A&A Survey Results (A&A Practitioners Only)

1. Do you perform any assurance or attest work (audits, reviews, compilations or other engagements under Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements)?

TotalQuestion 1
342Yes


2. Do the current Accounting and Auditing (A&A) CPE requirements need to change?

TotalQuestion 2
132No
210Yes


3. If YES to question #2, please choose only one of the following alternatives to the current 20-hour A&A requirement.

TotalQuestion 3
132 
39A: Remove the current requirement of 20 hours of Accounting & Auditing per re-licensing period and allow those hours to be used for any technical subject matter.
39B: Revise the current requirement to allow for either 20 hours of Accounting & Auditing OR Tax subject matter education OR any combination of the two.
76C: Revise the current requirement of 20 hours to the following: reduce the requirement to 8 hours of Accounting and Auditing with the remaining 12 hours to be added to the technical subject category.
18D: Revise the current requirement of 20 hours to the following: reduce the requirement to 8 hours of Accounting and Auditing and 4 hours of Fraud continuing education with the remaining 8 hours to be added to the technical subject category.
38E: Revise the current requirement of 20 hours to the following: reduce the requirement to 16 hours of Accounting and Auditing with the remaining 4 hours to be added to the technical subject category.


4. Comments

RowComments
1If changes are made, there should be a drop of A&A to 16 hours. The remaining four hours should be some sort of fraud element CPE.
2I only do compilations. I find it helpful to have one 8 hour course update on the matter and the rest be up to the individuals needs.
3Although I can understand that many CPAs don't perform audits or reviews, it is the only area that we are legally protected to practice in. I am concerned that if we make it so that CPAs can focus on just tax education, our profession will ultimately lose its purpose.
4I do a limited amount of A&A work - mostly just compilations. I'm in a larger firm that has the "experts" in this arena, so I don't need more than a basic update. I find the current A&A requirement onerous. I rarely use the information I get in these A&A hours - I would much rather spend my time on increasing my level of expertise in other tax areas that I will actually USE in my practice. Go to any A&A CPE currently - you will find the back row filled with tax CPAs
5I feel the point of CPE should be to enhance your abilities and knowledge as a CPA for the work performed. A change in the CPE requirements that would allow a CPA to focus their education in areas that are most relevant to their practice would be like a breath of fresh air.
6I believe that the FICPA should not waive the A&A rules completely. If one is a CPA one should be taking update courses to at least keep up with the rules related to financial reporting.
7Our profession offers individuals the ability to specialize in areas where A&A is not material. To continually force these individuals into 20 hours of A&A that has no meaning to what they do professionally needs to change. To think they are getting anything from these classes is naive. I have seen some individuals that sit in the back of the class reading the paper or a book or doing work on their laptops. This is a true waste of time for them.
8The in the rules could be such that any practitioner not performing assurance or attest work should be able to substitute the A&A hours for his subject of expertise. so if practitioners perform only tax work, then Tax subject matter should count for the minimum 20 hours of A&A. More over, if changing the requirement is not acceptable, then may be allowing for Tax subject matter to qualify as A&A, after all tax is a form of accounting. For other individuals that perform other services such as valuation, personal financial planning, forensic services etc, courses in the subject matter should count towards their minimum requirement. To accommodate these requirements and enhance the education of CPAs, CPE requirements could be modified so that 30% of the CPE courses should include subject matter in the area that the practitioner practices or specializes, such that a practitioner performing attest services and tax services will have to comply with a minimum of 24 hrs of A&A, and 24 hours of Tax subject matter. This without taking away the minimum requirements for other industries, like those who audit governments and non-profit organizations. These matters can be verified through peer review, which must include all attest services not just audits. CPA that are not in public practice, must continue with the minimum of 20 hrs in A&A courses.
9We hold out as Certified Public Accountants to the general public. I want to be able to practice according to the latest standards and I know of no other way to do so other than taking CPE in A&A.
10A compilation & review course of at least 16 hours should be mandatory for CPA's that perform just compilations and reviews. My many years as a peer reviewer convinced me that most of the CPA's I reviewed were "cooking" their reports just to pass the peer reviews. Another 8 hours in theory area's would be also be appropriate.
11For those of us that only do compilations once in awhile, 8 hours of A&A should be more than enough.
12We as CPA's are still judged on our general knowledge of accounting by prospects & friends even if we don't perform audits in our individual practice. As we volunteer for non-profit boards, converse & sell the profession to college students picking their career path, or researching financials when picking stocks in our own portfolio, the selection of A&A hours over a 2 year period has always been diverse enough to keep me current and provide me with important information about that side of the profession.
13There is rarely 20 hours worth of update material available in a two year period. Agree that there should be a requirement, but feel that 16 is probably more than enough most renewal periods. Believe us professionals are smart enough to go for more in periods when that might be necessary because of significant or numerous standards changes.
14Every year I hate taking my 20 hours of A&A CPE, but after taken, every year I am glad that I did. I issue a lot of compiled Financial statements, mostly tax basis, but once in a while I am required to present reports on the GAAP/Accrual basis. The 20 hours requirement keeps me trained to do those engagements. Perhaps you need to provide more different A&A CPE. Like real estate rental accounting, percent of completion, cash to accrual adjustments and vice versa.
15Add peer review for ANY attestation work that is done and see how fellow CPAs are doing. Most CPAs that I know that do almost all tax still do compilations and maybe even a few reviews for their business clients. They hate doing the A & A CPE and would not do it if not forced to. How would they keep up on the ever changing standards without it? Maybe remove the requirement of 20 hours of A & A if they attest that they do not do any attestation work of any kind. I don't know how this could be monitored. Attestation work is the only thing that sets CPAs apart. You do not have to be a CPA to prepare a tax return. We should take our professional standards very seriously and strive to keep up with the changes.
16 I believe the requirement to obtain at least 20 hours of A&A over a two year period is reasonable. What is worthless is the requirement to take 4 hours of Ethics. Remove the Ethics requirement.
17It is too easy to take worthless CPE classes simply to fulfill the requirement. CPAs are by nature responsible and we take the CPE that will provide the most value to us and our clients.
18One alternative might be to require A&A hours AND Tax hours. Tax hours specifically, not just technical business. I'm also licensed in PA and they require both. If you make the argument that basic accounting is the fundamental starting point and is the underlying basis for preparing a tax return, and, therefore, CPAs that only prepare taxes still rely on and are required to have accounting skills; then the converse argument should be made. CPAs that prepare (compile, review, audit) financial statements should have basic tax knowledge and must be aware of current tax laws, otherwise tax accruals, tax calculations and disclosures on the financial statements may be wrong.
