The American Institute of CPAs has decided to consolidate its continuing professional education operations in North Carolina, which will result in the closure of its Texas office by next March.

The AICPA sent word of the move last Wednesday to the employees in its offices in Lewisville, Texas. They and a smaller number of employees in the AICPA’s offices in New York City are expected to move to the Institute’s offices in Durham, N.C., starting this fall. The move is expected to be finished in March 2012 and will add about 45 to 50 more people to the Durham office.

"We are concerned about ensuring that we provide a good, comprehensive, integrated set of experiences for our members as they adjust their practice to cope with changes in U.S. GAAP and taxes," said Craig Mills, vice president of examinations and continuing professional education at the AICPA, told Accounting Today. "In doing that we want to make sure that we get them timely information, the kind of information that they need and that it is well coordinated. There are certain times where you want awareness. There are other times where you want training. There are other times where you want technical guidance. And we feel that by moving the CPE organization over to Durham where we already have conferences, publications and some of our specialized communities, we will be able to facilitate that support for our members much more seamlessly."

He added that the AICPA has been seeing a large increase in people interested in online learning. Mills said that about 37 to 38 people in Texas, and another six in New York, will be affected by the move. Although some of the jobs may be changing, all of the affected employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate, and will receive assistance with house-hunting, inckuding a realtor to help them find another place to live in the Durham area.

For those who choose not to relocate, the AICPA will provide them with outplacement services such as resume writing and interviewing skills, along with counselors with whom they can talk about their concerns.

“AICPA members need high-quality information and training to keep up with unprecedented change in our profession and to realize even more success in their own practices,” the AICPA said in a statement emailed to Accounting Today. “To better provide these services, we are consolidating all CPE operations in a central location. CPE operations currently located in Texas and New York will move to North Carolina, adding approximately 45 positions at our Durham campus. The decision will result in the closure of our Texas office, but many employees there will be offered the opportunity to relocate.”

“The decision to consolidate operations in Durham has been made carefully and strategically, and with extensive deliberation and great concern for the effects on our staff,” the AICPA added. “The transition will begin this fall and conclude in March 2012, a timeline created in part to minimize the disruption for employees who choose to relocate to Durham and for those who choose to pursue opportunities outside the Institute. “

“Indeed, AICPA is committed to the well-being of our employees as we pursue the best interests of our members," the statement continued. "We firmly believe the decision to consolidate CPE in one location will improve coordination with other AICPA divisions and enhance our offerings, strengthening the CPA profession and creating more opportunities for members and staff.”

The AICPA decided in 2005 to relocate about 400 employees from its Jersey City offices to Durham, N.C., but experienced a high attrition rate of employees who didn't make the move.

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