Laurie Tish

Guiding principles for moving ahead in visioning the profession of the future are under refinement by a team led by NASBA Vice Chair Laurie Tish and AICPA Vice Chair William Reeb, the executive directors heard. At the 2018 NASBA Regional Meetings, the concept of two pathways leading to the CPA was not well received; however, leadership came away with the observation that the Boards believe there is a need for change to address the profession’s use of and reliance on technology (see “President’s Memo” sbr 7/18).

The CPA Evolution Working Group (Catherine Allen – Chair, Tom Broderick, Mark Dawkins, Clay Huffman, Audrey Katcher, Rick Niswander, Todd Shapiro, Susan Somers, Nancy Juron, Michael Womble) was formed in the fall of 2018, met four times and agreed there was a need for additional expertise in relevant technology and analytics coursework for licensure, Dan Dustin, NASBA Vice President – State Board Relations, told the March conference. A report on the Working Group’s conclusions is to be made at the June 2018 Regional Meetings.

“What we heard is: Look at the education requirements. Are they the right ones? Do we need to add, delete, or make them more flexible?” NASBA Executive Vice President & COO Colleen Conrad stated. As for the Uniform CPA Examination, the Working Group recommended that the number of hours should not be increased, but more technological and analytics assessments should be added. “If we don’t make the Examination longer, then we need to step back and say what may be less relevant. Maybe take a fresh look at the depth and breadth of testing on certain topics,” she said. Ms. Conrad commented that it is “crucial” that State Board members be present at the Regional Meetings when the guiding principles are discussed.

Mr. Dustin noted that NASBA’s Education Committee has met and decided to hold in abeyance changes they planned to recommend to the Uniform Accountancy Act’s Model Rules on education until more work is completed on the Evolution project.

Another issue that is expected to be heading to the State Boards soon is the need for additional experience to sign certain accountants’ reports. Mr. Dustin reported language which would call for additional experience, beyond initial licensure, for CPAs who supervise, sign or authorize someone to sign the accountant’s report has been presented to the Uniform Accountancy Act Committee for their discussion.

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