NASBA approves one-year extension to CPA Exam window

By Bryan Strickland

An amendment adopted by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) opens the door for states to extend the window for completing the CPA Exam by one year.

NASBA announced a change to its Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Model Rules that increases from 18 months to 30 months the time frame for a CPA candidate to complete the Exam once the candidate passes the first section.

"Providing an additional year of conditional credit to candidates for Exam sections passed provides more flexibility to those seeking licensure as a CPA," NASBA President and CEO Ken Bishop said in a news release. "The additional time also provides greater latitude to firms and candidates as they negotiate the demands of today's complex career environment."

Action on the state level is required for the UAA amendment to take effect. Current Exam candidates will remain under the 18-month rule until such action, but Monday's announcement by the membership body for all 55 U.S. boards of accountancy followed a 60-day comment period that generated more than 850 responses and contributed to NASBA's decision to go beyond a six-month extension proposed in the exposure draft of the amendment.

"Extending the 18-month credit rule for taking all parts of the CPA Exam is a key pillar of the AICPA's pipeline acceleration plan," said Mike Decker, vice president–CPA Examination and Pipeline for AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. "This proposed change to the model rules better accommodates the conflicting demands many prospective CPA candidates face as they strive to make a living, pay off student loans, juggle family obligations, and take steps to advance their careers. While there is work to be done to make these amendments a reality in all jurisdictions, this is a positive step for future CPAs and the profession."

In consideration of a revamped CPA Exam format beginning in 2024, the NASBA board of directors included descriptive language in the amendment aimed at providing uniformity among jurisdictions on the timing of granting Exam credits in an effort to curb the impact of any score delays. The NASBA board, at the same meeting, continued discussions on a policy change that would provide relief for CPA Exam candidates who lost credits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On behalf of the NASBA board of directors, we would like to thank the Uniform Accountancy Act Committee and the many stakeholders who provided valuable input to the rule-making process," Richard N. Reisig, CPA, 2023–2024 NASBA chair, said in the release. "We believe this amendment made to the UAA Model Rules will support the best interests of the candidates in their journey to entering the profession."

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Bryan Strickland at

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