NASBA

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy

Accounting plays a vital role in the economy, some of which include making sure that businesses are maintaining good practices, helping promote transparency by having a universal standard of accounting and reporting, and organizing companies' financial statements.

It is largely licensed and regulated at the state level. However, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) acts as a representative for the needs of all the state accountancy boards and aims to create a healthy relationship between accountants and the public.

Accounting keeps a business running

Ethics are of the highest priority for them as it is crucial to their mission statement and is part of many of their values. They feel that it is their responsibility to educate and enforce ethical practices and integrity both internally and externally to state accountancy boards, accountants, and stakeholders.

Transparency is a core tenet, and they focus on making sure their practices are as transparent as possible to help maintain a high standard of ethics and integrity.

NASBA acts as a representative for the state accountancy boards at national and international levels and serves as a forum for communication between boards and between boards and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). They also deliver important information to state accountancy boards regarding legislation by state and federal regulators.

In addition, it provides many services to improve the efficiency and good practices of state accountancy boards.

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What is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)?

NASBA is an organization that is primarily concerned with enhancing the services and efficiency of state accountancy boards. Founded in 1908, they are dedicated to promoting the growth and development of the accounting profession and work with the 56 state accountancy boards in the United States to achieve the highest possible standards.

It maintains a platform where those in the accounting industry – both regulators and practitioners – can discuss and find a resolution to issues affecting the reliability and practical functioning of the accounting profession.

Open forum for discussion

Public accountancy is regulated at the state level, with each state maintaining an independent board of accountancy that defines and upholds standards. As a result, each state accountancy board administers the Uniform CPA Examination and enforces state legislation surrounding the accounting profession.

To become a Certified Public Account (CPA), a candidate has to meet certain requirements to be eligible to register and take the examination through its state accountancy board, with each state having different requirements.

The National Association Of State Boards Of Accountancy strongly believes in maintaining a healthy relationship between the accounting profession and the public, believing that trust in accountants and the services they provide are essential to a healthy economy. To do this, they promote ethics and integrity, provide as much transparency as possible, and work to ensure uniformity in enforcement practices of the state accountancy boards. 

It serves as a collective voice for the state accountancy boards on national and international issues and serves as a forum for communication between the state accountancy boards and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It also develops educational material and tools for the state accountancy boards.

Finally, it improves the efficiency of state accountancy boards in many ways, by offering to overlook and, in many cases, handle responsibilities of the state accountancy boards. 

State Boards

They also keep track of legislation for state accountancy boards and notify them about relevant legislation being passed federally or in the state that affects their jurisdiction. They also lead the Center for Public Trust (CPT), which advocates for good morals and ethical business practices.

Perhaps most importantly, they receive Uniform CPA Exam grades from the AICPA, matches exam results with candidates, and send the results to the relevant state accountancy boards. In addition, many states report scores online through them, which also holds records of candidates that have passed the exam.

They also work together with AICPA to approve accounting board standards and ensure good practices. They communicate with other countries, coordinating mutual recognition agreements with Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, and New Zealand.

They also work together to administer the International Qualification Examination (IQEX), an alternative to the Universal CPA Exam offered to eligible candidates from countries that have a mutual recognition agreement with the United States.

NASBA's Values

NASBA is committed to several core principles that it has created to better do its job. These values keep it committed to its goals and help them achieve a certain standard. Its mission is to "Enhance the effectiveness and advance the common interests of the Boards of Accountancy." 

It is particularly concerned with the integrity of public accountants and hopes to ensure that CPAs always meet the expected standards. To this end, the association is committed to ensuring transparency in its operations. They also regulate the accounting profession to have a higher amount of trust towards accountants.

Setting the right standards

Beyond just a healthy relationship with the public, they resolve to have a healthy corporate atmosphere for those associated with it by treating them with respect and listening to what they say. In addition, teamwork is valued highly, and the association aims to promote creativity and a diverse and fun work environment, which also values integrity and accountability not only of itself but also of its employees.

It also likes to manage its resources and be effective in its services to others. The organization is committed to providing the best possible quality of its services and emphasizes the company's devotion to integrity.

They proudly emphasize their values and are committed to delivering them to the public, their associates, and other beneficiaries of their services. Integrity and excellence are characteristics that are incredibly important to the organization that they urge their employees and accountants to maintain.

To ensure an ethical profession, they consider it their duty to educate stakeholders on their code of ethics and regulate the accounting profession to be the most transparent and reliable it can be.

NASBA Objectives

NASBA maintains a list of relevant objectives that they aim to achieve in several different areas.

  • Relationships:

They find that maintaining productive and healthy relationships with those they interact with is essential to business. This is accomplished by making an effort to understand the needs of state accountancy boards and listening to their perspectives on regulation around accounting, and providing resources to meet the board's needs. They also hope to facilitate relationships between boards, the AICPA, and other organizations. Further, they aim to develop and maintain strong relationships with relevant regulators, organizations, and stakeholders.

