WSR 01-07-041

PROPOSED RULES

BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY


[ Filed March 15, 2001, 1:37 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-19-010.

Title of Rule: WAC 4-25-720 CPA examination -- Application.

Purpose: To identify the requirements to apply for the CPA exam; to establish one application due date; to eliminate the provision allowing candidates to sit for the exam without having met the education requirements.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Summary: Lists requirements a candidate for the CPA exam must meet to apply for the exam in a clear rule-writing format; establishes one application due date; eliminates the one hundred twenty day provision allowing certain candidates to sit for the exam without having met the board's education requirements.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Clearly identifying the requirements a candidate for the CPA exam must meet to apply for the CPA exam ensures fairness in interpretation and application of the rule for candidates taking the CPA exam.

The proposal to establish one application due date (a received by date) makes the rule less ambiguous and eliminates the confusion (both for applicants and those processing applications) created by having a postmark due date and a received by due date.

Elimination of the one hundred twenty day provision that allows certain candidates to sit for the exam without having met the board's education requirements will affect the requirement for all applicants to demonstrate they meet the board's education requirements will affect the requirement for all applicants to demonstrate they meet the board's education requirements prior to being eligible to take the CPA examination. A good portion of the candidates determined ineligible to take the examination results from an improper understanding of the one hundred twenty day provision and/or incomplete documentation that they will complete the education requirements within one hundred twenty days. Elimination of the one hundred twenty day provision will decrease the number of candidates determined to be ineligible and also decrease the number of appeals.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dana M. McInturff, CPA, 711 South Capitol Way, #400, Olympia, (360) 586-0163.

Name of Proponent: Board of Accountancy, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule outlines the requirements for individuals making application for the CPA exam such as how to file an application, the application due date, timing for completion and documentation of the education requirements, when exam admission notices will be mailed, the passing grade, conditional credit, proctoring, and the completion of an ethics exam. The goal of the amendment is to promote clarity; ensure effective communication; ensure fairness in interpretation and application of the rule; and promote efficiencies through minimizing gray areas.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The amendment: (1) Changes the title of the rule to "What are the requirements to apply for the CPA examination?"; (2) clarifies the application requirements by establishing one application due date - a received by date; (3) eliminates the one hundred twenty day provision that allows certain candidates to sit for the exam without having met the board's education requirements; and (4) is written in a clear rule-writing format.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will not have more than minor economic impact on business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Board of Accountancy is not one of the agencies required to submit to the requirements of RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Capitol Court Building, 110 Capitol Way South, 11th and Capitol Way, Room 135, Olympia, WA, on April 27, 2001, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cheryl Sexton by April 20, 2001, TDD (800) 833-6384, or (360) 664-9194.

Submit Written Comments to: Dana M. McInturff, P.O. Box 9131, Olympia, WA 98507-9131, fax (360) 664-9190, by April 26, 2001.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 27, 2001.

March 15, 2001

Dana M. McInturff, CPA

Executive Director

OTS-4667.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-12-070, filed 5/27/93, effective 7/1/93)

WAC 4-25-720   ((CPA examination -- Application.)) What are the requirements to apply for the CPA examination?   ((Applications to take the certified public accountant examination must be made on a form provided by the board and filed with the board on or before March 1 for the May examination and September 1 for the November examination. Applications for the May examination must be postmarked by March 1 (and received by March 10). Applications for the November examination must be postmarked by September 1 (and received by September 10).

An application will not be considered filed until the examination fee has been received.

An applicant who fails to appear for examination or reexamination shall forfeit the fees charged for examination and reexamination. The board may, upon showing of good cause, refund a portion of the examination fee.

Notice of the time and place of the examination shall be mailed at least ten days prior to the date set for the examination to each candidate whose application to sit for the examination has been approved by the board.

(1) A passing grade for each section shall be seventy-five. The board uses the Advisory Grading Services of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

An applicant, at each sitting of the examination in which the applicant takes any section of the examination, must take all sections not previously passed.

(2) Ethics exam. In addition to the uniform CPA examination, candidates shall be required to pass an examination, or alternatively to complete a course of study, prescribed by or acceptable to the board, in professional ethics.

(3) Proctoring CPA exam candidates. The board may agree to request the assistance of another accountancy board in proctoring Washington's applicants at out-of-state exam sites and may agree to proctor another accountancy board's applicants at a Washington exam site, both subject to space and staffing constraints. The board will not arrange for out-of-state proctoring for applicants domiciled out-of-state who wish to take the uniform CPA exam as Washington candidates. Such applicants must take the CPA exam in Washington on a space available basis.

(4) CPA exam -- Completion of education requirement. A person who has met the education requirement of WAC 4-25-710, or who expects to meet it within one hundred twenty days following the examination, or with respect to whom it has been waived, is eligible to take the uniform CPA examination provided all other requisites have been satisfied. If a person is admitted to the examination on the expectation that he or she will complete the educational requirement within one hundred twenty days, no certificate may be issued, nor credit for the examination or any section of it be given, unless this requirement is in fact completed within that time or within such time as the board in its discretion may determine upon application.)) (1) How to file an application: Your application to take the certified public accountant examination must be made on a form provided by the board and it must be timely filed with the board or its representative. Applications for the May examination must be received by March 10 and applications for the November examination must be received by September 10. An application will not be considered filed until all required documentation and the examination fee have been received. If you fail to appear for examination or reexamination, you will forfeit the fees charged for examination or reexamination. The board may, upon showing of good cause, refund a portion of the examination fee.

(2) Completion of education requirement: To be eligible to take the examination, official transcripts or other documentary evidence acceptable to the board of having met the education requirement of WAC 4-25-710 must be received by the board by the filing date identified in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Admission notice: The board, or its representative, will mail to each candidate whose application has been approved by the board a notice of the time and place of the examination. If your application is approved, this notice will be mailed to you at least ten days prior to the date set for the examination.

(4) Passing grade: A passing grade for each section shall be seventy-five. The board uses the advisory grading services of the AICPA.

(5) Conditional credit: Each time you take the examination you must take all sections you have not previously passed. In order to retain conditional credit for passing a section of the examination, you must pass a minimum of two sections and obtain a grade of fifty on all sections you did not pass.

(6) Proctoring CPA examination candidates: The board may agree to request the assistance of another accountancy board in proctoring Washington's applicants at out-of-state examination sites and may agree to proctor another accountancy board's applicants at a Washington examination site, both subject to space and staffing constraints. The board will not arrange for out-of-state proctoring for applicants domiciled out-of-state who wish to take the examination as Washington candidates.

(7) Ethics examination: In addition to passing the CPA examination, you must pass an ethics examination prescribed by the board.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055. 93-12-070, 4-25-720, filed 5/27/93, effective 7/1/93.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office