July 1999 Issue


One of the most controversial aspects of the third edition of the Uniform Accountancy Act is the experience requirement to qualify for a CPA license. The act, developed jointly by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), would lead to major changes to most current state licensure laws. The new experience rule says that all that is required is one year of service using CPA-type skills. The work need not be in the employ of a CPA firm or under the supervision of a CPA. A licensed CPA must only "certify" that the experience qualifies.

To ensure that the public is protected in the attest area, the UAA requires that CPAs supervising and signing off on attest engagements have additional experience as set forth in professional standards for providing those services.

The Auditing Standards Board recently issued an exposure draft of Quality Control Standards No. 5, which calls for the practitioner in charge of an attest engagement to possess the types of competencies that are appropriate given the circumstances of the engagement. According to the State Board Report published by NASBA, the ED states that the practitioner is responsible for determining the nature and extent of competencies required of the engagement supervisor, based upon the characteristics of the client, industry, and type of service being provided. A 60-day exposure period for the proposal began on June 1.

The professional standards for attest experience are the cornerstone of the public protection the UAA provides. The complete ED is available at www.aicpa.org. *

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