6 Things to Know About the State Board's New Regulations
In my previous article, “6 Things to Know About Recent Accountancy Act Changes” from the May/June 2019 issue of New Jersey CPA, I highlighted the most important things to know about changes to New Jersey’s Accountancy Act that were effective at the end of January. Those changes represented the first act of a two-act play. On Sept. 3, 2019, act two — the revised regulations of the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy — was published in the New Jersey Register and became effective immediately. The following summarizes six of the most significant changes to the regulations that you need to know.
The use of testimonial or laudatory statements in advertising was previously prohibited by NJAC 13:29-3.10, but that provision has now been deleted. Also, new regulations regarding advertising include the prohibition of the use of coercion or harassing conduct, and advertising that implies the licensee’s ability to influence regulatory bodies.
- Applying for Exemptions to Peer Review
There is a significant change in NJAC 13:29-5.4(b) for those firms that seek exemptions to submitting to peer review. Firms that do not perform services that would require peer review are no longer required to file a request for an annual exemption. Instead, the new regulations require firms that qualify for exemption to submit a request no later than June 30 of the first year the exemption is sought and then for each subsequent triennial firm registration renewal period. An explanation of the services provided by the firm must be included. It is believed that the Board will attempt to allow exemption requests for subsequent renewal periods to be made at the time of the firm registration renewal process.
- CPE Credit Requirements
The revised regulations, NJAC 13:29-6.2, include changes to the number of required CPE credits for technical subjects and other subjects. Credit requirements have changed from the previous 72 credits to 60 credits for technical subjects and up to 56 credits, previously up to 44 credits, for other subjects. These changes are consistent with 2016 changes to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) CPE standards. Note that there is no change to the 24-credit Accounting & Auditing requirement for licensees engaged in public practice.
- CPE Credit for College/University Courses
Previously, a licensee who took college/university courses that satisfied the CPE subject matter requirements could earn CPE credits. NJAC 13:29-6.5(a)2ii has been amended to clarify that CPE credit will no longer be granted for licensees who attend such courses to the extent that a similar course was previously used to satisfy the licensee’s 120- or 150-credit educational requirement for initial licensure. Also, no credit will be awarded for CPA Exam preparation or review courses.
- Nano Learning and Blended Learning CPE
NJAC 29-6.5(a)6 recognizes nano learning and NJAC 29-6.5(a)4 recognizes blended learning programs as acceptable credits. Nano learning offers CPE in 10-minute increments via electronic media. A blended learning program offers multiple formats or delivery methods, including lectures, discussion, case studies, simulations and more. These types of CPE programs were included in the 2016 changes to the AICPA and NASBA CPE Standards.
- CPE Credit for Instructing College/University Courses
NJAC 13:29-6.5(c)2 includes amended language that changes the regulations for licensees who instruct college/university courses. This change is similar to the change at 13:29-6.5(a)2ii in that CPE credit will not be awarded for instructing college/university courses to the extent that a similar course was previously used to satisfy the instructor’s (licensee’s) 120- or 150-credit educational requirement for initial licensure. Also, no credit will be awarded for instruction of CPA Exam preparation or review courses.
Thus, it appears that these changes and the changes to the Accountancy Act that became effective last January conclude the current changes to the laws and regulations that govern our licenses. However, it is always wise to check the NJCPA website (njcpa.org) to keep an eye on any future proposed changes to the Accountancy Act and Board regulations. NJCPA Law and Ethics programs have also been updated to include these changes.
This article appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.