David Thomas, president of Intacct, which markets online accounting software, has a different take on the experience requirement for CPAs. Instead of working for a public accounting firm, they should be required to spend two years in industry first. "Every time I hire a CPA from a Big firm, it’s a disaster," says Thomas.

Right now the idea seems unique to Thomas. It may not even be workable. And experience requirements obviously have importance. (New York for example, requires 75 percent of non-public accounting experience to be in auditing services, and says the state board can determine how much private or governmental experience is equivalent to public accounting experience.)

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