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NASBA votes to extend CPA Exam window to 30 months — but it’s not that easy

April 25, 2023  |  Corey Butler

NASBA votes to extend CPA Exam window to 30 months — but it’s not that easy The National Association of State Boards of Accounting announced Monday that it adopted an amendment to the Uniform Accountancy Act Model Rules.

The amendment increases the length of conditional credit from 18 months to 30 months, bases the calculation of conditional credit for Exam sections passed on the date that scores are released and adds descriptive language to provide greater clarity for if and when boards of accountancy extend conditional credit, according to NASBA.

The exposure draft proposed a shift to 24 months, indicating the more than 850 comments from stakeholders clearly resonated with NASBA decision-makers. But NASBA doesn’t set regulations or standards; it provides guidance.

So, this is a big one: Individual state boards of accountancy still need to vote on the measure.

“As the membership organization of the 55 U.S. boards of accountancy, NASBA provides the model rules as recommendations to boards, and encourages uniform adoption,” Michael Cohn wrote in an Accounting Today article. “That means each individual board can consider the new amendment to Model Rule 5-7 and, if they choose, start a process to change the rules at the state level.”

This is important: This extension discussion happens concurrently with preparation for the new CPA Exam to launch in January 2024. The BOA previously approved a one-time, 18-month credit extension that addresses testing limitations and scoring delays ahead of January 2024. Candidates with passing scores on Jan. 1, 2024, will have their credits automatically extended to June 30, 2025.

NASBA’s amendment addresses all CPA candidates moving forward. Until the BOA votes to make a change — if it does — the exam score window for Minnesota CPA Exam candidates remains at 18 months.

The MNCPA, along with 15 other state societies, supports a period not less than 36 months before exam scores would expire. Linda Wedul, MNCPA president and CEO, wrote in March that 36 months is a practical solution that accounts for busy season, studying and scheduling for the remaining exams.

NASBA estimates that as many as 2,000 candidates annually timeout of the exam process.

“This is one of the factors impacting the CPA pipeline,” Wedul wrote in that March post. “Extending the exam score window will reduce the number of candidates that timeout and reduce fees for candidates who retake exams due to losing a score.”

Until the Minnesota BOA adopts to change to the 30-month window for conditional credits, NASBA’s ruling remains only a recommended guideline for state boards of accountancy to adopt.

The MNCPA will update members and CPA candidates as new information becomes available, and the MNCPA will continue to advocate for the BOA to lengthen the CPA Exam score window. If candidates have applied to take the CPA Exam in another state, they need to check with that state's BOA.

Topics: Staffing, Professional Certification, Government, Education, MNCPA Programs & Activities

Corey Butler

Corey Butler is the MNCPA communications manager, working to enhance the professional reputations of members through content, media relations and public affairs. He's been with the MNCPA since 2013. Corey keeps busy outside of the MNCPA spending time with his wife and children, serving on his local school board, volunteering in his community and catching up on long-lost hobbies. Corey enjoys the works of John Steinbeck and Rankin/Bass Productions, and Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus lore. You may reach him at 952-885-5530 or

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