Author: Dina Barabash, Content Development and Web Specialist, NASBA
Posted: December 12, 2018

NASBA is pleased to announce Janice L. Gray, CPA, of Norman, OK, as chair of its 2018-19 Board of Directors. Gray, along with a slate of newly elected board members, was installed into office during NASBA’s 111th Annual Meeting, held in Scottsdale, AZ.

In Gray’s own words, she did not take the “traditional” path to get to where she is today. While on her path to pursuing her accounting degree, she encountered many obstacles. But it was her perseverance and determination that helped her to succeed. During Gray’s inaugural address, she discussed the need for examining the four (4) E’s of the accounting profession, diversity and the history of peer review. Below is a brief overview of her address:

1.The 4 E’s (Education, Exam, Experience, Ethics): Education is the first hurdle to becoming a CPA. There are new educational challenges facing CPAs, primarily in technology: bitcoin, blockchain, data analytics and artificial intelligence. According to Gray, the time to develop new skill sets is NOW.

Previously, the Exam was a pencil and paper test given twice a year, with results snail-mailed to candidates three months later. Today, candidates may sit for the Exam when it is more convenient for them and can expect to see their results within a few weeks. Times are changing, and with the rapid changes in technology, regulators must decide how often the Exam requires updating to stay relevant.

The experience requirement is widely discussed within the profession – how much experience should be required to obtain a license? Gray states that regulators must remain engaged for the evolution of the profession. Now is the time to review necessary skill sets and determine appropriate changes to the experience requirement.

The AICPA’s Code of Conduct, which calls for “an unswerving commitment to honorable behavior,” has been adopted by 30 jurisdictions in some form, but there are many jurisdictions that have not yet adopted the Code. Gray suggests there may be a need to incorporate appropriate language changes to the current Uniform Accountancy Act.

2. Diversity: We must encourage minorities, including women and people of color, to become more involved in the regulation of accounting. Gray believes if diversity had not been an initiative for NASBA, she would not be where she is today.

3. Peer Review: Once Gray began serving at NASBA, she discovered her niche – peer review. Her belief is there must be open communication between the Compliance Assurance Committee (CAC) and the Peer Review Board in order to efficiently resolve issues, avoid conflict and achieve open transparency.

Click the image below to hear Gray’s inaugural address in its entirety.

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