MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

CPE Model Rules: call for comments

Mar. 27, 2017  |  Lynn Kletscher

I’m a rule follower. I love black and white; I don’t love gray. If a rule is not clear, I prefer to err on the side of caution.

You’re likely a rule follower, too -- and understandably so. Your livelihood depends on it, as does your CPA credential.

We -- you, me, the MNCPA -- don’t write the rules. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have any say in the CPE rules that CPAs are required to follow.

What??

That’s right. For the first time, we can comment on NASBA’s CPE Model Rules (Rules). Proposed changes, if eventually adopted by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA), may affect the type and amount of CPE you can take.

This latest Rules iteration includes language about the new nano and blended learning formats, which were added to the Statement on Standards for CPE Programs last August. It also spells out the revised NASBA Fields of Study and quantifies the amount of CPE allowed in technical and nontechnical areas.

There are eight pages of definitions and rules, too much for me to summarize here. However, two items stand out as significantly different than our current BOA rules. Paraphrased, they are:

Rule 6-4 (a) (3): A minimum of 50 percent of required CPE must be in technical fields of study. Current BOA rules don’t have a technical requirement, but they do require eight hours of regulatory (technical) and/or behavioral (nontechnical) ethics and limit personal development (nontechnical) to 24 hours, i.e., 20 percent of required CPE.

Rule 6-6 (a) (I): A maximum of 25 percent of required CPE may come from nonapproved sponsors and/or participation on a technical committee. Current BOA rules allow up to 40 percent of required CPE to come from nonapproved sponsors and do not specifically call out technical committee work.

Coincidentally, the BOA rules are also under review. The timing doesn’t quite align, so it’s a bit of a "What comes first, the chicken or the egg?" scenario. Or, in this case, it’s "What comes first, the CPE Model Rules or the BOA rules?"

I encourage you to review the proposed Rules language in its entirety and give feedback to NASBA -- good and bad. If you see something you really like, be sure to say so and explain why. Too often, the good stuff gets tweaked because nobody says anything or one outlier says something negative. Likewise, if you see something you really don’t like, be sure to say so and back it up with a solid reason.

Submit your comments by June 30, 2017.

Of course, I want to hear from you, too. Let me know how you feel about the CPE Model Rules, BOA rules or any CPE-related matter. Why? Because rule followers like us need to stick together.

 

Topics: Education, Regulation

Lynn Kletscher

Lynn Kletscher is the MNCPA Director of Education, working to secure innovative and informative continuing education programs for CPAs. When she’s not researching the latest NASBA CPE rules, she is at her hobby farm tending to her horses and chickens. She is a fair-weather motorcyclist and a year-round fan of The Walking Dead. Next time you attend an MNCPA event or seminar, ask her about her zombie escape plan. Lynn can be reached at 952-885-5513 or lkletscher@mncpa.org.

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