19I think CPA's that prepare tax returns should still maintain a minimum level of education in other areas. No tax return comes without needing some knowledge and understanding of current accounting requirements. Also, if a non CPA asks a CPA an accounting question and they are clueless it hurts our profession.
20With only producing compilations, the A&A is a waste of my resources. The bulk of my time is spent on taxes and tax advising so to spend hours taking courses not related to anything I produce is not productive. I have other resources I use to produce the few compilations, so why must I spend money on useless info. As the rules change, I understand that I need to learn them and force myself to take the needed courses to obtain the knowledge to produce accurate reports. I am also a AICPA member and MD licensed. Neither has the A&A requirement.
21As an auditor, I will continue to obtain the necessary training and CPE relevant to my trade. However, I agree that there should be some revision to this requirement for those CPAs that do not conduct A&A work.
22Revise the current requirement of 20 hours to the following: reduce the requirement to 8 hours of A&A, 4 hours of Fraud, and 8 hours to A&A OR Tax OR any combination of the two.
23EVEN CPA'S WHO DO NOT PREPARE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS SHOULD HAVE SOME KNOWLEDGE OF THE THEM AND THE PROCESS BY WHICH THEY ARE PREPARED. MANY TIMES WHAT WE ARE "FORCED" TO STUDY WE FIND TO BE OF VALUE.
24We fought very hard to establish our profession as a profession. The A & A is work is the only work reserved specifically for CPA's. We gave up the experience requirement for the 5th year (good move) but we have also watered down way too many of our long establish laws, rules and professional standards - commissions, contingent fees, etc. It's 10 hours per year - not a big deal. We are babying the younger set - less work hours, more pay, less rigorous workloads, already. I see this as a further move in that regard and not warranted. IF you want to have the status of CPA you have to comply with the standards and rules including the" rigorous" CPE requirements. if you are working in industry you need to know this stuff as much as the public practitioners. The only ones who can make a genuine case that they don't need it are those with certificates, who really aren't practicing accounting; such as non-CPA-company managers, and entrepreneurs. We should not change it for that small minority, nor should we change it for those simply inconvenienced. It was nice to see Jerry Schine's column! Scott Rhine
25I believe all CPA's need continued exposure to the changing accounting and auditing environment even though they do not practice in this area. The exposure to A&A helps even tax practioners understand the complexities of the regulatory environment.
26it only makes sense to remove this requirement. a CPA doing only taxes for many years should not have to have mandatory A&A, when there is no possibility of using it.
27The above selection was my choice for sake of the best alternative offered. I do recommend those of us performing attest functions requirement of at least 20 hours of A&A.
28While I strongly dislike reducing this requirement, Florida does have one of the more stringent requirements for A&A. When looking at the Firm/Individual Mobility push for it to work all US CPA Jurisdictions will have to be closely uniform in their CPA/CPE Requirements. If we act now to "lower our standards" now we maybe able to the keep the requirement that all Certified Public Accountants across the board have an understanding of what is current US GAAP, and not just some. Another argument I have for keeping the A&A CPE requirements (at a reduced level) is that if we are no longer required to be update on US GAAP, then people will start pushing for the Accounting portions of our certification exam to be removed along with the college accounting course requirements to be reduced or removed under the same argument of "I will never use it" that tax prepares are using now thus, lowering the quality of the CPA certification. The public impression that a CPA is a trusted business advisor and not just a "Tax Expert" is something the industry needs to keep intact otherwise we just devalued our certification and the industry. I would also like to add that under no circumstances should we completely remove the requirement or create a two tier CPA in that state.
29The 20 hour requirement and the 80 hour requirement are both completely arbitrary. CPA's do not receive much benefit from this and it seems designed to please the CPE industry, Get rid of these requirements and mandate a specific 1 or 2 day update on accounting, auditing and tax issues per year.
30While not all CPA's in Florida perform A&A engagements, the A&A rules, regulations, etc. are continuing to rapidly change. I believe even a tax-only CPA should be required to stay current on new/updated A&A authoritative literature, thus I feel the current CPE requirements should stay the same and 20 hours is not unreasonable.
31If anything, there needs to be a greater requirement for A&A, especially for smaller practitioners. I might agree that a tax-only CPA does not need 20 hours of A&A every period, but I would never agree that an almost-all-tax CPA practitioner... who performs 1 compilation a year... could skate by with no A&A. That person would need more A&A than anyone else out there. Also, I see small "tax" practitioners who are unaware of SSARS No. 19 (even still) and make errors in this area. A core knowledge about attest services means we need to keep the A&A requirement in place or, if changed, require MORE STRINGENT CPE for those who perform even a single attest engagement.
32For almost 25 years, I've had no problem with the requirements and I do tax and attest work. I hear non-stop complaints from tax professionals about the A&A requirement, but 20 years is not that much, less than 3 days or sessions. Even if they don't practice in that area, it's good to be aware of changes that come down. I advocate to keep the same requirement and don't decrease it.
33Those who have been members for over 40 years should have a reduced TOTAL requirement (lower than the 80 hours every 2 years.
34 Why would you reduce the 20 hour requirement? My suggestion is to increase it to say 30 hours at least every 2 years. I just went to the CIRA conference and the TB had little if nothing to do with my business. In fact my evaluation included a comment to have more A&A and reduce TB.
3512 Hours would have been perfect, but 16 is preferable over 8. A and A CPAs will always have the option of increasing their A and A hours (over the required hours)
36Not sure what the thinking is here. The only thing our license is good for is to render an opinion. CPA's should keep current on the A & A requirements. They already have 60 hours to pick up needed TB information. Unless the removal of A & A requirements then puts an asterick on a CPA license saying they can not do assurance work the CPE should remain a requirement. I could only support a reduction in this requirement if the overall # of CPE bi-annual hours was reduced proportionally.
37If you perform ANY Attest engagement a minimum of 20 hours should be required (20 hours in a two year period is not that much) - however - for anyone that ONLY performs tax work and never performs attest engagements I feel they should be exempt. The reality is those individuals waste those 20 hours just to satisfy the requirement. Typically, they gain nothing from it and their time could instead be spent improving their tax knowledge.
382nd alternative: Revise the current requirement of 20 hours to the following: reduce the requirement to 8 hours of A & A (mandatory minimum) with the remaining 12 hours to be used on any Tax subject matter education OR any combination of the two.
39I feel that the 20 hour requirement is not a hardship.
