

Because licensure requirements vary, using a comprehensive database of the licensing requirements of all 55 jurisdictions also allows for comparison. Some states may allow a candidate to sit for a license with less than 150 hours of education, for example, but the 150-hour threshold will have to be met before a license can be obtained. Others may only require 120 hours, but they may require them to be completed before a candidate is able sit for a license. Still others may have residency requirements. Using ALL's research tool allows a candidate to narrow his or her search within a few clicks by searching criteria that match the candidate's credentials.

Paperwork made simple

There's also the matter of the licensing paperwork itself. ALL offers all of its forms in fill-in PDF formatting, so candidates can type in their data and then follow the prompts through to completion. Conversely, if they pursue their licensure via the boards' websites, they must print out paper versions, fill those out by hand and mail them in. If they leave out a form or omit any information, the process can be considerably delayed. By following ALL's step by step procedures, the candidate can ensure that the license application package is accurate and complete before submission to the state board.

ALL is a win-win

NASBA's ongoing mission is to enhance the efficiency of its member boards, which is often accomplished by aiding the CPA community with continuing education and other resources like ALL. Assisting international candidates with their next steps toward full licensure not only helps them to more seamlessly fulfill the three-year informed consent requirement, but it also streamlines and minimizes the work of boards in assisting and processing thousands of new applicants. By using ALL, candidates can prepare and submit proper and complete application packets, which in turn helps state boards more quickly process the applications.

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