In order to have a smooth CPA Exam journey, you must understand the parties that manage the CPA Exam. You must also learn the role of each one in managing the CPA Exam.
There are 4 main partners that manage the CPA Exam, which are:
- The 55 U.S. Jurisdictions;
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA);
- The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA); and
The CPA Exam is provided on behalf of the Boards of Accountancy of the 55 jurisdictions that issue the CPA licenses. The AICPA, NASBA and Prometric have a contractual partnership to deliver the Exam.
So what does each party do?
Below is the role of each party in the CPA Exam management process:
1- The 55 U.S. Jurisdictions:
The CPA license is issued at the jurisdiction level. To become a CPA, you must be declared eligible for the examination, and subsequently licensed, by the Board of Accountancy in one of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.
Each state or territory has the power to regulate the practice of the professions within that jurisdiction’s borders. In most jurisdictions, these powers are carried out by a “Board of Accountancy.”
The Board of Accountancy is an administrative agency that handles the day-to-day operations of regulating the practice of accountancy. It handles the activities involved with entry into the accounting profession.
In some cases, the Board of Accountancy contracts out certain examination related tasks. These tasks include reviewing the exam applications and collecting the examination fees.
The Boards of Accountancy are made up of appointed individuals and staff (many of whom are CPAs). These individuals are responsible for carrying out the laws and providing an appropriate examination for licensure.
2- The AICPA:
The AICPA is the largest national professional organization for CPAs.
It provides members with the resources, information and leadership to enable them provide valuable services, in the highest professional manner, to benefit the public as well as employers and clients.
For the Uniform CPA Examination, the AICPA determines the content of the examination, prepares the examination questions, determines the method of scoring, prepares advisory scores and conducts statistical analyses of examination results.
There is a special Board of Examiners from the AICPA that ensures that the Exam remains aligned with the knowledge and skills of newly licensed CPAs.
Visit AICPA here: www.aicpa.org
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) manages the National Candidate Database. After you have made your decision to sit for the Exam, NASBA is the official location to find out the specific requirements in the 55 U.S. accounting jurisdictions.
It also issues your Notice to Schedule (NTS). In addition, it is the place to turn to receive your official score report. Keep in mind that your board of accountancy will issue your CPA license and not NASBA. The 55 U.S. and territorial Boards of Accountancy are the members of NASBA.
NASBA exists to serve its members by providing different services. These services encourage common understanding and practices to promote uniformity to facilitate interstate practice.
Visit NASBA here: www.nasba.org
Prometric is the company that delivers the Exam at its authorized test centers. It is responsible for the delivery of the Exam to approved test centers, scheduling test appointments and test administration. Further, Prometric returns the completed exams to the AICPA for scoring.
Visit Prometric here: https://www.prometric.com/
These are the 4 parties that manage the CPA Exam and the role of each.
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