NASBA Board of Directors Makes Crucial Decision on CPA Evolution

 – July 27, 2020
NASBA Board of Directors Makes Crucial Decision on CPA Evolution

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Board of Directors has announced its unanimous vote of support for the advancement of the CPA Evolution initiative to design and implement a new approach to CPA licensure. CPA Evolution is a joint initiative between NASBA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). In recent years, NASBA and the AICPA have monitored trends impacting the skillsets required of newly licensed CPAs and believe the CPA Evolution initiative will aid in positioning the CPA license for the future as well as continue to protect the public interest.

“The CPA profession is too important to our society and to our economy to not be 100-percent prepared and ready to respond to changing demands,” shared NASBA Chair Laurie Tish, CPA. “CPAs entering the profession must be prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to serve in this trusted role. The new licensure model will be more attractive to the best and the brightest, which will enhance the CPA pipeline.”

The CPA Evolution initiative aims to ensure newly licensed CPAs have the required knowledge and skills best suited to serve clients, businesses and the public-at-large. As the profession and the world navigate a new normal, education required of CPA candidates, as well as the CPA Exam, itself, will adapt to address the emerging skills and competencies necessary in today’s marketplace.  The new core plus discipline model will allow candidates to show enhanced competency in a chosen discipline within the profession. 

NASBA and AICPA sought input from state boards of accountancy, state CPA societies and many other stakeholders to work through the tough issues to develop a model that has widespread support. “NASBA and AICPA will maintain continuing engagement with state boards, state CPA societies, academia, CPA firms and others to identify gaps and develop new resources to aid in transition to the new licensure model,” says Tish.

The AICPA’s Governing Council also acknowledged its support of CPA Evolution by overwhelmingly voting in favor of advancing the initiative at its May 2020 meeting. The AICPA and NASBA will work closely with universities to create model curriculum and internship programs.  They will also now move forward with a significant effort to revise the Uniform CPA Exam’s content and skills blueprint, which is anticipated to culminate in the launch a new CPA Exam in January of 2024.

In May 2020, NASBA released the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Model Rules exposure draft related to education requirements for licensure. The proposed changes, which are relevant to the CPA Evolution initiative’s charge, pertain to educational requirements for individuals seeking to enter the CPA profession, and are aligned to encourage uniformity among the 55 U.S. jurisdictions. Pending support from Boards of Accountancy for the UAA Model Rules exposure draft, NASBA will begin encouraging boards to implement model statutory and rule changes in education, beginning as early as fall 2020.