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State Board Report

May 2014

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Wisconsin Board of Accountancy, the Wisconsin State Society of CPAs, NASBA and the AICPA, legislation was passed in April that has kept CPAs in Wisconsin substantially equivalent to others in the U.S. This legislative outcome was a response to Wisconsin Act 114, passed last December, that allowed, with limited exceptions, anyone to take certain professional examinations in Wisconsin regardless of their educational background. While noble in its intent to allow individuals different pathways to obtain their professional licenses, there were several unintended consequences in the bill that left alone would have caused great harm to the CPA profession.

NASBA Director of Legislative Affairs John Johnson explained that: “In the past, when NASBA has detected loopholes in state statutes, it has worked closely with the AICPA, State Societies, State Boards of Accountancy, and advocates for the profession in those states to close such loopholes. That level of collaboration was instrumental for this bill in Wisconsin.”

As a result, on April 8, 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed into law legislation reinstating an education requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. Although the signed bill reduces the credit hours from 150 to 120 in order to take the Examination, it does retain the benchmark of 150 credit hours for licensure.

“Had NASBA, the AICPA, and the Wisconsin Board and the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs been unsuccessful in this effort, we would have had to discontinue offering the Exam in Wisconsin, and CPA candidates in Wisconsin would have been forced to apply to other jurisdictions to take the Exam,” NASBA President Ken L. Bishop observed. “Those are both precedents that no one wants set in any jurisdiction, and NASBA stands ready to assist State Boards and their allies in defeating any measure that could potentially undermine the rigor of the CPA certification process, and its ability to protect the public.”

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