Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The AICPA Is Getting Serious About This Protecting Your License Thing, You Guys

On the heels of a plan to evaluate licensure rules which was met by some criticism last month, the AICPA and NASBA have announced a new coalition to make sure those troublesome lawmakers of ours don’t go running around letting any idiot with a pulse perform the intricate task of professional accounting.

As we already know, the AICPA has had its antenna up about “a national anti-licensure legislative strategy” that could but hasn’t yet affected CPAs. I guess the decades of being relentlessly berated for failing to be proactive in their duty to protect the profession has finally gotten to The Powers That Be, as they seem to be taking this as-yet nonexistent threat seriously.

From the JofA:

In the wake of various state deregulatory proposals that threaten to have an adverse effect on the CPA profession, the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) have helped found a new coalition of advanced professions focused on educating policymakers and the public about the importance of rigorous professional licensing standards.

The coalition, the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL), is designed to educate lawmakers on the need to maintain standards for highly complex, technical professions such as accounting that have a clear impact on the public’s fiscal health and welfare.

In other words, lawmakers are morons and need to get their grubby hands off the profession. The argument against rigorous licensure standards is that it exists as a barrier to entry to candidates who may not have the resources to pursue advanced education despite being an otherwise desirable candidate for the profession. This of course presents the AICPA with a conundrum as they look for new and creative ways to seduce talent to the profession while also maintaining the roadblock that keeps the undesirables out.

“Weakening professional licensing standards on a state-by-state basis will destroy the confidence in qualifications and completely disrupt existing mobility models for advanced professions like ours,” Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA, said in a news release. “Employers will be less inclined to accept out-of-state licenses if some states have rigorous requirements and others have weak requirements. The result: It will become more difficult for CPAs to move and maintain their careers across states.”

NASBA CEO Ken Bishop said the public must have confidence in the accuracy, thoroughness, and integrity of an audit performed by a CPA.

“The most effective way to maintain this confidence is to continue to have CPAs show rigorous education, examination, and experience for their licensing requirements,” Bishop said in a news release. “Broad-brush attempts to weaken or undermine licensing requirements threaten to sweep up advanced professions like certified public accountants, diminish public protection, and jeopardize the fiscal integrity of the work our professionals do.”

The question then becomes: what are the specific threats?

Absence of active threats aside, at a time when the fight over accounting talent is more heated than ever and fewer future CPAs are entering the pipeline, it makes some sense that the overlords of the CPA would furiously protect the brand from outside influence that might erode professional standards. After all, that’s their job (if they so desire).

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

Elon Musk smoking a blunt

Elon Musk Thinks You’re a Douche If You Work From Home

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but the glorious days of work anywhere and firms too scared to lose you to force you to return to the office may soon be behind us. Apparently KPMG is telling tax people they need to come in three days a week now and PwC announced a […]

Accounting Summer Camp is a Thing in New York

High school students in the state of New York have the chance to participate in the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession program this summer, the deadline to apply is Friday, June 23, 2023 at 11:59pm which you can do at this link. Let’s skip the unnecessary commentary and get straight to the details. From […]