Magazine article The CPA Journal

Agreement Reached by the AICPA/NASBA Joint Committee on Regulation of the Profession

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Agreement Reached by the AICPA/NASBA Joint Committee on Regulation of the Profession

Article excerpt

A recent agreement was reached by the AICPA/NASBA joint committee on regulation of the profession. The joint committee was a consequence of the work of the AICPA Special Committee on Regulation and Structure (Mingle Committee). The agreement was unanimously approved by both the Mingle Committee and the AICPA Board of Directors at their meetings in February. As of this writing it had not yet been acted upon by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's (NASBA) board of directors.

The major recommendations contained in the joint committee's report as adapted from a letter by Robert Mednick (chair of the AICPA) to the members of AICPA Council are presented below.

Substantial Equivalency. The joint committee recommends that states be encouraged to adopt "substantial equivalency" provisions that will make it much easier for CPAs to practice across state lines-either physically or electronically-and to obtain reciprocity when they relocate from one state to another. The concept is that if a CPA has a license in good standing from a state that utilizes CPA certification criteria that are essentially, or nearly equal to, those outlined in the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA), then that CPA would be able obtain reciprocity or have the right to practice in any state that has adopted the substantially equivalent doctrine.

One-Tier Licensing. The joint committee recommends a one-tier licensing structure. That is, there would be no distinction between the CPA that performs attest services and those that do not.

Criteria for Licensure. The criteria for obtaining a license under the revised UAA will include completion of 150 semester hours, including a baccalaureate degree after the year 2000 and successful completion of the Uniform CPA Examination. In addition, while there will not be an experience requirement for initial licensure, there will be a more substantive "attest" experience requirement for individuals who supervise attest engagements and sign reports on financial statements on behalf of their firms.

Continuing Professional Education. All CPAs (licensees) would be subject to a CPE requirement. However, the joint committee wishes to let the AICPA and NASBA committees currently studying the area of CPE measurement complete their work before defining that requirement. …

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