Legislative Committees Pass Accounting Bills

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Journal Record Staff Reporter

Two accounting bills that would increase regulation on the profession were passed by committees in both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature Monday.

A controversial bill requiring an extra year of college before a candidate could sit for the certified public accountant exam passed the House Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote. House Bill 1155, by Rep. Loyd Benson, D-Frederick, had been defeated in the committee a week earlier, but a committee substitute clarifying the number of hours required beyond the bachelor's degree was accepted Monday afternoon.

The bill would require candidates to have 150 hours of college, including a bachelor's degree, before sitting for the state exam. It specifies that the candidate would have to have 12 semester hours in accounting and nine semester hours in business-related courses after receiving a bachelor's degree in order to sit for the exam.

The measure was endorsed by the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants but opposed by other groups such as the Coalition Against Restrictive Entry into the CPA Profession.

Also opposing the bill in the past was the Oklahoma State Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which described the law as serving "no real useful purpose" and making it more difficult for minorities and the poor to enter the profession.

"Thirty other states have adopted the 150-hour rule," Benson said Monday. …