The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy is looking into administering the Uniform CPA Examination outside the U.S.

At a July 25 meeting in Sunriver, Ore., the NASBA board of directors authorized a joint committee of representatives from NASBA, the American Institute of CPAs and test services provider Prometric to develop a business plan for administering the exam abroad.

John B. Peace (pictured), chair of the joint committee on international delivery of the CPA Exam, told the board that the state boards would play a key role in determining an individual's eligibility to take the exam, approving the candidates' scores and licensing those who are on the path to a CPA license, according to the NASBA State Board Report newsletter.

Those who are not on a path to the CPA license could instead receive an "acknowledgement of accomplishment" from NASBA and the AICPA. The document would state that they have passed the exam and provide information that would help them to maintain another credential aside from CPA.

"We're working on a business plan and hope to have it completed by October," Peace told WebCPA. "At that point, we'll make a decision on which country or countries to start offering the exam in." He noted that there are currently about 7,000 students from outside the U.S. who sit for the CPA Exam every year, and it is often expensive for them to travel to one of the U.S. locations to take the exam. "We're studying the feasibility of offering it in other countries so those candidates would not have to travel those long distances," said Peace.

He expects that the earliest the CPA Exam would be offered outside the U.S. would be the fall of 2009. The business plan is likely to include additional security procedures and a slightly different fee structure than what is in place in the U.S.

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