Accountancy Act Legislation Clears Key Hurdle
December 8, 2016
Legislation (A3959) that would amend the New Jersey Accountancy Act of 1997 to make it conform with the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) cleared a key hurdle this month when it passed the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee.
The UAA is model legislation written jointly by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). It is an "evergreen" model licensing law developed to provide a uniform approach to regulation of the accounting profession. It is designed to ensure protection of the public interest, respond to evolving changes in the practice of accountancy, and to make the interstate practice of accounting efficient. All of the states in the country adhere as much as possible to the UAA.
The statutes governing the CPA profession in New Jersey have not been updated in 20 years. They urgently need to be updated to reflect changes in the business environment and CPA profession and to conform them to the latest edition of the UAA. A3959 achieves all these important goals.
The most substantive changes that the bill calls for are:
- Firm Mobility. The bill would allow out-of-state firms to perform attest functions in New Jersey without having to register with the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy. They would still be subject to the full regulatory oversight of the board. Fifteen states already allow this, and more are expected to follow suit.
- CPE Reciprocity. This exempts CPAs who hold multiple state licenses from having to meet the individual CPE requirements of each state so long as the licensees meet the CPE requirements of their home state. Currently, 22 states allow for CPE reciprocity, and more are expected to do so soon.
- Definition of Attest: The UAA proposes, and the NJCPA supports, a revision of the definition of attest to include any examination, review, or agreed upon procedure engagement performed utilizing the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE). Currently, the only SSAE under the Act’s attest definition is examinations of prospective financial information.
The full Assembly is expected to vote on A3959 later this month.