INDIANAPOLIS—An official rule change directly impacting the CPA pipeline and accounting shortage in Indiana goes in to effect today, Nov. 2, 2022.
According to the 2021 AICPA Trends Report
, key factors contributing to the current talent crunch include: declining college enrollments, rising tuition costs and student loan debt, logistical hurdles of studying for the CPA Exam, and constraints of sitting for the CPA Exam in limited time frames — time frames further limited by capacity restrictions during COVID-19 closures.
"The cost and time spent on higher education is increasingly in the spotlight," said INCPAS President & CEO Courtney Kincaid, CAE. "As employers have been adapting to employees' needs and work preferences, so, too, must the CPA profession offer students the Exam flexibility that works with their academic, work and personal lives."
This rule change will reduce or remove barriers for accounting students seeking to pursue their CPA license and career in Indiana by:
- Moving Indiana into the group of 47 jurisdictions that allows candidates to sit for the Exam at 120-credit hours instead of 150-credit hours. 150-hours of education will still be required for licensure.
- Removing CPA Exam section names and windows to allow for continuous testing and the launch of the new CPA Exam in 2024.
"Most states have already adopted this rule, so this removes a competitive challenge," said INCPAS Government Relations Advisory Council member Tom Bayer, CPA, CExP. "Now more Indiana students will be able to come out of college with the CPA Exam partially or fully completed, which will be a win for our profession statewide."
When looking at the NASBA Candidate Performance Report, CPA Exam candidates who sit earlier in their career and closer to graduation have a higher pass rate than candidates who sit later in their careers.
"Taking sections of the Exam just after studying the material intensely during their college coursework will be a huge help for students," Diane L. Sturek, CPA, Macc, INCPAS Board Chair and senior lecturer at Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. "Further, it will be easier to make studying for the Exam a part of their schedule before they start working full time."
This bill proposed by the INCPAS advocacy team and The Corydon Group was authored as HB1373 by Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo), sponsored by Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington), and signed by Gov. Holcomb as HEA1373 in April 2021.
INCPAS has worked with the Indiana OMB, Indiana Board of Accountancy, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA), AICPA and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to have this rule change reflected across agencies.
CPA Candidates and students planning to sit for the CPA Exam can now submit their application once they have reached 120-credit hours on NASBA's site.