AICPA members voted by an 81.39% majority to modernize the Institute’s admission requirements, as detailed in a recent proposed bylaw amendment.
Individuals may now join the AICPA as voting members if they:
- Hold a valid, unrevoked CPA certificate issued by a legally constituted authority;
- Possessed at any time a valid CPA certificate and the certificate was not revoked as a result of disciplinary action; or
- Passed the CPA Examination, fulfilled the education and experience requirements of the Uniform Accountancy Act for CPA certification and are of good moral character, but never sought a right to practice. (The UAA requires 150 hours of education, a passing score on the Uniform CPA Examination and at least one year of relevant experience.)
The new membership requirements help provide consistency for accounting professionals from any state by aligning AICPA membership with the criteria set forth for CPA certification in the UAA, which was approved by the Institute and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. It also accommodates newer and future generations that would benefit from a closer, earlier association with the CPA profession and enables the profession to gain their insights and knowledge as it grapples with demographic changes and other challenges.
“The diversity of our membership is a tremendous asset to the accounting profession,” then-AICPA Chairman Robert R. Harris said in a press release. “Our members globally represent every industry, every financial segment, and together create a remarkable body of knowledge, experience and perspective. Sixty years ago, virtually all our members worked in public accounting. That’s no longer true. Roughly 50% now work in business and industry, government and academia. Our profession continues to evolve and expand its influence in the U.S. and international economies.”
Voting closed Oct. 8, under a 60-day voting period mandated by the Institute’s bylaws. Of the 86,484 votes cast, 70,388 voted “yes” and 16,096 voted “no,” according to an independent tabulator. The bylaws require passage by two-thirds of those voting to approve the measure.
The AICPA will begin taking applications for those eligible under the new provisions beginning late this month. Interested prospective members may check the membership section of aicpa.org for application materials.
Individuals who join the AICPA under the new provisions must abide by the Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct and meet the same continuing professional education requirements as current members. The AICPA bylaws prohibit CPAs who are not licensed by their respective state board of accountancy to hold out as CPAs and cannot identify themselves as such, strictly on the basis of their AICPA membership.
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