I received this information from a business associate of mine. For anyone who has a CPA or is interested in the profession, you might find this information helpful.
I am writing to keep you abreast of some changes in the CPA requirements here in California that are being instituted. For those who are already certified, you can relax and remember the good old days. For those in the process, I have some advice. All of us need to understand the changes as they will impact the profession greatly in the future. Whether the changes will have a positive impact remains to be seen.
In October, the State legislature passed a bill making the 150 hour rule mandatory. Beginning January 1, 2014 all applicants must have 150 college units to be certified. The experience requirement is reduced to one year. The requirements to sit for the CPA exam are unchanged. There are changes coming in the CPA exam, but I will hold those for another time. The 150 hour rule has been an option for a number of years, this bill just made it mandatory. If that is all they did, we could work with it. However, our legislature went one step further. They determined that the additional 30 units must consist of 10 additional units in ethics study and 20 additional units in accounting courses. They formed two new commissions, one to determine the content of the additional ethics courses and one to determine the content of the additional accounting courses. Neither of these commissions has issued any guidance so at this point we do not know what these additional courses will consist of.
For our students, this comes at a very difficult economic time. We are working on various approaches to meet this new standard, but it appears that it will add at least one semester, and more likely an additional year of coursework, to the requirements to become a CPA.
For any of you who are in the certification process, our advice is to be certain that you are certified before January 1, 2014. Our understanding from the State Board of Accountancy is that is an absolute deadline. If you are not certified as of that date, the new 150 hour rule will be applied. If you do not have the certificate on the wall, you will have to meet the new 150 hour education requirement and may have to go back and take the additional 30 units of college credit. For many already working, that could be an insurmountable obstacle.