Advice » Career Development» Education & Training » Changes Ahead for Account ...
Changes Ahead for Accounting Certification

Changes Ahead for Accounting Certification

Whether you’re already a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or looking to become one, three proposed changes in the rules governing CPAs could have a major influence on your career.

State accounting boards are considering (and in some cases have already made) changes in three areas of accounting certification: mobility, testing and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Out-of-State Clients

Since states license them, CPAs who want to work for out-of-state clients have to navigate the licensing rules and regulations of other states. In 2006, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) began lobbying states to create more uniform rules on mobility.

Sheri Bango Cavaney, AICPA vice president for practice mobility, says the new rules would act like a driver’s license. Once you’re licensed in one state, your license is good in any other state, but if you permanently move to another state, you need to apply for a new license.

There are two caveats in states’ practice mobility laws. First, a CPA who wants to serve an out-of-state client must notify the client’s state board of accounting that he intends to practice in the state. Second, accountants serving out-of-state clients agree to be regulated by the client’s state accounting board.

So far, 28 states have passed uniform CPA mobility legislation, three states have passed similar but not identical laws and another 15 are expected to join in by 2010, Cavaney says.

Sit at 120, License at 150

Another area where CPA licensing rules are changing involves CPA education and the timing of the CPA examination. Currently, most states require those who want to become CPAs to accumulate 150 hours of accounting education, including five states with an alternate licensing option. California, Vermont and New Hampshire require only 120 hours of education. Colorado now requires CPA candidates to have 120 hours of education for licensure but will require 150 hours starting in 2010.

CPA candidates from the 120-hour states can take advantage of the new mobility rules if they meet the 150-hour education requirement on their own, pass the CPA exam and then go through a qualification process offered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

States also differ over when candidates can take the CPA exam. In 2008, 19 states allowed candidates to sit for the CPA exam after 120 hours of education and then to certify after 150 hours. “Many state boards that allow candidates to sit for the exam with less than 150 hours believe it is advantageous to candidates,” says NASBA CEO David Costello.

Data the NASBA collected from 14 states show that students allowed to test after 120 hours had higher passing rates on the audit and financial sections of the CPA exam than those who had to complete 150 hours. “However, candidates in [the 120-hour] states took some number of hours above 120 hours [because they needed 150 to certify],” Costello says. “We currently have no way of knowing the actual number hours they had taken prior to sitting for the exam.”

Denise Probert, CPA, vice president of CPA education for Kaplan Schweser and an associate professor in the Dahl School of Business at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, says CPA candidates should take the exam after 120 hours if they can. “Whether you’re 22 and you just finished your accounting classes, or you’re 57 and you’re just taking accounting classes now, taking the CPA exam as soon [as possible] after completing those college classes will improve your score, because that’s when the material is most familiar,” she says.

IFRS Not on the Exam -- Yet

A final trend that will affect CPA licensing is IFRS. Now that the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a road map for moving from US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to IFRS, CPA candidates will eventually need IFRS education.

However, accounting programs may not be ready to teach IFRS at this time. A survey done in July 2008 by the American Accounting Association and KPMG LLP found only 22 percent of 535 professors were ready to incorporate IFRS into curricula; 62 percent said they had taken no steps to include it in a significant way.

IFRS isn't on the 2009 CPA exam. “After that, we don’t know, but it will be on the CPA exam eventually,” Probert says. “It could be as early as 2010.”

Students now in university accounting programs that don’t teach IFRS will want to sit for the test in 2009 or plan to pick up IFRS knowledge from a CPA review provider or as part of their coursework, Probert says.

Learn more about accounting careers.

Latest Jobs

Hudson Valley Safety Associates
Posted: 05/24/2015
Pine Bush, NY, 12566
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 05/24/2015
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 05/24/2015
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 05/24/2015
Deerfield, IL, 60015
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 05/24/2015
Deerfield, IL, 60015

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-320