August 1998 Issue


he AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Public Accountancy (NASBA) have hoisted a third edition of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) up the flagpole. The purpose of the act is to promote uniformity of state laws governing the practice of public accounting throughout the various jurisdictions of the United States. The stated goal of the AICPA is to have 40 jurisdictions adopt the act substantially in its drafted form by the year 2000. Many boards of directors of state societies of CPAs have begun reviewing the UAA to decide whether to push for enactment in their states. The NYSSCPA at its board meeting in June began the process of evaluating each of the major provisions. New Jersey last year passed a 1997 accountancy act that incorporated some of the provisions of the prior Uniform Accountancy Act. In light of the recent law change, the New Jersey Society of CPAs and the New Jersey Board of Accountancy will be seeking to amend the 1997 act to incorporate the changes suggested by the new UAA, but probably on a piecemeal basis.

In this month's CPA Journal, Ron Huefner, fresh from tackling the issue of non-CPA ownership of CPA firms (February issue), takes on the task of analyzing the UAA. There are some no-brainer issues to deal with--the idea of substantial equivalency, for example. Not so easy to swallow are the changes to the experience requirement and CPAs practicing in other than CPA firms. Huefner can see the number of CPAs increasing substantially if candidates are no longer required to have experience working in CPA firms.

It is incumbent upon all CPAs to understand the issues. CPAs in business and industry will be affected and cannot watch from the sidelines. What will you say when your legislator asks you what you think about the UAA? *

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