How do you shrink a full two-day meeting into two abbreviated days? Turn to technology. The handshakes and snacks were missing, but NASBA’s virtual 2020 Virtual Regional Meetings managed to address the top topics concerning the State Boards of Accountancy and still have time for exchanging best practice information among Boards. Moderated by Relations with Member Boards Committee Chair Jack Emmons (NM), and ably assisted by the NASBA Communications team led by Chief Communications Officer Tom Kenny, the Western Regional was held June 3-4 and the Eastern June 10-11 via Zoom. The virtual format enabled many more Board members and staff to participate, without encountering travel restrictions or budget problems.

Chair Laurie J. Tish (WA) congratulated the State Boards and NASBA staff for how they have handled the COVID-19 crisis: “With the steps we have taken, I am confident that we can maintain our ability to support and enhance the capability of State Boards as we begin steps back towards a new normal.”

Acknowledging that the coronavirus had a significant impact on NASBA, both operationally and financially, President Ken L. Bishop told the Boards: “As a mission-driven organization, the impact of the epidemic on our ability to provide mission services in support of State Boards is very important to us. I am pleased to report that we have maintained the ability to say ‘yes’ to all requests for support we have received.”

The impact of the pandemic on the CPA pipeline is being closely watched by NASBA, Chair Tish reported. “Even before the pandemic, we were seeing a smaller percentage of students sitting for the Exam, which impacts the revenue used to maintain and deliver the Exam. We are continuing to watch social media and are talking to colleges and universities to monitor the pipeline. Thus far we are getting positive feedback. Historically, when there are downturns in the economy, the number of CPA Examination candidates actually increases, but it is too early to know what the behavior of students and CPA candidates will be.”

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