40 I do peer reviews and notice that a lot of compilations done by mostly tax oriented small firms often are lacking in many facets. I believe that perhaps it could be reduced to 16 hrs of A&A but I would like to see my fellow cpas take the A&A more seriously to improve the consistency and quality of the work firms put out.
41The only service restricted to CPAs to perform is the attest function. All other services rendered by CPAs may be rendered by non-CPAs. The people who want to do away with the A&A requirement want the social and economic value of the brand but don't want to remain qualified for the one service restricted to the brand. There are dozens of designations out there for people not qualified to do attest work which allow them to identify their area of expertise. Please do not support the dilution of our brand by persons who actually do something other than that service limited to CPAs.
42 We must keep an accounting & auditing minimum hours to keep our members skills adequate. In 33 years of practicing, I have noticed an alarming decrease in accounting skills for staff and this trend needs to change. Very few have good analytical skills and struggle with simple book keeping tasks. Quickbooks is not the answer!!!
43Most public practice CPAs do compilation work so I don't think they should not be required to at least take 20 hours.
44 This change (I assuming for lowering the number of A&A hours) would only work if we create a speciality designation first. The public would need to know those that are competent to do the only service we as professionals have the exclusivity on or not.
45I am a tax person but even a tax person needs to keep up with the rules regarding accounting and auditing. Business tax returns are prepared from accounting records. . Even small CPA firms needs to keep up with the ever-changing rules regarding compilations. That could take at least 8 hours every two years.
46I'm not a fan of changing things for the sake of it - 20 hours of AA could be classified any number of ways - but I do like the version of 4 fraud and 8 technical on top of the 8 AA. That would be (IMO) the perfect balance - but I'm a fraud examiner and I think that being up to date on fraud is important. Good luck finding a consensus in this group. Please don't just advocate whichever position gets the most votes - if there is a 51% consensus on any of the 5 items, I don't think I'd struggle supporting that - but I wouldn't support something that just had 30%, but more than the rest of the options.
47The CPE requirements do not need to change. The people who have trouble completing either auditing or accounting hours should remember that the requirements are for LICENSED CPAs who with that license can conducts audits and who are by DEFINITION accountants.
48I think that someone who works in the A & A areas should be receiving more than 20 hours per re-licensing period. If someone does not do any A & A work they should still be required to take an A & A Update course every re-licensing period and additional hours in the areas in which they do work.
49A&A is too important to revise downward.
50I believe that we should maintain a certain level of A&A credit requirement because CPA's should stay up-to-date on latest changes and promulgations. Especially, in this day and age where the profession is evolving (i.e., convergence, private GAAP, etc.). However, perhaps we should entertain how much A&A credits should CPA's have. What is the correct balance? Finally, should the A&A requirement be any different for CPA's that do not perform assurance or attest work.
51Don't become a CPA if you don't prepare financial statements! CPAs know the requirements for continuing education when they get licensed. Thanks,
52Those who do attest functions need to police themselves and not force a requirement on all of us. Maybe require an update course for all of us would not be a bad idea
53The majority of CPAs perform a few or no audits. The A&A requirement is similar to the CPA exam that stresses knowledge of municipal and cost accounting, which also is not used by most CPAs. CPE course requirements should still be required however, let the individual CPA or firm select courses meaningful to their practice areas, rather than have a blanket A&A requirement. As it now stands, tax and technical courses (although substantive in content) are considered like the adopted child or runt of the litter. CPAs as professionals should be able to select courses that are both useful and instructional without the arbitrary burden of taking courses in areas that they will rarely if ever encounter in their individual practices.
54Mike, No doubt there is a great deal of specialization within our profession and that continuing professional education must be tailored to meet the needs of those working in those specialties. There is no limit to the amount of CPE that one can obtain. Traditionally, I obtain far more than is required by state law in order to keep my skills current. Having said that, I do feel it is important to maintain an understanding of accounting and auditing principles and the changes that occur in those principles and standards over time. I do not think it is unduly burdensome on any CPA to devote four hours annually to an A&A update, especially with all the CPE avenues available to our professionals. I like the idea of requiring 4 hours of fraud education as well and I believe we should continue the ethics requirement. In answering this question I am attempting to speak not only for my personal needs and wishes but for the needs of the several hundred CPAs that work for Carr Riggs & Ingram in the state of Florida. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me at 850-201-5837. Thank you. William L. "Larry" Houff, CPA
55A&A if little use in my practice do no audits or reviews. I am also not planning on doing audits or reviews in the foreseeable future. Only do very few compilations. Most of my practice work is in the area of taxation
56For those of us who do not do auditing, but do compilations, a lot of tax work and litigation support and fraud investigation, it seems like there could be a better system for getting credit for the very technical training we get in all of these areas. The fraud courses are included under A&A usually, however, there are too few of them. Many of the courses focus on fraud in the audit. The topic is much broader than that and I would like to see an expansion of the topics. I would like to be able to get my AA hours attending classes that improve skills for the work I am doing. Very few of the courses really cover the topics that we deal with in Litigation Support or Forensic Accounting. Another point is that I attend the FVALS Conference in Ft Lauderdale every January. It is a great conference, but this year it looks like there is one hour of AA. The rest is TB. Last year there were 2 hours of AA. How can you have a two day conference on Forensic and Valuation and only have one hour of AA? It makes me think the definition of what constitutes AA is not properly defined in this area. I appreciate your work in this area. It would be nice not to have to sit through 8 hours of material I will never use. Thank you!
57A&A is at the core of what most CPAs do and 20 hours is only 25% of the total CPE required per reporting period. I would like to understand the reasoning behind the desire for a change. Perhaps an exception for those CPAs that only (i.e., 100%) provide tax services, are tax educators, or tax consultants?
58A CPA not required to at least stay somewhat abreast on what is happening in the financial statement presentation and attestation arena? Wow! Where have we gone as a profession!
59Need specialty designations so that a CPA primarily performing assurance or attest engagements is identified as different from one that strictly prepares tax returns. Perhaps consider specialty designations like attorneys have.
60Is the perceived need to change CPE A&A requirements substantiated by analysis/feedback from peer reviews regarding auditor quality?
6116 hrs of A&A per reporting period seemed to work well in GA.
62The only service CPAs provide that other accountants can not is to opine on financial statements. Since, during a CPA's career, one never knows when they may be asked and agree to opine, they should at least be somewhat current on A & A.
