You may want to reconsider any thoughts you have about following the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) career path. Why? Becoming a CPA just became even more enticing with an amendment by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
Currently, the NASBA licensure process includes the CPA exam, which requires candidates to complete all four parts of the exam within 1.5 years of passing the first section. However, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s amendment aims to extend this designated timeframe an extra year, allowing students to pass all requirements in 2.5 years.
Those additional twelve months offer a glimmer of hope and relief for many exam candidates — but there is a slight catch. This amendment is just applied to the Uniform Account Act Model Rules, which serve as a guide for uniformity for the 55 State and Territory Boards of Accountancy. This rule would then have to be adopted by the individual Boards of Accountancy, subjecting candidates to the Board rules of whichever state or territory they are becoming licensed.
The Need for Change: Why The NASBA is Adjusting CPA Licensure Process
NASBA’s amendment to the Uniform Accountancy Act Model Rules is designed to make becoming a CPA a more attractive career path. As most are aware, there is currently a shortage of accountants. Many college and university accounting programs continue to see reduced enrollments. This was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which further thinned out the CPA landscape.
This amendment serves as an excellent change for many reasons:
Flexible Pathways to Success
Not everyone follows a traditional educational or career trajectory. The proposed extension acknowledges that life often throws curveballs and recognizes the need for flexibility in the CPA licensure process.
Mitigating Unexpected Circumstances
Life’s unexpected events can derail even the best-laid plans. Additionally, not everyone has the same amount of free time to study.
Easing the Tax Season Burden
Tax season is notoriously demanding for accountants, leaving little time for studying throughout this critical period, which eliminates a quarter of the possible days to study during the year.
While the amendment by the NASBA holds promise, it’s too soon to know if it will be accepted by individual Boards of Accountancy in each state or territory. All we can do now is hope our respective states adopt this amended rule change.