FOCUS on chairman’s message

Neil Jay, CPA, ABV, is the managing shareholder of Jay & Associates, PC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A member for 18 years, he has previously chaired   Gold Pen Award recipient.

his is my first letter since we all celebrated the OSCPA Centennial. What a great time and a fantastic event! I can’t thank the members of the Centennial Committee and the OSCPA staff enough for their tireless efforts. Since then, there have been a couple of new developments within the AICPA. I’d like to take a moment to discuss those. I believe now is the time to engage all CPAs regarding the direction of the profession, some of the CPA sub-credentials and the CPA credential. I would like to start with the most recent AICPA

Council vote regarding changes to the business valuation credential, the ABV. Te ABV was created about 20 years ago and has since operated as a CPA sub-credential. During the AICPA Council meeting last spring, the Council voted in favor of allowing non-CPAs (other qualified professionals or OQPs) with valuation experience an opportunity to obtain the ABV (See the presentation and vote at Te approval process and vote itself was met with strong opposition from a group of current ABVs who issued an open letter to the AICPA ( Similarly, other business valuation committees in other state CPA associations are drafting their own response letters. Illustrating these opinions are not outliers, a survey of ABVs revealed 94 percent did not agree with the Council vote ( In a July issue of BVWire (, the publication reported, “In a response to harsh criticism, the AICPA has acknowledged that it could have handled the decision process better regarding the change in eligibility for the ABV credential.” Whether you are for or against the vote, it is my

sincerest wish that the AICPA will employ more thorough and transparent communication tactics, specifically with members most directly affected by issues up for a vote. After its admission, perhaps the AICPA should re-consider or allow a re-vote allowing proper representation from both sides of the issue. While adding additional credential holders is a noble pursuit, it could result in a significant loss of existing ABVs. However, a second issue is that I feel was successfully

handled by all involved is the discussion regarding changes to the CPA credential. NASBA and the AICPA have been discussing various alternate “pathways” for acquiring the CPA designation. Both groups have spent lots of time researching technology and projecting futures of the CPA profession. Based on their review of the future of auditing, they have identified techniques and skills that will change and some that will be eliminated with the increasing potential of artificial intelligence. Based on these anticipated changes, AICPA and NASBA proposed that individuals with a “less broad” understanding of accounting, but significant technological skills regarding audit processes should be

4 CPAFOCUS September/October 2018

Are we on the right “pathway?” T

By Neil Jay, CPA, ABV

able to obtain CPA certificates. Te certificate would be obtained through an expansion of the existing CPA exam to include additional parts in which these individuals could pass alternative sections appropriate to the application of these technologies (https://nasba. org/blog/2017/11/29/envisioning-a-new-pathway-to- cpa/). AICPA and OSCPA members, as well as members of other state CPA organizations, after learning of the existing issue, provided feedback. In the President’s Memo in a recent NASBA newsletter, NASBA President and CEO Ken L. Bishop wrote, “Te culmination of that process for NASBA took place at the regional meetings, where thoughtful and passionate discussions occurred. Saying that there was a ‘lack of support’ for the two-path concept would be an understatement: In fact, there was strong and consistent opposition to the concept…After listening to and reflecting upon your feedback, by the end of the Western Regional Meeting I had advised NASBA’s governance leadership that I no longer supported pursuing the two-pathway concept and suggested we consider a new approach… I am optimistic that we can quickly pivot to a new course of action that addresses the need for change with as little disruption to the current pipeline and marketplace as possible. Hopefully, we will have a new approach fleshed out by the NASBA Annual Meeting in late October.” I have heard multiple views—pros and cons—on each issue. I encourage open dialogue on all professional issues. Your OSCPA leaders represent more than 6,000 CPAs across Oklahoma and, because we steadfastly protect the CPA designation, we want to make sure you receive information on issues affecting the profession and that your voice is heard. You can post comments on Evolve ( or you can email me at Additionally, consider volunteering for OSCPA committees and becoming a board member so you can have hands-on experience in steering the direction of our profession. Tis issue explores advocacy and legislation issues, so what better time to look at the issues, decide where you stand and make a choice to be involved? Get started today by donating to the CPA-PAC, volunteering to be a legislative contact or circling February 2019 on your calendar for CPA Day at the Capitol. If you have any questions about these activities, contact OSCPA President and CEO Blaine Peterson, CPA, JD, at As we approach what is shaping up to be an

interesting November ballot, let us remember to participate in our democracy as individuals with rights and responsibilities, respect each other’s views and understand that we are all striving for a better tomorrow. Get out and vote!

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