Mobility, State Licensing and Self Regulation

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By Alex Vuchnich, CPA, CFE - The AICPA put out a news release yesterday regarding the progress that has been made so far with establishing uniform laws governing the practice of CPAs across state lines and the enhanced mobility this provides for licensed CPA professionals. For much the same reason as having a valid drivers license allows your typical driver to travel across state lines without concern for whether they are in compliance with the driving statutes of that state, uniform mobility for CPAs improves the reach of services that CPAs can render without fear of violating professional codes of conduct. Unfortunately this is an issue where state licensing boards, in an effort to protect the public, have the regulatory power for deciding who will practice as a CPA in their state. This is an area where self regulating bodies are ideal for establishing licensing requirements (especially considering that the AICPA already does this in substance). Having obtained my certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner, this is exactly how our certifying body handles this to no detriment of the public. This of course leads to deeper ethical considerations though, such as whether our profession and its members have the innate discipline to allow for freedom of self-regulation. Assuming we do have the discipline, then there would be the tremendous legislative hurdles to overcome. Until that time we can hope that the AICPA has continued success in working with state licensing boards to enact national uniform mobility.

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