Indiana Statehouse
Indiana Statehouse

On Friday, House Bill 1467, supported by the Indiana CPA Society, was introduced in the Indiana General Assembly, which will look to "[allow] competency based learning through professional development courses to qualify accountants for accountant certificate renewal," per the draft.

The bill was authored by Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) and co-authored by Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson).

Currently, Indiana CPAs must complete 120 hours of hours-based continuing professional education (CPE) every three years to retain their license as CPA. The proposed bill will let professionals instead take only competency-based education, or a combination of both competency-based and hours-based education, to complete the requirements for CPA license renewal.

"We believe that this is the 'next step' toward significant reform of the requirements for CPA license renewal in Indiana," said INCPAS president & CEO Gary Bolinger, per a statement. "This draft, if enacted, will provide Indiana CPAs with additional flexibility in learning options to renew their Indiana CPA license. It would give the Indiana Board of Accountancy the opportunity to explore this new learning alternative beyond traditional continuing professional education. Competency-based education has been proven to be a much more effective method of learning."

Last year, the Indiana Board of Accountancy approved competency-based education to officially count towards CPA license renewal - the first state to do so. The Indiana General Assembly will be considering competency-based models for both professionals and students this session.

"The Indiana CPA Society is the recognized leader in advocating for competency-based education for CPAs, and other professionals as well," stated John Sauder, INCPAS chairman of the board. "This legislation could have a widespread impact throughout the United States, and begin a transformation of the profession's education system that is long overdue for a major overhaul. Hours-based education simply does not meet the needs of today’s CPAs, and by extension, their clients and employers."

The AICPA's Future of Learning Task Force previously called for changes to continued education in a 2014 report, which included more competency-based education models.

For more on the bill, head to the Indiana General Assembly's site here. For more on the Indiana CPA Society, head to the organization's site here.

Sean McCabe

Sean McCabe is a senior editor with Accounting Today.