63Strongly recommend NO CHANGE. Every CPA is involved in reading financial statements and the background knowledge learned in staying up on the subject matter is critical. I have served on the board of accountancy probable cause panel for more years than anyone in the state of Florida and too many times Florida CPAs get into areas that are beyond their expertise and then they come before us. It is my opinion that the number of complaints would increase if the 20 hour requirement was reduced or deleted. We do not need to put our CPAs in harms way by the lack of understanding of current financial statement format, presentation and report levels by CPA services. I know certain tax attorneys would like to see this change, however they still need to understand the proper format and disclosure with financial statements. These CPAs are issuing letters and are in litigation around this product all the time, they need to stay current. I strongly recommend that NO change be made to the requirement. Byron Shinn CPA Current Florida State Board of Accountancy Probable Cause Member ( OVER 12 YEARS)
64At a minimum, I think every CPA should have an 8 hour A & A update - like our 4 hours ethics requirement (personally I think it should be every year, not two year reporting period). If we were to go this route I think the 8 hour updates should be state approved. If the A & A requirement went away I believe it would devalue our license with other states.
65I believe the CPA industry is professional enough to be able to determine what type of CPE will best benefit itself. For firms that do not handle any attest work, the 20 hour requirement is an unnecessary time and financial burden, with those resources best directed at material more beneficial to the practitioner.
66The A&A knowledge always seems to pay for itself for our tax partner. We do not specialize but financial statements and the underlying basics, are things clients expect of CPAs. We've told them that this is one of the reasons we are different. So now we are going to say, yes we are different, but we are also too lazy to take 20 hrs of cpe over TWO YEARS so that we know how to answer your question on revenue recognition. I guess all tax only CPAs will now need someone like me to either adjust their clients books to be correct GAAP, or for larger firms, the A&A staff will need to help the tax staff convert the financial data into tax data. Great for the firm - nto a real good deal for the client.
67 The cost of continuing education for those of us who are retired or semi-retired has become prohibitive (I have one compilation client) . I strongly suggest that the FICPA pursue legislation establishing, statutorily, a special licensing category in this regard; i.e. 40 hours bi-annually including 8 hours of Accounting and Auditing. Qualifying criteria could be age (over 75 and services performed).
68I believe the profession should match the performance of engagements to the CPE required. Practitioners who are devoting full time to tax preparation should be able to focus on 80 hours of related subjects with no attendance at A & A seminars. However, such practitioners should be precluded from performing any step within an office review process which represents a quality control step in office processing of any compilation, review or audit engagement. Either they attend the 20 hours of CPE for A & A or someone else assumes responsibility. Sole practitioners performing any compilation or review services would be required to adhere to the 20 hour requirement.
69A&A is the heart of being a cpa, why water it down!!
70None of the above. I believe that those who do not perform A&A engagements, e.g. tax personnel, should either have the 20 hr. A&A requirement eliminated or reduced to maybe 8 hrs.
71I only do a couple compilations, so the majority of my work is tax and consulting. While I am not a fan of A&A, I think CPAs must continue to be required to take 20 hours per reporting period. I not, it is entirely likely that some practitioners would let their A&A skills diminish over time, which would hurt the CPA brand. So, I do not think it would be a good idea to reduce or remove the current requirement.
72For those CPAs where the attest function is not part of their practice, I don't feel the A&A CPE provides much benefit. We are professionals and should be able to manage our time and CPE course loads in a manner that maximizes our time outside of the office. This may also cause A&A presenters to tailor their materials to more focused to particular areas where attendees will take more away. Right now, the beginning part of A&A presentations seems very broad and low-level. If I'm doing work in that arena, the assumption should be made that I understand the groundwork. Likewise, if all I do is a few tax basis no disclosure compilations, I'm interested in different information entirely.
73I issue compilarions only to my clients who are basically mom and pop type businesses and used for internal purposes and income tax preparation only. I feel that the 20 hrs that I spend for A & A could be much more beneficial to my practice if I could obtain these hours in other areas of my choosing.
74I think the 20 hour requirement is important to the future of CPA's in that it keeps us up to date on what CPA's do. This is important whether you are in public practice or other area of practice where you are holding yourself out as a CPA.
75I believe it would make more sense to have 2-3 'board certified" kind of sub-designations, which would be required to serve the public in those areas, and have a 20 hour minimum in related subject matter for each of those. For example, A&A for those who want to do audits reviews, tax for those who want to provide tax services as a CPA, or personal finance for those who want to provide personal finance services as a CPA. CPA's in private industry should be able to select subject matter most relevant to their jobs.
76We prepare very basic compiled financials with no disclosures. The FASB is just about irrelevant to my experience and to my clients' businesses. Please allow me to spend precious (and expensive) CPE time on tax and business topics that will add value to my practice. Kudos to FICPA for listening to it's constituents. We appreciate that.
77I am an Enrolled Agent, a Certified Public Accountant, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Those that do not desire to meet the requirements of continuing education for the "CPA" designation should become Enrolled Agents as the continuing education requirements for the "EA" designation are purely tax + 2 hours of ethics each year. I became a CPA because I wanted the credibility, and public recognition the credentials hold. I have held the EA designation for 10 years prior to becoming a CPA and there were numerous potential clients that I was not able to obtain because I did not have the CPA credential even though I was licensed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. To change the requirements of continuing education would diminish the credentials that not only myself but all Florida CPAs have worked so hard to obtain and continue meeting the high standards of our license. The continuing education requirements are a minimum requirement of the state to keep our license and let's face it continuing education today is very inexpensive as offered not only through the FICPA but also through numerous vendors that compete for our continuing education dollars. I exceed the minimum requirements on a consistent basis because I want to learn more and be the best CPA I can. Thank you for allowing us to voice our opinion concerning this issue. Sincerely, Donald L. Drummond, EA, CPA, CGMA Partner GunnChamberlain, P.L.
78Only do compilations no audit or review
79We should do nothing to reduce current requirements. It is also important not to allow those practitioners performing attest services to substitute credits from other areas like tax
80A&A CPE seems to offer the broadest array of learning experiences that are technical enough to provide a real learning challenge,
81To require 20 hours of A&A for someone who doesn't do any auditing or review work is not particularly productive use of that person's time and education. Personally, the only attest work that I do is one or two OCBOA compilations without disclosures per year. I think it would be appropriate to require that I take an 8 hour course on this topic every 2 years for as long as I continue to prepare such financial statements. I am sure that there are others who fall into a similar category of work product and would welcome the ability to select courses that enhance their tax practice knowledge.
82I feel that to be a well-rounded accountant, you need to be current in the accounting areas as well as tax and other areas. I think that the current requirements are where they should be.
