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NASBA Adds Foreign Transcript Evaluation To Its Offerings

In the last few years, NASBA has worked hard to add all kinds of products to its existing stable of services: the Accountancy Licensing Library, CPAVerify, an improved application tool. You get the point.

Up until now, if you were a foreign CPA exam candidate, your only option for transcript evaluation was a third-party foreign transcription service. That's all well and good but not all states accept the same evaluations and there was really no way to know which was the "best"; you just picked one and hoped for the best. But not anymore, people. Let's get excited.

NASBA has launched International Evaluation Services ("NIES"), an exclusive academic evaluation service that will allow foreign exam candidates to have their transcripts evaluated and CPA exam applications submitted under the same umbrella. According to NASBA, the application takes about 30 minutes to complete and the evaluation will be processed in less than five days. This means a typical candidate could expect to receive an NTS within one to two weeks of completing the application and submitting their transcripts to NIES.

NIES has its own staff that will process applications, provide 18 hours of contact center support and promises to respond to emails within one business day.

James Suh, NASBA’s Director of Continuous Improvement & Analytics said, "This combination of accounting expertise, customer focus, and highly efficient application processing will create a service that is unmatched in the industry." Having dealt with plenty of foreign candidates back in my CPA review days who sat around for weeks waiting for their transcripts to be evaluated by other services, I have to say this all sounds really good.

Why is NASBA doing this now? "NASBA began the international evaluation service at the request of numerous state boards that were looking for a standards-based model that focused on their unique needs and emphasized strict adherence to board- established rules and policies," James explained. "The complexity associated with accurately interpreting their ever changing rules, combined with the rapidly growing population of international examination candidates, makes now an ideal time for us to expand our focus into this area. Not doing so would have neglected one of the most critical stated needs of the individual State Boards of Accountancy, which would have been counter to NASBA’s core mission."

Kansas and Washington are among the first jurisdictions to take advantage of the service. Currently, twelve other jurisdictions are in various stages of the approval and implementation process with the expectation that many will be launched by the end of 2012.

In addition to the standard international credential evaluation for CPA Examination and/or Licensing, International Evaluation Services will also offer Additional Education and Change in Jurisdiction evaluations upon request.