During NASBA’s June Regional Meetings, NASBA Chair Laurie Tish gave a compelling and informative presentation on CPA Evolution, covering next steps and the progress milestones through 2024. Over the past two years, NASBA has engaged with state boards and other stakeholders to work through the tough issues to develop a model that has widespread support.

Given the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and businesses across the country, Tish noted that the role of CPAs in protecting the public interest is more important than ever. The CPA profession is vital to the economy and society and must be prepared and be able to respond to changing demands.

The goals of the CPA Evolution initiative are to ensure that newly licensed CPAs have the necessary knowledge and skills best suited to serve the clients, businesses and the public at large in a rapidly changing world, that the CPA Exam remains relevant and addresses the emerging skills and competencies necessary in today’s marketplace, and that education is aligned to aid CPA candidates through the licensure process.

As for what is next for this initiative in 2020? Chair Tish laid out a timeline of next steps. On May 26, NASBA released a Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Model Rules exposure draft related to education requirements for licensure. Based on input received from boards at NASBA’s Regional Meetings, NASBA’s Board of Directors will be considering a vote of support for this initiative at its meeting in July. Pending support from Boards of Accountancy for the UAA Model Rules exposure draft, NASBA will begin encouraging boards to implement model statutory and rules changes in education, beginning as early as Fall 2020.

Looking ahead even further, NASBA, in conjunction with the AICPA, will begin developing support for universities, such as creating model curriculum and internship programs as well as working on changing the Exam, which will include revisions to the Exam Blueprint. Ultimately, Tish stated the goal is to launch a new CPA Exam in January of 2024.

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