83As a sole proprietor, I do not perform any audits or reviews, but do perform 4 compilations. One on a monthly basis and three on a quarterly basis. All of my other work is tax related. I think 20 hours of A&A is not necessary for CPAs, particularly sole proprietors, who only perform a few compilations. I think 8 hours would be sufficient.
8420 hours every two years is 25% of the total 80 hours required.
85While the 20 hour A&A requirement is rigorous for those of us who only do compilations, it does keep us in tune with what is happening in the profession.
86The profession's hallmark is the attest function, and so I believe that the requirement should be retained. However, for a practitioner who only performs compilation services, I believe one full day per year is sufficient to stay current with revisions. Clearly, those who concentrate in this area will obtain more A&A hours than the minimum.
87Everything is fine.
88Based on my limited exposure, requiring 20 A&A CPE hours appears tilted toward the higher end compared to other States. Also, requiring only 8 hours seems insufficient for any CPA to be confident of his or her skills as a 'Professional', regardless if engaged (or not) in writing a report covering standards related to any level of reporting on financial statements. Therefore, given the limited choices available in this survey, I've selected the last option.
89Thank you for conducting the Survey. I think that CPAs who do not prepare financial statements are being unfairly burdened with the need for A&A CPE under the current rules.
90Only rarely do I perform a compilation. Even then, it is an OCBOA (tax basis.) 8 hours of A&A would suffice.
91I believe the Accounting and Auditing requirements of 20 hours per every two years is not a burden. The requirement is an important part of keeping CPA's abreast of changes in the financial accounting requirement that affect every aspect of work done whether it be tax or attest in nature.
92For a CPA who primarily performs the attest function: 1) Requiring 20 hours of A&A should be remain mandatory. 2) The 20 hours A&A could include 4 hours of fraud continuing education. Except for the 4 Ethics hours, the remaining hours can be used for tax or the technical subject category depending on the CPA's need or personal preference.
93Some A&A requirement is good, but not overkill.
94I do a lot more tax work and compilation work without footnotes. I like to have one yearly update class on compilation and review. I also take classes on identity theft, so 8 hours would generally cover the A&A requirement. I take at least 48 hours per year of tax update courses and I am a trainer on network marketing subjects, so I like the 8 hour requirement with the option to use other technical business subjects to round out my curriculum.
95I would recommend that the 20 hour A&A minimum be maintained if the CPA works for a firm that performs audits. I would also be in favor of reducing the A&A requirement to zero if the CPA is in tax practice and performs no attest services.
96There is such a diversity of A&A continuing ed available that practitioners should be able to find something that applies to one of their service offerings and improves their skills while still relating in some way to accounting.
97As a former BOA member, I understand the mission the Board has to protect the citizens of Florida. And I believe that at one time the requirement for continuing education was important to that mission. However, the times they have changed and at times it seems the CPE requirement is our punishment for being a CPA. I am not sure how we ever determined that 80 hours was the magic number rather than the lower alternative. I guess if some is good, then more has to be better. Whether this provision for 80 hours really protects the citizens of Florida, or whether the natural forces of the marketplace are more responsible - I have never really been able to determine. When I became a CPA the opportunities for continuing education were very limited and the ability to keep up with changes in the profession were not easily accessible. By contrast, today I receive at least 6 newsletters per day to update me on accounting and tax issues. I can access all types of information online to support my practice. As a firm we provide all of our staff with constant training, not just to meet some hour standard but to make us competitive in the marketplace. In summary I think the days of requiring 80 hours of CPE have passed and we should be looking for a new system to protect the citizens of Florida.
98While many practitioners do not have attest services in their practices, in order for CPE to be meaningful and substantive, we cannot remove the A&A requirement. Since there is no other requirement at present, theoretically all of the CPE can be completed with just TB or Behavioral and that takes away the rigor from the profession. What is worth discussing is whether we should split into specialties for CPE purposes, so that practitioners can pursue CPE related to that field as long as it is substantive enough. For example a series of tax CPEs, or technology CPEs for respective specialized practices.
99Too many organizations trying to change everything at the same time. Taxes, Obamacare, IFRS, The quality of work that I am seeing and am probably performing is being impacted by the massive changes taking place and the irrelevance of most current accounting information due to the lack of comparability being brought about by these changes. There should be more not less A&A CPE however since there are more and larger penalties associated with everything businesses do, understanding technical issues or what would have been considered technical CPE should be reclassified to A&A due to the scope of issues encountered in simple A&A engagements.
100As an auditor, I am comfortable with the current requirements for A&A since it is applicable to me. However, for those CPAs who do not perform attest engagements, I believe more flexibility for courses more relevant to them would be reasonable.
101no audites or reviews / only issue compiliation report - I feel should only had to take a compilation update course each cycle and concentrate upon tax and consulting courses
102I feel as professionals, we will seek the CPE that relates to the services we preform.
103Ethics should be increased to 8hrs.
104If a CPA is preparing only compilations and not reviews or audits the max number of A&A hours should be no more than 8 hours. The FICPA should develope an 8 hour update course that provide these CPAs with the important relevant information related to performing compilation services. If nothing new has occured this might be done in 4 hours rather than 8. This discussion is late in coming. Thank you for finally moving on this.
105for those that don't perform audits, the requirement should definitely be lower.
106I only work on attest work so have to comply with the Yellow Book and will always require 80 hours of A&A. However, my partners who only work on tax issues need more T&B and less A&A hours. Why not have a two prong approach depending on type of work actually performed?
107As a practitioner who occasionally prepares a compilation, I feel that compilation & review (A&A) is all that should be required, unless there is a peer review issue.
108As accountants we can't afford to stray too far from our designation or risk diluting its power. We will always be held to a higher standard as to A&A and thus have a duty to stay at least marginally informed.
109In many seminars, there are CPA's in attendance that are FORCED to take A&A and you can see it's a waste of time for them as it is not part of the work they do. I can use the A&A hours but sometimes I find it repetitious and would prefer to take a NON-A&A course to expand my horizons.
110Limit the scope of A&A hours to 8. Not all CPAS are doing attest services. 8 hours allows CPA to take courses that will cover general updates on financials and report standards. And will allow for those 12 hours to be used on areas that they are currently involved more like taxation.
111I think the A&A CPE requirements should be separated based on the level of assurance/attest work performed - 8 hours annually for those who only issue compilations, and 16-20 hours for those that issue audits, reviews, or other engagements under SSAE.
112Many of us do little or no accounting or auditing, and the hours would be much better spent in areas in which we actually practice.
