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Author: Thomas Kenny, NASBA Communications Director
Posted: February 25, 2015

Walter C Davenport2015 is all about future growth for the Boards of Accountancy and NASBA.

In his inaugural address, entitled “Embracing the Future without Seeing It,” NASBA chair Walter C. Davenport challenged regulators of the accounting profession to embrace change by focusing on three critical areas:

  • Enforcing Board Rules
  • Educating for Optimization
  • Engaging Diverse Talent

Enforcing Board Rules

“No more are the days of 1% and 2% audits of our licensees,” said Mr. Davenport. Citing the Accountancy Licensee Database (ALD) – which houses the compliance records, license status and enforcement information for 50 of the 55 Boards of Accountancy – he explained how seeing who is complying with peer review and who’s properly meeting the continuing education requirements can now be done “with the click of a mouse.”

Embracing new technology empowers better regulation of the profession. Thanks to the collaboration and effort toward building the ALD, Mr. Davenport explained, “Today we can enforce the board rules on peer review and CPE more effectively.”

> Watch Mr. Davenport share on Enforcing Board Rules

Educating for Optimization

Speaking to the rise in popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and targeted education, Mr. Davenport called Board regulators to be ready to update education requirements that will accommodate these trends.

“Ten years from now, you will more than likely a new set of CPE standards that allows for learning segments in 10-15 minutes, and competency-based learning,” he said. “Board regulations will need to be ready for these changes and adjust accordingly.”

“If we’re going to make 150 hours of education and 120 CPE hours in three years our Boards’ requirements, then we need to be sure those requirements are meaningful and not a barrier to entering or continuing in the profession.”

> Watch Mr. Davenport share on Educating for Optimization

Engaging Diverse Talent

Mr. Davenport’s final challenge was to facilitate more diversity in the accounting profession. Citing the changing demographics of the U.S. population, he called board members to continue their efforts to assist Hispanic, Asian, African-Americans, women, internationals and other underrepresented groups to become part of the profession.

“Having a diverse composition of board members will lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the changing demographics and needs of the diverse community we serve,” Mr. Davenport shared.

“One way to proceed is to talk to those who appoint board members about the need for diversity on that state’s board. Diversity on the Boards of Accountancy will bring different perspectives. This will make us stronger, better, more effective and more relevant,” he continued. “Hopefully, ten years from now, we won’t have to talk about this topic anymore.”

> Watch Mr. Davenport share on Engaging Diverse Talent

NASBA President and CEO, Ken L. Bishop, is confident of Davenport’s ability to advance NASBA and Boards of Accountancy as board chair. “He has demonstrated the ability to bring people together—an attribute that will be very important during 2015 as we take on important issues impacting the profession,” said Mr. Bishop. “I look forward to working with Walter this year.”

“It’s human nature to protect status quo. As regulators we do not want to hear that the times are changing,” said Mr. Davenport. “Well, the change is inevitable. And to be effective regulators we need to be able to embrace the future—even without seeing it.”

Please visit NASBA’s YouTube channel to watch more presentations from the 2014 Annual Meeting.

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