The CPA Evolution

With numerous advancements in technology, as well as expansion of the Internal Revenue Code and modifications to auditing standards, the accounting profession has changed significantly over the past few decades. As such, the role of the CPA as a professional service provider has had to adapt to this ever- evolving environment just to be able to continue to meet the needs of clients and the public. CPAs, including those who’ve just entered the profession, are now tasked with responsibilities that require a vast skillset of critical thinking, problem-solving, knowledge of technology and business analytical review. As a result, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have determined that the CPA license model should be updated to better reflect current competency requirements, a plan they call ‘The CPA Evolution Initiative.’

Working collaboratively, NASBA and AICPA have spoken with various stakeholders to get their take on what exactly the evolution should look like. Overall feedback supports an update to the licensure model and suggests it position the CPA for the future, as well as protect the public interest. It was determined that a CPA candidate should be able to not only demonstrate common core competencies (accounting, auditing, tax, technology), but also choose a discipline to further demonstrate his or her knowledge from specialties that include tax compliance and planning, business analysis and reporting, and information systems and controls. NASBA and AICPA feel this revised model better reflects the realities of the profession and will help to ‘future-proof’ the CPA.

The new exam utilizing this core-plus-discipline licensure model is expected to be implemented in January 2024. Schneider Downs continues to recruit talented individuals and this new model will allow us to continue to provide quality services to clients.

For further information on the CPA Evolution, visit:

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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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