April Fools: Regulatory Changes Just a Joke
The Board of Accountancy has announced its position on three significant changes to the CPA license renewal requirements that radically change the process. A final decision on these matters is expected within three years.
Controversial Renewal Assessment
The Board of Accountancy has proposed requiring licensees to complete a "What Type of CPA Are You" assessment as part of their next renewal. This scientifically based test would allow the State Board to assign each licensee one of seven different CPA Types including The Traditionalist, The Young Professional, and The Managing Partner.
Licensees are encouraged to take the prototype "What Type of CPA Are You"  assessment and respond with feedback during the 30-day comment period. Regulators will then read, systematically disregard any criticism and changes proposed by licensees, and finalize the assessment with a few insignificant redlines.
Non-Technical CPE Requirement
Regulators are also in favor of requiring the completion of one (1.0) hour of CPE in the Non-Technical category for renewals beginning in 2015.
Abe Oring, CPA, State Board President, said, "In the past, we felt it was adequate for a CPA to purely invest in his or her technical development and not spend time on marketing, communication, or practice development areas. We've come to see that there is value in developing non-technical abilities and are proud to be adding a one (1.0) hour Non-Technical requirement to the license renewal requirements."
Oring noted that, as per current standards, the one (1.0) hour requirement is taking away only 50 minutes of technical training or client service activities.
Airline Miles Conversion to CPE Rejected
The Board of Accountancy has rejected a proposal by the American Institute of Cunning CPAs (AICCPA) to allow licensees to purchase CPE credits with airline miles. The rejection was a surprise move as the AICCPA had worked closely with the Board on the project.
"We developed a spreadsheet model, with only eight tabs, that would convert miles to CPE credits based on the airline flown, number of miles traveled versus earned from firm expense charges, and frequent flier status," said George Newhart, AICCPA President. "There was even a provision to de-value the miles and change how they convert to CPE on an annual basis to keep licensees from getting complacent in their understanding of the rules."
In response to the upcoming changes, Oring added, "We're pleased to be making these changes to the license renewal process. The renewal fee increases associated with the various CPA Types, ranging from $25 to $2,500 depending on each licensee's Type, will also assist in funding the Board's much-needed offsite retreat in Hawaii." Proposed fee increases associated with each of the seven CPA Types are available for review in the draft Assessment.
About the author:
Kristen Rampe  is a CPA who loves helping other CPAs develop great teams and great customers. She provides consulting and customized, in-house CPE to professional service firms in the areas of client service, communication and team building. Check out her blog for great ideas on how to improve your practice! kristenrampe.com/blog .