For National Licensing of CPAs

BY BRUCE H. WALTER

I don’t want to be critical of my profession, but we really do need to get our act in order.

“Global credential?” We don’t even have a national credential. There is one national exam—there should be one national license with national standards. Apparently, our different state boards can’t even agree on the computerization of the CPA exam. The state boards should be administrative and not set policy. Policy should be established nationally.

Then there’s the set of professional standards we are supposed to follow—one standard superseded by another standard superseded by another standard—and all from various sources and boards. We should have a set of standards with section numbers that stay the same and are amended, much like the Internal Revenue Code.

And finally, compliance with the standards makes it increasingly impractical to give a small business client a GAAP statement. Therefore, it limits my ability to give a client a quality product that provides the maximum amount of information. It’s enough to make a CPA throw up his hands and just give the client a piece of paper with numbers on it. Is this how we get public confidence back—by discouraging the flow of information?

Bruce H. Walter, CPA
Jed Cohen & Company, PC
New Bedford, Massachusetts

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