113 PLEASE DO NOT "WATER DOWN" THE PROFESSION BY REMOVING OR CHANGING THIS IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT.
114I don't have a problem with the twenty hours in A&A... 1. I have a problem with 80 total hours, which is an entire work week per year. Should be lowered to 40 or 50 for a two-year period. 2. I have a problem with ethics being required within every two-year cycle. It is repetitive and has little impact. Maybe shift that to once every other cycle rather than every cycle.
115There is no minimum requirement for any other CPE area why should A&A be any different? I think there should be a minimum of 8 hours in both A&A & Tax with the balance left to the practitioner to apply to whatever areas they specialize in. As the accounting world continues to only get more complicated practitioners are forced to specialize so why force our CPE to have hours delegated to areas that may have no impact for certain practitioners.
116I perform a minimal amount of Compilations annually and do a substantial amount of consulting and tax compliance. While it is important for me to stay on top of issues regarding GAAP, I believe that I can be the best judge of the amount of hours I need annually above the 8 hours.
117I believe as a CPA we should be award of "all" accounting issues, not "just" tax
118As a tax professional, the A&A requirement is too large. 20 hours of A&A out of 80 total yields a 25% concentration in a subject that is less than 5% of most tax professionals' time.
119I think it is important for all CPAs to keep reasonably current on accounting issues. Even tax preparers get involved in accounting issues. I see no need for a change.
120I do not do any audits only tax and compilations, so more tax matter education would be beneficial to my firm and me. Thanks, Mike Lowe, CPA
121How can you prepare a tax return if you don't know accounting? Book to tax differences....
122IF the Board finds favor in requiring a minimum number of A&A hours, four (4) hours a year for updates should do it for those of us who only perform Reviews and Compilations.
123HOWEVER, licensees that state on their renewal application that they are not responsible for, and do not sign accountant's or auditor's reports should be able to substitute technical subject matter, at their option, for all of the current 20 A&A hour requirement.
124Eight hours per year of Accounting & Auditing CPE should be sufficient for maintaining a CPA's working knowledge of the professional standards related to accounting and auditing. The nature of a CPA's practice, not some outdated statute, should dictate how a CPA allocates his or her time spent in pursuing continuing education. In all likelihood, given greater flexibility in choosing CPE would result in an increase in the likelihood that the CPE obtained is pertinent to his or her practice. True, the current requirement of 20 hours assures that the CPA exposes himself or herself to 20 hours of CPE in A&A, but this shotgun approach does nothing to assure that he or she benefits from the requirement. Allowing CPAs to chose programs appropriate to their practices is far more likely to create an environment in which they actually learn something from the experience.
125The vast changes being made to "catch up with the Intl Standards" look silly when the size of the FIFA audit failure is seen, and the ridiculous 'record whatever income you 'feel' will be proper for the year would be a travesty. Lawyers and insurance companies and practitioners would miss the camels while gagging at all those gnats. I think the smaller time increments (less than 50 minutes) would be an improvement. More record-keeping, but it mirrors the way we learn right now. The cont ed is just piled on top of our self study.
126Although I do a minimum amount of A and A work I feel it is imperative to be aware of current standards
127It is really a waste of time and resources to require 20 hours when a CPA may be specializing in other areas. Instead of 20 A & A, it would make sense to allow additional CPE in areas being practiced by a specific CPA. I have obtained my PFS and am continuing to increase my services accordingly. But now not only am I required to obtain a certain number of CPE hours in this field, a good idea, but t I still have to waste my time doing 20 hours in a field that I have chosen NOT to utilize at all. Our firm has chosen NOT to do audits or reviews and I have chosen not to even do compilations but to work with Tax and financial consultations. This ongoing requirement is more like regulations espoused by government entities and not what I would expect from an organization that acts to assist us in being professional and updated in our areas of expertise. That's my 2 cents worth. I hope that the organization takes this feedback and stops putting CPA's in a one size fits all world of prior generations when the emphasis over the past decade or so has obviously been for expanding our horizons and specializing in various areas. This ain't my mothers CPA world anymore (or my brothers or my wife's, a family of CPA's). Each of us have practiced as CPA's in different areas and the AA requirement is not relevant to any of us. (except I do get to read my newspaper or do Sudoku while sitting through another boring AA course-boring because it has no relevance to me.) Thank you for this survey. Now I hope it is also followed up on. I really find the arguments in favor of it to be somewhat spurious. Keep it in place to keep us "better" than ordinary accountants? Not logical. Keep us professionally trained in our areas of expertise. This would continue to separate us from others.
128I believe 20 hours of A&A is unnecessary, although I think some smaller requirement should be retained. But I would prefer no A&A requirement to the other proposals. Adding Fraud would only complicate the system even more. Reducing it to 16 hours is not much of a change.
129 It appears to me that the A & A FL CPE is geared to the larger firms. With myself and one other non-owner CPA, we do not perform reviews or audits. Most of my work is tax, administering family trusts, litigation support and expert testimony (probate, estate & trusts). Compilations are only for fiduciary accountings. Need to make the change to needed CPA for small firms.
130A&A is at the core of being a CPA.
131Even CPAs who do only tax work could do well to have a well rounded body of accounting knowledge. No change is necessary.
132The requirement for 80 hours (for 2 years) of A&A for yellow book audits needs to be reduced to 50 hours or less.
13380 hours of CPE is the highest for any Florida profession. The hours needs to be reduced to 40 hours biennial. Florida engineers 18 hours biennial. Florida pharmacist 30 hours biennial. Florida Attorneys 30 hours every 3 years. Florida physicians 40 hours biennial. Florida Veterinarians 30 hours biennial. Suggest FICPA take a survey of FICPA members asking the number of hours they think the CPA profession should have biennial.
134While it is important to persuade us to take some A&A, I believe 16 hours is adequate and a more practical requirement. This would work out to one 8 hour day per year, which should be enough to stay informed on current A&A updates.
135I cannot imagine a CPA who doesn't earn ANY hours of A&A. The "A" in CPA means Accounting. 20 hours every 2 years is only 10 hours a year. Surely this amount isn't an undue burden.
136Those of us that do not audits....too many of the courses in the A & A area are meaningless. As a responsible CPA, we should be able to decide what are the most appropriate courses to keep up to date for our practices. Personally, I generally end my 2 year period with over 100 hours of CPE but always struggling to find and take A & A that interest me!
