AICPA and NASBA Propose Draft of New CPA Licensure Model

January 8, 2020

AICPA and NASBA recently proposed a draft of the new CPA licensure model as part of their CPA Evolution initiative, which is a joint effort of the organizations to better equip CPAs for the rapidly changing industry.

The model was formed based on feedback from more than 2,000 stakeholders on five guiding principles the two organizations and a working group of stakeholder representatives developed in 2018. The principles focused on the need for the profession to adapt quickly yet deliberately, provide technological expertise and expand the view of the CPA candidate with all candidates being required to demonstrate core competencies.

Stakeholder feedback on the principles expressed support for the need to evolve licensure to more significantly emphasize technology skills and knowledge, as well as ensure the CPA is able to provide continued public protection. Stakeholders stated newly licensed CPAs should be able to demonstrate core competencies in accounting, auditing, tax and technology. They also raised questions about how core knowledge would be defined, education requirements would change and how licensure changes could be affected in the legislative environment.

The proposed licensure model is a core + disciplines model, similar to the professional engineer licensure model. All candidates would be required to complete a core education in accounting, auditing, tax and technology and would choose a discipline to focus on more deeply – tax compliance and planning, business reporting and analysis, or information systems and controls. The selected discipline would not mean the CPA is only limited to practice in that area.

AICPA and NASBA are continuing to gather feedback into 2020 with plans to finalize the licensure model by the summer of 2020. Implementation of the new model will be a multi-year effort. To share your feedback on the proposed model, email Feedback@EvolutionOfCPA.org. For more information, visit www.EvolutionOfCPA.org.

Proposed model graphic