AICPA Council Approves 'CPA Evolution' Initiative

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 22, 2020
CPA evolution chart

On May 20, the AICPA Council approved the new 'CPA Evolution' initiative, which promises major changes to how CPA candidates become certified.

The initiative, a joint project between the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NABSA), is aimed at adapting the profession to a rapidly changing economy. As a result, the profession will require different skill sets to thrive. In the new model, all candidates would be required to demonstrate knowledge of a strong core in accounting, auditing, tax and technology. Then, each candidate would choose one discipline in which to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge out of three options: Business Reporting and Analysis, Tax Compliance and Planning, and Information Systems and Controls.

Regardless of discipline, this model will lead to full CPA licensure, with rights and privileges consistent with any other CPA,  although ethical requirements dictate that CPAs undertake only those professional services that they can reasonably expect to complete with professional competence.

Current CPA candidates will still be able to sit for the current CPA exam until the launch of the new exam. A transition plan will be developed for candidates who have started, but not completed, the CPA exam process by January 2024.

Although the AICPA Council approved the measure, these changes still require revisions to the Uniform Accountancy Act Model Rules for education and may require changes to state board of education licensure requirements.

Any article about the CPA Evolution initiative, in the March/April issue of The Trusted Professional, is available here.

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