Virginia Board of Accountancy Proposes New Regulations Governing CPAs; VSCPA Issues Comments
December 28, 2009
On December 23, 2009, the Virginia Board of Accountancy (BOA) submitted revised regulations governing Virginia CPAs into the “fast-track” regulatory process. The regulations were officially posted to the public December 28, 2009. The VSCPA issued official comments to Gov. Tim Kaine on the proposal that same day.
The BOA proposal:
Other areas covered in the proposed regulation are discussed below.
The proposal clarifies CPE requirements for Virginia CPAs, as well as how to comply with them.
In the current regulations, CPAs not practicing as a CPA and/or not using the CPA title are exempt from CPE requirements. The proposed fast-track regulations revise the requirements so that those CPAs who are active, licensed and listed on the BOA website must fulfill their CPE if they are performing accounting services for the public or to an employer. There is still an exemption for CPAs not performing accounting services for the public or an employer. The proposal also adds a “catch-up” provision for CPAs in this situation who may not have obtained their CPE.
Other CPE-related changes include clarification of how to fulfill CPE requirements.
After a thorough review, the VSCPA concluded that the CPE changes are not substantive in nature, but simply make the requirements more understandable and remove outdated language.
Because fee changes cannot be proposed in fast-track legislation, there are no increases included in the revisions. However, the VSCPA does anticipate significant changes to the BOA’s current fees in a future proposal.
Increases have not yet been finalized, but the BOA has investigated fee changes for more than a year. Licensing fees have not increased since 1991, and several fee decreases were implemented throughout the 1990s. On June 2, 2008, the BOA filed a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) to show its intent to write regulations increasing fees following a comment period.
CPA Exam requirements
The fast-track package includes emergency regulations passed in May 2009 allowing CPA candidates to sit for the CPA Exam with 120 hours of education (a reduction from the previous 150 hours). However, upon passing the Exam, those candidates must take the extra 30 hours of required education to become a licensed CPA.
The VSCPA emphasizes to all prospective CPAs that the 150-hour requirement for licensure in the state stands, and there is no proposal on the table to reduce that requirement.
A new section in the proposed regulations, called “Information Requested by the Board,” includes details on:
The proposal also specifies that failure to receive license renewal notices does not relieve the licensee of the responsibility to annually renew his or her license.
The proposal also adds interpretations required by the statutes, including how to determine:
In addition, the proposed regulations give the BOA the authority to waive the peer review requirement or grant an extension of time to comply.
Once the proposed regulations are posted on the Virginia Town Hall website in the fast-track process, they await review from the Office of Attorney General — which has no review deadline. Other areas of the executive branch will then review the package before they hit the governor’s desk. Once approved by the governor and published in the Register, they will be open for a 30-day public comment period.
Have any questions or concerns? We’re here to help. Contact VSCPA Government Affairs Director Emily Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 612-9428.