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New CPE model focuses on professional competency ... Council awards Medal of Honor to Sommer ... Kessler named IMA's Executive of the Year ... Accounting and Auditing Hotline improves e-mail access ... CPA Vision campaign cited for excellent communications ... Directory of member services

CPAs Move to Revamp CPE

This fall the AICPA and NASBA expect to issue revised continuing professional education (CPE) standards that cover the direction and content of new learning methods for CPAs. The objective is to establish a broader CPE curriculum with work-study exercises that will reflect continuing changes in the marketplace.

Nita Clyde, chairwoman of the AICPA CPE standards subcommittee and a partner at Clyde Associates in Dallas, said that with CPAs facing new challenges, the learning curve is more dynamic than ever before. The proposed "outcome-based" CPE model focuses on enhancements in professional competency rather than on the number of study hours completed. (See "CPE Is Broke; Let's Fix it," Dec.98, JofA, page 77.)

As Clyde points out, "what CPAs take away from CPE is an updated learning experience that will be broad-based, flexible and highly individual in nature."

The revised standards are expected to recognize self-directed learning and on-the-job accomplishments as a valid study program, establish a comprehensive methodology for measuring CPE credit and introduce a new player in the process--a program reviewer--who will evaluate a participant's self-assessment learning plan if more than 50% of CPE credit is sought through self-directed study. The evaluator or reviewer can be someone with relevant experience, background and knowledge of what a CPA does--perhaps even a colleague or supervisor.

Under the new "learning plans," CPAs can assess for themselves gaps in their knowledge and determine needed skills and competencies to fulfill their educational objectives, professional needs and job responsibilities.

This competency-based learning program aligns itself with the institute's CPA Vision initiative approved by the profession. The new program will continue to be competency-based and service-oriented, will respond to the marketplace and result in a practical, improved work product at the end of the day.

Clyde added, "Once the standards are accepted by the AICPA and NASBA, they would be effective as far as the AICPA membership is concerned, but CPAs are also bound by their respective state boards of accountancy. So, each state board of accountancy will have to agree to the joint standards before they become the rule in the relevant jurisdictions."

An exposure draft of the standards was issued in February 2000 (see www. aicpa.org/cpe/downcpe.htm).

Technical Hotline Invites Questions by E-Mail

Members now have an alternative to calling the AICPA Accounting and Auditing Technical Hotline or posting a question on www.aicpa.org. For the most efficient service, questions on accounting, auditing, attestation or SSARS issues should be e-mailed to a recently established, special Internet post-office box, aahotline@aicpa.org.

After receiving an e-mail inquiry, the hotline staff will research the answer and then phone the member, continuing the tradition of providing live responses to technical questions.

Questions generally will be answered on the same day--or within 24 hours at the latest--except where extensive research is required. Specific deadlines will be accommodated whenever possible. (The hotline staff still will not provide technical advice in writing.)

When submitting a question by e-mail, members should specify their telephone number and a deadline, if applicable. They should use the "subject" field of the message to summarize the technical issue. In the near future, the hotline will provide a special consultation form for submitting questions.

Members also may continue to use the free hotline service as they have in the past by calling 888-777-7077, faxing questions to 212-596-6233 or posting inquiries to www.aicpa.org.

CPA Vision Campaign Wins Honors

The CPA Vision communications campaign has received critical acclaim. The CPA Vision campaign won a Crystal Award of Excellence in the organizational/corporate image category and the CPA Vision Final Report won a Communicator Award of Distinction for Excellence in Writing.

These honors were conferred by Communicator Awards of Arlington, Texas, an organization that recognizes outstanding work in the communications field. Other prize-winners of note included Ford Motor Co., General Mills, Inc., and Hilton Hotels Corp.

Also cited for special achievement were the campaign's two videos, which were judged to be among the best in a field of more than 2,000 competing entries. The CPA Vision "Futurist" video won the Videographer Award of Excellence and the "CPA Image" television commercial got honorable mention.

These awards put the campaign's videos in the company of such notable winners as Nike, Inc., ABC News and Lockheed Martin Corp.

IMA Hails Kessler As Model Executive

The Institute of Management Accountants' New York chapter presented its Executive of the Year Award to Stuart Kessler, CPA/PFS.

Kessler, a senior tax partner of Goldstein Golub Kessler LLP, was chairman of the AICPA board of directors and president of the New York State Society of CPAs.

This distinction goes to individuals who have made significant contributions to management accounting in the New York metropolitan area.

Institute Honor to A.A. Sommer

In recognition of his extensive contributions to the profession in accounting, corporate and securities matters, the AICPA governing council presented A.A. Sommer, Jr., with its Medal of Honor. Accompanying him at the presentation ceremony was his wife, Storrow. Sommer was chairman of the Public Oversight Board from 1986 through 1999, served as commissioner of the SEC from 1973 to 1976, and was a member of the AICPA board of directors (1980-1984) and the FASB advisory council (1977-1981).
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Aug 1, 2000
Words:917
Previous Article:Technology Q&A.
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