Calling CPA Evolution “one of the most important projects that I have been associated with in my years of NASBA service,” Chair Laurie Tish (WA) reported the project is meeting its progress milestones, despite having to conduct its meetings virtually. She walked the Regional Meetings’ participants through the CPA Evolution process up to its current stage of proposing Uniform Accountancy Act Model Rules, calculating costs and envisioning education resources. While there are still questions about how the CPA Evolution will work, the initiative drew widespread praise from the June Regional Meetings’ participants. NASBA Chair Tish was told by Boards’ representatives:

“Great job in bringing this model.”
“I commend NASBA for responding to the pushback.”
“We have come a long way in the right direction. Hats off to leadership for doing what you have done.”

There were still questions about how by passing one of the three optional disciplines (business reporting and analysis; tax compliance and planning; or information systems and controls) a candidate would not be viewed as a specialist in that field. Educators were asking about what resources would be made available to assist their schools in providing the needed curriculum. Still some questioned the need for changing the format of the Uniform CPA Examination when more IT-related questions are already being included in the updating of the Examination.

Chair Tish, Executive Vice President and COO Colleen Conrad and Vice President – State Board Relations Daniel Dustin responded to all questions raised. Chair Tish told all that the faculty at some schools are already proactively thinking of partnering with other schools. The AICPA is putting together a resource center with material from the big firms. “Our plan is to work side-by-side with AICPA as they create a one-stop shop for technology-based resources.” Chair Tish said. Ms. Conrad told the Regional Breakout sessions that task forces on model curricula and internship programs are being developed by the AICPA with NASBA, and she suggested State Board members interested in getting involved contact her.

If State Boards would like to create a webinar for educators in their jurisdiction to discuss the CPA Evolution initiative, Ms. Conrad said she and Mr. Dustin are ready to meet with them. “Give us names and dates and we will get the webinar together and work with AICPA,” she told the Boards’ representatives. They had recently held a session with Ohio educators.

NASBA Board of Directors’ Resolution

WHEREAS, At the Annual and Regional Meetings in 2018, 2019 and 2020, NASBA has discussed the trends in the business environment that are impacting the skillsets required of newly licensed CPAs and how the joint initiative (referred to as CPA Evolution) with the American Institute of CPAs will position the CPA license for the future and protect the public interest; and

WHEREAS, The Boards of Accountancy have received the presentation on the revised CPA licensure framework envisioned in the CPA Evolution initiative and the NASBA Board of Directors has heard the feedback received on the revised framework; now

BE IT RESOLVED, That the NASBA Board of Directors supports the advancement of the CPA Evolution initiative in an effort to design and implement a new approach to CPA licensure and supports taking appropriate action to execute the CPA Evolution initiative, including changes to the CPA licensure model; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution shall now become effective as the companion vote of support of the CPA Evolution initiative by the AICPA Council passed in May 2020.

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