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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Live Chat Recap - CA's 2014 Licensure Changes Q&A

Missed our live chat with Roger Philipp, CPA yesterday on California's 2014 CPA Licensure changes? No problem - here's a recap of the top questions asked by CPA hopefuls and answered by Roger, himself!


Student: As long as the CPA Exam is fully passed by the end of 2013, and a person has their hours for auditing, will they be "grandfathered" in, or will they still be subject to the new education requirements?
Roger: Thanks for your question. The safe answer is that you have to have everything completed before December 31, 2013 to get licensed under the current Pathways. This means passing the CPA exam, having all education requirements, work experience (1-2 years depending and if you want to do auditing, then 500 hours of audit work), passing the Ethics exam and turning in your application to the state board. If you are able to do accomplish this within the year then you can become licensed under the current rules and that licensure will still count post 2014. The CPA Exam and work experience are often what take up the most time so looks like you may be close!

If we hit 2014 and you have not done all of this however, you may have to start following the new rules which would likely mean taking extra classes in specific subjects. The reason I said it was the “safe” answer is because the CBA has recently voted on presenting new legislation to the Government to extend the timeline for the current Pathways. This would only be for those who are able to pass all 4 parts of the CPA exam by December 31, 2013. In that case, if the legislation is passed, you will get 2 extra years to fulfill the rest of the requirements and be licensed under the current pathways. It is your best bet then, no matter what happens, to finish the exam asap! We wrote a blog article about this recently:http://blog.rogercpareview.com/2013/02/2014-licensure-changes-proposed_8.html


Student: Is there any hope for those of us who have not yet passed any of the four sections? Also, according to CA Board of Accountancy, even if you pass all four sections by 12/31/13, in order to be licensed under the current pathways you have to complete all requirements for licensure, including the education and experience requirements, AND apply for your CPA license by 12/31/13. However, on your website, I saw that there was a proposition to allow candidates who pass all 4 parts by 12/31/13 to qualify under the current licensure pathway standards if the requirements are met by 12/31/2015. Could you clarify?
Roger: From this point on, you still have 3 testing windows in which you can sit for the CPA exam and pass. I know there is a crunch for time but most of our students finish the exam within 9 months and we have a 3, 6, and 9 month study planner to help you stay organized. You will definitely have to put in daily study and homework time to accomplish this but it is doable!
To answer the second part of your question, as of now, besides passing the exam, you still need to fulfill the extra education requirements, work experience, pass the Ethics exam and apply to the state board before 2014 in order to qualify under the current pathways. However, as you saw on my website, the CBA is presenting legislation to the state government to extend the current pathways IF one is to pass all 4 parts of the exam before December 31, 2013. We don’t know if this legislation will be passed or not and we may not have an answer till close to the end of the year but at least it’s a possibility. Hence, if you are able to sit for the entire exam before the new year, I recommend you do so to be on the safe side! This is something you need to accomplish no matter what and you may save yourself extra work later. Fingers crossed!


Student: Will the work experience be counted only from one company or several different companies, including internship?

Roger: You can use several companies to count towards your work experience and internships count as well! Normally internships are just for a short period of time or on a part time basis, so the CA Board of Accountancy (CBA) will have to count them by hours. It doesn’t matter if the internship was paid or unpaid and the general rule is that 170 hours of part time work will equal 1 month of full time work. The current Pathway 1 requires work equivalent to 24 months (2 years) and Pathway 2 is equivalent to 12 months (1 year, which will also be the requirement for 2014). The only catch is that you must work under the supervision of an active licensed CPA. They will sign off on your licensure paperwork.

Student: Will you be creating a separate video detailing the Clarity Project changes to the AUD exam? I will be taking it the next testing window which is before the changes but I would like to know what changes are made for interview purposes.

Roger: We will be filming a couple videos very soon about this new change to the AUD standards and will let you know when they are ready for viewing on our website.
For now, check out the blog we wrote about the Clarity Project earlier this month: http://blog.rogercpareview.com/2013/02/2013-audit-changes-clarifying-clarity.html These changes won’t show up on the exam till July so you have time. Keep up the great work!

Student: To satisfy the pathway 2 225 units requirement, do the non-UC (transferable) units offered at local community college count? Can the classes taken at local community college at pass/no pass grading basis?

Roger: To satisfy the current Pathway 2 requirements (before the rules change come 2014), the extra units you will need beyond what you get with your BA degree and the 36 quarter units in accounting subjects and 36 quarter units in business subject, can be in any topic you like as long as it was taken at an accredited campus. Most community colleges are accredited and will count, even if the classes did not transfer over to the UC you attended or is for a pass/no pass grade. You can always check accreditation at www.wascsenior.org(for 4 year colleges) or www.accjc.org (for 2 year colleges) to make sure.


Eager to keep reading? Go to the event page to check out the rest of the Q&A with Roger as he answers your questions about how to conquer the exam in 2013! 

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