Each dataset that remains unhashed creates a hole in the safety net of public protection where the bad actors who are repeat offenders can slip through. Perhaps hashing has been the one component holding your Board back from achieving the ALD Big Four. Read on for a recap of why hashing is so crucial and how it can be accomplished.
A more intuitive and complete search
Records that link across state lines make the national database more intuitive and the results more complete. Here is a great example: If you search for a name from an unhashed state in the ALD, it will pull up one record. If you search for that same name from a hashed state, you’ll see all of the records she or he holds from any hashed states. If you search for Anita Baker in WY, you’ll see that she’s linked to eight other states. That’s powerful information.
Mobility enables CPAs from all over to practice just about anywhere. This is fantastic, but can make it a serious challenge for client to determine which jurisdiction originally licensed the CPA he or she is looking to hire or if there are any disciplinary actions in other states where the CPA may have been licensed in the past. If all records in the database include the hashed identifier, then all records for a particular CPA, regardless of which state is involved or searched, will be included in the results. In the end, the public gets a much more complete picture of the CPA they are about to hire or employ.
More effective enforcement
If your Board’s data is not yet hashed, the data does not link across state lines, so unfortunately peer Boards will not be notified about your Board’s enforcement and disciplinary cases (historical or new status changes). Of course, the information will be searchable in the ALD, but the value of the disciplinary email alert feature is that real time notifications are made to the specific boards that may need to take action against the licensee and this notification happens automatically. Without hashing, the automation is lost and therefore much of the value.
NASBA has some incredible services and tools that are available to you if your Board’s data is hashed:
What is needed?
The required pieces of data that a board must have are dates of birth (DOBs) and the last four digits of SSNs (last 4). Once those two data points are added for each record, your Board’s IT team will use an algorithm to hash the file at the Board. These pieces of data are not delivered to NASBA. Instead, they are used to create a hashed unique identifier before the file is sent. NASBA will only ever see the hashed unique identifier which cannot be reversed. The hashed unique identifier links up the records for the same individuals across state lines.
Some Boards have reported that they just don’t capture DOBs or last four digits of SSN. If that is the case, here’s how to start:
As a recap, sending a hashed dataset allows Boards to:
- MEMBER CENTER
- Products & Services
- Communications & Outreach
- Legislative Support
- PROC Resources
- Enforcement Tools
- NASBA Awards
- Board Member Portal
- Board Gateway Access
- Executive Director Portal
- CPA Exam Credit Extension
- Continuous Testing Overview and Status Map
- CPA Exam
- International Qualification Examination (IQEX)
- CPA Australia
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
- Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- CPA Canada (CPAC)
- NASBA International Evaluation Services
- Exam News
- Products and Services