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Want to Change CPA Requirements But No Magic Wand?

I think most of us would want to make administering the CPA and CPE somewhat easier. Here are some changes I think we would make….


Changes to the Actual Exam

  1. Construct the exam in the manner that made it feasible to provide a raw score right after completing the exam.
  2. Provide the official scores at least two weeks sooner.
  3. Allow candidates to only view the answers we get wrong and an explanation of the right answer on the actual exam.
  4. Make the exam available throughout the year. An alternative would be to provide the exam in all months except December, due to many holidays
  5. Extend from 1 ½ to 2 years the expiration of credit.


Changes in CPA Requirements

  1. Change the requirement to work under a CPA from 2 yrs. to 1 (Texas requirement).
  2. Cut down on the CPE hours required from 120 hours every three years (40 hrs. per year) to 60 hours every three years.
  3. Make the Ethics Course part of the 30 hour Accounting hours (this is for Texas, not sure how other states credit candidates with this course or if it’s even required).
  4. Reduce the 150 hr requirement to 120 hours or simply require a 4-yr. degree.  Why are 30 additional credit hours required when they’re not even specifically required to be in Accounting?


What then is the point in wishful thinking about changes that cannot be brought about? I don’t know the best effective method of bringing these actual changes or if such changes can even become reality. However, with respect to State requirements, I have a few suggestions. They can only be undertaken if we are serious enough to pursue such changes. In other words, do we have the will to be an activist? If so, here are some suggestions: 

  1. Contact State Boards and ask about the process in implementing changes.   Here’s a contact listing of state boards.
  2. Try to get support from professional Accounting associations and CPA firms,especially the Big 4.
  3. It may be that the State board needs the State Congress to approve the requirements. If so, get information as to the Congressional process as well and get state senators/congressmen to sponsor your bill.
  4. Contact your Accounting professors to see of what use they can be.
  5. If petitions of some sort are needed, you can also use CPA forums such as these, social networks, people taking the exam at your local testing center, Accounting students, colleagues, ect.


In a nutshell, become informed as to the processes that implement CPA requirements in your State.


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