  • Advocate for Effective State-Based Regulation:

This objective includes working with regulatory agencies to promote the common goals of the state accountancy boards, maintaining integrity within the boards, and communicating the board's goals to state regulators and stakeholders.

Nasba's objectives

  • Enforcement:

They promote uniformity in the enforcement of regulation among state accountancy boards and ensure a fair peer-review process. They also develop educational materials for the boards to meet good ethical standards and common goals.

  • Effective Communication:

One of their biggest concerns is effective communication. Their job is to effectively facilitate communication between state accountancy boards, stakeholders, federal and state regulators, the AICPA, and international organizations. It requires a forum for discussion and passing on relevant information to the correct organizations.

  • Operational Sustainability:

Efficiency and excellence are important values, and they promote it heavily among state accountancy boards and other organizations and CPAs themselves. They focus on this objective in several ways, including monitoring satisfaction, ensuring mission-focused growth of members, storing data, and utilizing technology.

  • Diversity:

Diversity and inclusion are also part of their objectives. They maintain a diversity program and aim to make their organization and other organizations as inclusive as possible. They also hope to be transparent in opportunities and programs available to volunteers of any background and encourage everyone's involvement.

  • Legislative & Regulatory Support:

They follow state and federal legislative information and communicate its effects to state accountancy boards whose jurisdiction is affected. They also hope to maintain relationships with regulatory agencies and legislators, advocate for state accountancy boards, and advance common goals.

  • Ethics:

Ethics is a critical part of their mission, and they address this through education of their stakeholders, encouraging ethical behavior of state accountancy boards, and promoting the CPT.

  • Education & Training:

They offer curriculums based on state accountancy boards' unique needs and goals to assist in training and provide additional resources for state board members or staff seeking further education. Furthermore, they hold regular meetings for sharing information and staying up to date with current practices and information.

  • Emerging Issues:

They constantly monitor legislation, practices of the state accountancy board, and relevant information to identify emerging issues. They find it their responsibility to communicate this information to the boards and make sure they understand the implications of their work.

Identifying issues

  • CPA Pipeline:

One of their key objectives is to help candidates become CPAs so that there is never a shortage of accountants. Accountants are an important part of many businesses and government bodies, and so it is important to help facilitate the process. They promote this career path in several ways and coordinate with stakeholders, and make sure that what is tested on the Uniform CPA Exam is relevant and useful for today's field of accountants.

  • Leadership Development:

They are committed to finding and helping to create leaders from within the accounting profession. This is advanced by identifying potential leaders, providing candidates with mentoring, training, and opportunities to engage and practice leadership, and promoting the visibility of leaders by advertising them to stakeholders.

  • Technology Support:

One of their objectives is to ensure that technology is being utilized efficiently and productively. Technology is a great way to enhance services in many different ways. Hence, it is crucial to help state accountancy boards implement technology to solve problems or enhance their procedures.

NASBA, AICPA, and State Accountancy Boards

NASBA has many functions, the most notable being promoting and overseeing the United States' 56 state accountancy boards. It does this by providing a platform for those in the accounting profession – both regulators and practitioners – to discuss issues affecting the reliability, practical functioning, and profitability of the accounting profession. 

It also works closely with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA is an organization that represents the interests of CPAs. It takes on a much larger role in the process of becoming a CPA. It creates and grades the Universal CPA Exam before sending this info to NASBA. It also creates the code of ethics for auditing, which determines the processes for auditing various organizations such as private companies, governmental bodies, non-profit organizations. 

Until 1970 AICPA was also responsible for setting the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) until they gave the responsibility to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). NASBA provides a platform through which the AICPA and the state accountancy boards can converse and resolve issues.

Harmony among various stakeholders

State accountancy boards have many responsibilities. One of their tasks is to review each candidate's eligibility for taking the profession's licensing examination. They also verify the completion of the Uniform CPA Examination and assess candidates' supervised experience. 

One of the state accountancy boards' largest roles is hearing disciplinary cases of licensees accused of substandard performance, ethics violations, or disciplinary sanctions from another state's jurisdiction. Sanctions brought against violators include various penalties such as fines, cease and desist, or even revocation of a person's accounting license. 

Beyond the licensing and registration of CPAs, state accountancy boards have expanded their role to give information about various topics regarding licensing and accounting, and some even have monthly newsletters.

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More Resources

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Patrick Curtis is a member of WSO Editorial Board which helps ensure the accuracy of content across top articles on Wall Street Oasis. He has experience in investment banking at Rothschild and private equity at Tailwind Capital along with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He is also the founder and current CEO of Wall Street Oasis This content was originally created by member WallStreetOasis.com and has evolved with the help of our mentors.