NASBA and AICPA seek input on evolving licensure model

The effort recognizes a growing need for new skills.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA are seeking feedback from the profession and its stakeholders as they consider ways to evolve the model for initial CPA licensure to support a growing need for new skills amid rapid technological advancement.

NASBA and the AICPA issued a Request for Input (available at evolutionofcpa.org),asking for feedback on five guiding principles that have been developed as the foundation of a new licensing model.

The Request for Input is the latest step in a professionwide consideration of what changes may be needed in the CPA licensure model. Newly licensed CPAs need skills and knowledge in areas such as business intelligence; data management, analysis, and reporting; predictive analytics; cybersecurity risk management; IT risks, controls, and assurance; and information security governance.

The Request for Input is seeking feedback on the five guiding principles on which a new licensure model could be based. The principles are:

  • The CPA profession must adapt quickly due to the technological disruptions in areas such as data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and more. As such, the competencies, services, and attitudes of CPAs need to continually evolve to protect the public interest.
  • The CPA profession and state boards of accountancy recognize that technological and analytical expertise is essential to performing assurance work, as well as the other services that are currently, or will be in the future, core to professional accounting.
  • The CPA profession and state boards of accountancy acknowledge that sustaining the profession and continued public protection require rethinking initial licensure requirements.
  • The profession, and therefore entry into the profession, must be redesigned to attract individuals with technological and analytical expertise. This includes non-CPA professionals whose technology and analytics skills are critical to the performance of assurance and other core services, as well as nonaccounting major students. All must demonstrate minimum required competencies necessary to perform professional accounting services as a CPA.
  • The changes must be rapid, transformational, and substantive without negatively impacting candidates currently in the pipeline.

Feedback is requested by Aug. 9 and can be shared by emailing Feedback@EvolutionofCPA.org or filling out an input form at evolutionofcpa.org. In October, feedback and recommended next steps are expected to be shared at the NASBA annual meeting and the AICPA fall Council.

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