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US regulators plan changes to CPA licensure model

Leaders from the accounting profession, regulators and other stakeholders have revealed talks are ongoing in an effort to change the US CPA licensure model in response to the expanded skillsets accountants need.

The goal of the effort is to align licensure with how CPAs will perform services in an increasingly technologically-driven environment.

Conversations are taking place within the CPA Evolution Working Group – made up of members of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

According to Working Group chair Cathy Allen, technological innovation and changing client demands are transforming the skills accountants need.

She said: “We want to reimagine the CPA learning and licensure approach. Working Group members recognize the critical role of technological and data analysis expertise needed in firms and businesses today. Our goal is to recommend a strategy that provides the guiding principles for how to build related knowledge and skills into accounting curricula and how to test for those proficiencies on the CPA Exam.”

AICPA executive vice president for public practice Susan Coffey added: “Based on what we’ve heard, there is no question that the profession is ready to take action to capitalise on the opportunities that technology presents to us. That includes an evolution in our approach to licensure that embraces the changes and continues our public protection mandate. I’m looking forward to the Working Group’s recommendations and engaging with the profession and our key stakeholders throughout 2019.”

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