New Model Rules (Article 7) for peer review and the proposed revisions to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education Programs as well as the NASBA Fields of Study document were approved by the NASBA Board of Directors on October 25.

The Model Rules had been exposed for comment from January through the end of June 2019. Uniform Accountancy Act Committee Chair Coalter Baker (TX) presented the Model Rules to the NASBA Board and thanked the Compliance Assurance Committee and their chair, John Dailey (NJ), for the many hours of work that went into the creation of these new Rules. The revised Rules set out definitions of peer review terms and make reference to “peer reviews,” rather than “compliance assurance reviews.” While the Rules automatically adopt the AICPA and State CPA societies as approved sponsors of Peer Review Programs, they allow for the approval of other organizations if they meet the standards for these programs. Based on comments received from the State Boards, the Model Rules for peer review now require that licensed firms submit change in enrollment information to the State Board as well as any grant of extension by the Peer Review Program’s administering entity. The Rules also require the State Board to be informed in advance if an administrating entity is discontinued. It is now up to the State Boards to adopt the new Model Rules and enforce them in their jurisdictions.

The revised CPE Standards and Fields of Study were presented to the Board by CPE Committee Chair A. Carlos Barrera (TX), who thanked Former CPE Committee Chair Tyrone Dickerson (VA), the AICPA/NASBA CPE Standards Committee’s members and staff for developing the changes through their biennial review process with the CPE Standards Working Group, representing the various stakeholders in the CPE arena.

Among the most significant revisions to the Standards were: allowing for adaptive learning self-study programs within the self-study standards and permitting the use of reinforcement tools in a nano learning program. The Standards are jointly published with the AICPA, and the AICPA Board will vote on them in November. Once approved by all, the revised Standards will be appended to the Uniform Accountancy Act.

Also approved at the October meeting by the NASBA Board was a mutual recognition agreement with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board Chair Sharon A. Jensen (MN) presented the MRA to the NASBA Board and characterized it as one of the “most straightforward agreements” that IQAB has developed, although the parties had been working on it for about a decade. A letter of intent was signed at the NASBA Annual Meeting with SAICA Chief Executive Officer Freeman Nomvola and the final MRA will be signed by all parties once the AICPA votes its approval later in November. It is anticipated that the State Boards will be sent the agreement for their adoption and implementation early in January 2020, and SAICA credential holders will begin applying to take the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) early in 2020.

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