137The CPA license is not required to provide tax services. Fraud should not be singled out. It should remain as a part of A&A but not be spelled out like Ethics. If the CPE requirement for 20 hours of A&A is changed then the law that licenses CPA's should be changed also to license CPA's to provide tax, fraud and/or various other services. In that case then a specific CPE requirement should be added to cover the specific service(s) offered.
138I think 80 hours every 2 years is more than is needed to keep current, most of us spend more than this amount of time reading anyway but just don't get credit since it is not done in a CPE environment. I think 80 hours is ridiculous, I would say 40 every 2 years in any subjects the practitioner thinks they need to be proficient in the type of work they currently do. It is just a money maker for the course sponsors and a real burden on practitioners in both time and money. The biggest cost being lost time.
139We should continue our education in all areas. If we don't --- then we fall behind if an issue comes up.
14020 hours of A & A credit, 25% of the total CPE credits required over a two year period is minimal. Everyone should stay abreast of current changes in reporting requirements for assurance and attest work. There have been major changes to report letters, engagement letter requirements, etc. recently and there are several changes coming down the pike. All CPA's in the State of Florida should be required to have A & A CPE and 20 hours (10 hours per year) is not asking a lot of anyone.
141The practice I work in focuses mostly on tax. However, we do have occasion to prepare compilations and reviews. Even though I'm not a big fan of A & A CPE, I recognize the contribution it makes to my understanding of how to prepare those types of financial statements. Being forced to take those courses keeps me up to date on new promulgations and rules in an area that I might otherwise neglect if not for the requirement. However, if a CPA practice/practitioner performed only tax work, I think it would be acceptable not to require A & A.
142I would amend that the four hours of Fraud to include either A & A topics, or tax topics.
143I believe that as professionals we are able to gauge what the appropriate amount of continuing education we need is in order to maintain a current knowledge of the different areas of accounting in which we engage as a firm. From my 30+ years of experience in the field of public accounting I have always felt that the 20 hours is very redundant for the areas of A&A in which I have engaged in my years of practice. I do believe there needs to be a minimum of 8 hours required every 2 years and if the individual firm recognizes that there is a higher need due to the type of A&A engagements they provide then they should be astute enough to take the courses and number of hours they feel will keep them current and up to date in the A&A realm. There is nothing stopping a firm from taking more than 8 or 20 hours if there is a need for additional A&A but to mandate that every licensed CPA should have a minimum of 20 hours of A&A regardless of the type of engagements they perform and services they provide has never seemed appropriate, fair or necessary in my opinion.
144I think the 20 hours A&A Credit requirement every two years is adequate and not excessive.
145JONATHAN S. INGBER c/o KWAL + OLIVA Alfred I. du Pont Building [Suite 800] 169 East Flagler Street Miami, Florida 33131-1296 (305)-577-4333 [Downtown Office] jsi@kwalandoliva.com (954)-632-3714 [Cellular] (954)-384-4716 [Home Office] 2544 Jardin Lane Weston, Florida 33327-1511 jjingber@ix.netcom.com Sydney Traum, Esq. c/o Levy, Filler, Rodriquez, Kelso & Magilligan, LLP 1688 Meridian Avenue [Suite 902] Miami Beach, Florida 33139-2712 December 8, 2012 Dear Sydney: As requested by your e-mail dated October 18th, having the requisite hiatus in my travel schedule, I will now respond, in the order appearing in your proposal, to the ten points raised, explaining why I am not in agreement with the change that you are advocating: 1. Without commenting on Governor Scott, whose signature may be required for other enactments sought by the Florida Institute of CPAs, concerning the need for administrative regulations, permit me to recommend a perusal of Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself by Sheila Bair, former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Ms. Bair is a Republican and former Kansan. 2. While public perceptions are not to be ignored during the legislative process, it should be noted that members of the bar and enrolled agents are also exempt from the continuing education requirements imposed upon registered tax return preparers. Whether or not “CPAs are [in fact] the most knowledgeable tax return preparers”, much of the preparation process is dependent upon accounting skills, and, surely, the ability to appreciate the distinctions between generally accepted accounting principles and federal tax accounting rules is dependent upon a knowledge of the former to better appreciate the differences of the latter. 3. Your stated dichotomy of “tax work” and “accounting and auditing” implies that the former is not dependent to a considerable degree on the latter. I respectfully disagree. One example should suffice. Often, the accounting records of an “eligible entity”, such as a partnership, arrive in our downtown Miami office in other than pristine condition. It takes a talented set of accounting professionals to transform the untidy mess, a not unduly harsh description, into a format that then permits an equally talented set of tax professionals to begin the process of preparing a partnership income tax return. Without the preliminary accounting work, ultimately supported with the requisite documentation, the ability to apply the more abstruse provisions of subchapter K would be severely diminished. 4. The relatively small number of mandatory twenty hours of continuing professional education courses in accounting and auditing suggests to me that the Florida legislature has fully recognized the fact that the professional’s practice includes many other tasks beyond the preparation of compiled, reviewed, and audited financial statements. 5. The solution to the problem of a limited number of continuing professional education accounting courses that contain tax-related materials is to commission the creation of additional courses, not to eliminate the requirement of such courses. The coin of the realm expended to preserve one’s designation as a certified public accountant is clearly not a waste of one’s money. Having made continuing professional education presentations since December 1973, it is the attitude that professionals bring to the day’s work of attendance that produces the waste of time. 6. For the sake of argument, I will assume that stating that it is “more important” is not the equivalent of asserting that it is unimportant for a tax professional to be familiar with the content of the FASB Codification found in ASC 740 Income Taxes or its predecessor FASB 109 as well as the interpretative FIN 48 [Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes]. Would our dauntless tax person be prepared to complete Schedule UTP [Uncertain Tax Position Statement] for domestic and foreign corporations or would such a person, persistent on maintaining her ignorance of such matters, be able to properly respond to an Internal Revenue Service request for tax accrual workpapers, which, according to Announcement 2002-63, “refers to tax accrual and other financial audit workpapers relating to the tax reserve for deferred tax liabilities and to footnotes disclosing contingent tax liabilities appearing on audited financial statements”? 