The theme “Rebound” headlined NASBA’s 115th Annual Meeting, held October 30 – November 2, in San Diego, CA. The theme was symbolic as the meeting was the first Annual held in-person since 2019, signifying the ability of NASBA, Boards of Accountancy and various stakeholders to reunite and rebound as strict COVID-19 pandemic protocols lessen.
The meeting featured discussions on trending topics including, CPA Pipeline initiatives, updates on the UAA, legislative and legal updates, and the latest progress on CPA Evolution. New officers were installed into office, and a series of reports on the state of NASBA were given by members of NASBA leadership.
President and CEO Ken Bishop shared with the meeting’s 362 attendees that a lot has changed since the 2019 Annual Meeting, and that COVID-19 was a primary catalyst for a much of the change impacting NASBA, member boards and the accounting profession.
Regarding remote work, he noted, “Some firms are allowing remote work, which raises questions regarding licensure in state jurisdictions, residency and even state taxes. Quick transition to virtual audits and virtual peer reviews has also greatly increased. With inflation and rising costs in travel, many firms are realizing the cost savings in working virtually.”
Bishop also emphasized the importance of returning to in-person forums (like the Annual Meeting) and the need to cultivate relationships within the NASBA family. “It’s very often at a NASBA meeting or conference that relationships are initially made. After a long period of not having the opportunity to make connections, we have a lot of catching up to do,” he continued. To foster the ‘catching up’ among stakeholders, NASBA will resume its in-person conference model in 2023, and the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for conference attendees will be lifted.
On the CPA Pipeline front, several initiatives are underway within the profession to grow the pipeline. As presented by NASBA’s Colleen Conrad and the AICPA’s Marta Zaniewski, CPA Pipeline work groups have been established to explore ways to make the profession more attractive to students, provide increased academic support through the CPA Evolution Model Curriculum, simplify the candidate experience, and increase CPA Exam success rates. NASBA and AICPA will also continue discussions on the bridge to 150 credit hours, and what this path will entail in the future. Additionally, a Pipeline Task Force was recently formed by NASBA to develop ideas and resources for CPA Pipeline activities Boards of Accountancy can consider for implementation.
During the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Update, NASBA Vice Chair Stephanie Saunders presented an overview of the proposed changes to the UAA Model Rules. Developed by NASBA’s CBT Administration Committee and reviewed by the NASBA UAA Committee, the recommended changes seek to provide greater uniformity among the jurisdictions regarding the granting of credit and requirements for sections passed on the Uniform CPA Exam for those wishing to enter the profession. Following the NASBA Board’s October 2022 meeting, the revisions were released for public comment for a 60-day period, which ended on December 12.
According to President Bishop (and others), the progress and development changes necessary for the implementation of CPA Evolution and the impact on the CPA Exam is so important. In fact, CPA Evolution, and changes to the CPA Examination, is regarded as one of the biggest projects in NASBA’s history, in terms of cost, capacity and change. “We should all be pleased with the progress being made on this very important project. State boards, executive directors and board staff across the country have done a great job making the necessary changes for the launch of CPA Evolution in 2024,” said Bishop.
In addition to the topical discussions, Annual Meeting participants also received insight from luncheon keynote, David Wasserman. Wasserman serves as an NBC contributor and as senior election analyst with The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter. His lively commentary took luncheon attendees on a tour of 2022’s hottest elections and the ever- evolving D.C. landscape.
Of the 303 in-person meeting participants, there were 132 board members, staff, and associates from 53 Boards of Accountancy, and representatives from 12 State CPA Societies. Virtual meeting participants included 59 board members, staff, and associates.
The 116th Annual Meeting will take place in New York, October 29 – November 1, 2023.
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