NASBA and AICPA seek input on evolving licensure model

June 12, 2019

By Ken Tysiac at Journal of Accountancy on June 12, 2019

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.

On Wednesday, NASBA and the AICPA issued a Request for Input 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. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and data analytics have created opportunities for CPAs to provide new services and deliver their services in new ways. Meanwhile, companies increasingly need services in areas such as IT risks and controls, business intelligence, and cybersecurity risk management.

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.
  • Information security governance.

Last year, NASBA and the AICPA formed a working group to consider possible changes to licensure. The group recommended that education and exam requirements need to evolve to address the increased demand for technological and analytical expertise.

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, AI, and more. As such, the competencies, services, and attitudes of CPAs need to continually evolve in order 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.

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