NASBA issued a draft in June titled “Education and Licensure Requirements for Certified Public Accountants: A Discussion Regarding Degreed Candidates Sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination with a Minimum of 120 Credit Hours (120-Hour Candidate) and Becoming Eligible for Licensure with a Minimum of 150 Credit Hours (150-Hour Candidate)”.
They stress that the discussion isn't about whether the 150 hour rule for licensing should stick, but rather is the 150 hour rule for sitting for the CPA Exam still relevant?
According to the draft, the answer is NO.
In the summary, it states:
“We have found no evidence of detriment to the public interest in those states allowing candidates to sit for the CPA examination at less than 150 hours of education and later fulfilling the 150 hours.”
So…let me get this straight:
A candidate meets the “minimum requirements for serving the public interest” after 1. passing the Uniform CPA Exam and 2. passing the ethics exam. The draft is saying that if you have 120 hours under your belt, you should be able to sit for the exam, pass it, pass the ethics exam, but only AFTER you take some classes to reach that arbitrary number of 150 hours (you take a business law class at a juco…grab a public speaking class or two, yada yada), THEN you are eligible for getting a license and are ready to go out in the world and protect the public interest?
It seems to me that if you meet the education requirements (120 hours in some states) to sit for the exam, have the wherewithal to PASS the exam, then forget the stupid classes where you'll likely find yourself surrounded by undergrads chatting about “oh my gosh! I got so drunk last night!” and txtng their friends in some business law class (by the way – you already passed BEC and REG).
The 150 hour rule is pointless. Why not make it 200 hours? 250? Oh I know why – when it comes to protecting the public, according to NASBA the additional hours do not equip you to better serve the public interest. If NASBA is correct, then requiring the extra 30 hours when the public is not tangibly better off because they are required violates one of the tenets of the auditing and attestation profession: Cost vs. Benefit.
In a way, they are saying “passing the Uniform CPA Exam isn't good enough to get a CPA license – it requires 30 additional hours of non-uniform, arbitrary college courses that you can take at a JUCO. Only THEN will you meet the minimum requirements to serve the public interest.”
Bottom line: If 120 hours is good enough to sit and pass the exam, then 120 hours is good enough to get a license and start serving the public interest.
Link: NASBA Draft