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State Board Report

November 2014

The way AICPA and NASBA have worked together for solutions to advance shared goals should set an example for the Congress, AICPA 2014-15 Chair Tommye Barie suggested at the NASBA Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C. “Quality is high on our minds this year, and we are collaborating on a great many projects that continue the profession’s commitment to excellence,” she stated. One of the most important collaborations this year was the release of the seventh edition of the Uniform Accountancy Act, including a revised definition for “attest” and provisions for CPA firm mobility.

“Another important area where I am pleased that the AICPA is working with NASBA is encouraging uniform adoption of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct,” Ms. Barie said. To bring more regulatory representation into the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC), which develops the Code, the Institute has appointed additional members with a State Board background. PEEC’s 20 members now include A. Carlos Barrera (TX), Richard G. David (MI), Raymond N. Johnson (OR), Michael Schmitz (ND) and Laurie J. Tish (WA). Chair Barie said: “We are committed to making sure that we have the right balance of voices evaluating and shaping the Code, and we believe this shift will move that goal forward. It is our hope that the Code will be adopted in whole by all U.S. jurisdictions. CPAs need a single Code across the country. When State Boards adopt only parts of the Code, or adopt the Code with modifications, it creates confusion and compliance challenges.” Ms. Barie told the State Boards, “I promise you that your ideas will be heard.”

She noted that the AICPA’s and NASBA’s efforts to provide the Uniform CPA Examination outside the U.S. have resulted in close to 30,000 Examination sections being administered internationally since the program’s inception in August 2011.

The AICPA’s Board of Examiners, the majority of whom are representatives from NASBA, is currently conducting comprehensive research to determine the knowledge and skills newly licensed CPAs need, Ms. Barie stated: “It is our joint commitment to assure continued relevancy and quality as the Exam continues to play a critical role in protecting the public interest.” She also reported the AICPA is working with NASBA to consider the future of international Mutual Recognition Agreements, pathways for recognition of non-U.S. professionals, and the impact on the U.S. of the recent merger of the Canadian accounting profession.

Chair Barie stated that the accounting profession has to “modernize our learning model.” AICPA’s Future of Learning Task Force has suggested learning that blends traditional models with new methods that incorporate competency testing. She stated: “Developing new competencies isn’t an option, it’s a mandate.”

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