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State Board Report

April 2016

State Board Executive Directors were urged by North Carolina Board Executive Director Robert Brooks to check with their attorneys to determine if in their state those not holding a current Certified Public Accountant’s license can use or assume a title that includes "accountant." This has become a topic of current discussion as new designations are appearing. Via an informal poll, Mr. Brooks discovered approximately a third of his colleagues said that would be a problem in their state, another third said it might not be a problem and a third were unsure and still researching.

While many states have a version of Section 14(g) of the Uniform Accountancy Act in their accountancy law, not all states are interpreting that restriction in the same way. NASBA Executive Vice President Colleen Conrad told the Executive Directors: "We have a dilemma at NASBA because our interpretation of the UAA says it is not okay to use CGMA or other similar titles if you are not a CPA. But this is subject to interpretation by you and your attorneys. We have heard from several international accounting firms that their legal interpretation is similar to ours and they are not allowing the use of those credentials by their partners and staff. Some Boards may say it is okay to use them in business, and industry, but not in public accounting. But be careful to say it is ‘okay’ for some to use them in a public space, as in a sense you may be changing your law."

Sue Coffey, AICPA Senior Vice President – Public Practice and Global Alliances, explained that the AICPA Council voted to open up its CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation to qualified non-CPA professionals in October 2015. She pointed out several developments that have "heated up" competition among accountants, including: The ACCA has launched its accreditation program in the U.S. at Pace University and American University. CPACanada was formed through the merger of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Canada, the Canadian CMA and CGA. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia merged with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. The Institute of Management Accountants has partnered with Penn State University to develop a curriculum for accounting careers in industry, consulting and advisory services.

Following regional council meetings throughout the country, the AICPA is holding a membership vote April-June, 2016, on creating a new global association "to integrate operations, promote global quality for the profession, and deliver enhanced resources for the benefit of our members," Ms. Coffey stated.

Preventing consumer confusion will be one of the topics discussed at NASBA’s June Regional Meetings.

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