7. I do not think that the issue is the total number of continuing professional education credits to be earned during the two-year renewal period; rather the issue relates to course content. Semi-rhetorically, does one believe that a full palette of “tax-oriented” accounting courses, a veritable plethora of such offerings, cannot possibly be developed? Besides the perennial favorites of fiduciary accounting and deferred income taxes, one should consider the following list with the related Internal Revenue Code references, many of which sections draw distinctions between tax and accounting concepts: a) Amortization of goodwill and going concern value [I.R.C. Sec. 197(d)(1)(A&B)] b) Capital expenditures [I.R.C. Sec. 263] c) Capitalization and inclusion in inventory costs of certain expenses [I.R.C. Sec. 263A] d) Effect on earnings and profits [I.R.C. Sec. 312] e) Certain stock purchases treated as asset acquisitions [I.R.C. Sec. 338] f) Definitions relating to corporate reorganizations [I.R.C. Sec. 368] g) Treatment of certain interests in corporations as stock or indebtedness [I.R.C. Sec. 385] h) General rule for methods of accounting [I.R.C. Sec. 446] i) General rule for taxable year of inclusion [I.R.C. Sec. 451] j) Special rules for long-term contracts [I.R.C. Sec. 460] k) General rule for taxable year of deduction [I.R.C. Sec. 461] l) General rule for inventories [I.R.C. Sec. 471] m) Last-in, first-out inventories [I.R.C. Sec. 472] n) Mark to market accounting methods for dealers in securities [I.R.C. Sec. 475] o) Adjustments required by changes in method of accounting [I.R.C. Sec. 481] p) Allocation of income and deductions among taxpayers [I.R.C. Sec. 482] Nota Bene: If Fiduciary Accounting in Florida, a marvelous course presented by the inimitable dynamic duo of Gordon Spoor and Ralph Poe, which has considerable tax content, is allocated eight full credits in accounting and auditing, there is no logical reason not to allocate some accounting and auditing credits for courses based on any combination of the above listed sections of the Internal Revenue Code. 8. While “some” people are prone to say almost anything as “some of the people [are fooled] all of the time”, I still believe that the underlying rationale for the accounting and auditing continuing professional education course requirement is the “attest function”. Note that Florida Statutes Sec. 473.302(8)(a) & 473.302(8)(c), which define “public accounting”, relate solely to audited, reviewed, and compiled financial statements. In addition, Florida Statutes Sec. 473.302(8)(b) that is cited in your e-mail begins with “one or more types of services involving the use of accounting skills” before the statute refers to “one or more types of tax, management advisory, or consulting services.” In all sincerity, the thrust of the public accountancy statute relates to the “art” practiced by public accountants, distinguishing them from a second class of accountants who, up to now, has received no specific statutory status. Only the Internal Revenue Service, and only most recently, to curb the preparation of fraudulent individual income tax returns, has established the new category of registered tax return preparer. 9. Assuming the correctness of your assertion relating to our Board of Accountancy, I think that the Board believes that it lacks the authority to issue such an interpretative regulation under the existing statute. Permit me to remind you that the attempt to bring specialization to the accounting profession, similar to that of The Florida Bar, died more than two decades ago, presumably because of the United States Supreme Court litigation involving the issue of “holding oneself out” as a certified public accountant. More importantly, governmental auditing clearly falls under the rubric of accounting and auditing, unlike sterling taxation, and, in addition, Florida Administrative Code section 61H1-330035 [Continuing Professional Education/Government Auditing] represents an increase in the minimum requirement to twenty-four hours, which is the absolute opposite of reducing the minimum requirement of accounting and auditing to ground zero. 10. It should be “crystal clear” from the above nine comments that I do not agree with your ultimate conclusion. So in wrapping up this part of the conversation, permit me to raise one more hardly rhetorical question. Looking at the “emptiness” of Internal Revenue Code Sec. 1502 [Regulations], why did the Congress in promulgating the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and most assuredly even before the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, assign the task of issuing not merely interpretative, but rather legislative regulations to the Secretary of the Treasury? The answer is quite simple my learned colleague. The blessed regulators are presumably the only ones with sufficient expertise to draft and then print the final regulations in the Federal Register. It would surely appear that the preparation of consolidated income tax returns for an electing affiliated group demands an understanding of the definitive relationship between accounting and tax concepts in that more than abstruse arena. Very respectfully, Jonathan
146we need change !!!! i perform compilations, but no reviews or audits .... it is a total waste of time and money for me to take courses that have no relevance to my practice ... the 20 hour requirement is just another example of government determining what's best for us ... as a cpa i feel that i can make my own decisions ..............
147CPAs are professional and should recognize their need for AA CPE if needed for their specific practice.
148Why must the FICPA/AICPA continue with the promulgation of new/changing rules and regulations? Of course the "standard answer" to that question is to "protect the interests of Florida CPAs". Some of us who have been at this for awhile are wondering if the real objective is to give the FICPA/AICPA a reason to exist. If you wonder why there is flagging membership you need look no farther than the never ending rules proliferation in an effort to "help us". Please stop trying to help us!!
149The only thing that sets a CPA apart from every other tax preparer or bookkeeper is our ability to attest. If we have a CPA certificate, we should keep current with A&A hours. A general up to date knowledge of the issues is imperative to maintain our competitive edge as a profession and to continue to set us apart and defend our regulatory preferred status.
15020 hours over two years is not a lot.
151Change CPE to a total of 16 hrs per year: 4 A&A, 12 Tax or other technical.
152 The Current System Works.
153In my opinion, we all need to keep updated in the A&A updates regardless of our specialty. We are all professionals and are expected to have a core knowledge. Even if my practice is primarily a Tax practice, there are still clients that require compilations. Our firm has an A&A Department. I can assist in selling A&A services to our tax clients or new clients that need that need our firms A&A services. So having the core A&A knowledge helps me in expanding those firm services to clients. In my opinion 16 hours of A&A would be sufficient to keep updated in the A&A world.
154I believe that our profession (as accountants) need to retain A&A hours. I would ask that some of the "TB' courses offered be reviewed to make sure that they don't have some A&A information also. I would like to see the hours lowered to 16 hrs that would accommodate 2 8 hr courses.
155I often feel like I miss good courses that are relevant to my clients at conferences because I have to sign up for A & A to meet the requirement. I feel some is important for cpas such as myself who issue an occasional compliation report, but 20 hours is definitely too much for a tax practitioner.
156While specialization may improve profitability, I believe a Certified Public Accountant should be well aware of the standards and issues pertaining to the entire universe each of us faces every day. By requiring 20 hours of A&A we can choose to invest in a very narrow or broad spectrum curriculum covering the profession as a whole. Lastly, I would suggest that the 20 hour requirement every two years is hardly onerous.
157I always end up with one to two courses in Governmental or some other area that I do not need. It seems pointless to take the extra course, I do not wan to see the A&A hours disappear because even if you have a tax practice, if the books are on an accrual basis they should still fall within GAAP which changes continuously. i do not believe that dropping the hours to eight or less will give a broad enough overview to assist practioners to stay current.