RD450 - Virginia Board of Accountancy Biennial Report FY2019-2020

Executive Summary:

The Virginia Board of Accountancy (VBOA) is pleased to present the biennial report. The core mission of the VBOA is to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth through a regulatory program of licensure and compliance of CPAs and CPA firms. The work of the Board members and the staff to achieve this mission can often be challenging and at times complex.

VBOA has a board of seven dedicated individuals appointed by the Governor. The Board has six actively licensed CPAs and one public member. They meet regularly and actively participate in enforcement activities to ensure VBOA is fulfilling its mission. In addition to the Board, there are 14 dedicated staff members supporting our Board members, exam candidates, license applicants, the public, and our almost 30,000 Active CPAs.

VBOA is a non-general fund agency, relying on licensing, renewal and application fees, which are among some of the lowest in the nation. In August 2019, the Governor transferred the administrative authority of the VBOA to the Secretary of Finance to closely align the responsibilities of the two offices. VBOA had formerly been under the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

Enforcement is an important component of protecting the public. The Board is charged with the responsibility to enforce the rules and procedures as defined by the Code of Virginia Title 54, Chapter 44. This is accomplished through the VBOA Enforcement team who are responsible for reviewing and investigating complaints against Virginia licensees, expired licensees or non-licensees using the CPA title or performing services in Virginia restricted to CPAs. They are also responsible for the random audits of continuing professional education requirements for Active CPAs.

VBOA actively collaborates with the other 54 state boards of accountancy and other key partners on a variety of issues that affect exam candidates, license applicants and licensed CPAs. Recent key topics include changes to the Uniform CPA Examination, actions in response to COVID-19, monitoring state regulations, and developing mobility across states for CPA license holders.

The staff and Board have accomplished many initiatives and responded to changes over the past two years. Recently, the most significant was the impact of COVID-19 on all our exam candidates and new license applications. We maintained full operations throughout the crisis so we could be here to assist licensees, exam candidates and the public. The Board continued to meet and adopted several accommodations during this period including extending exam credits and providing extensions for peer review.

VBOA recently launched their new website that has greatly improved our user experiences. We are also upgrading and moving our current licensing system to the cloud. These improvements should help users quickly find and complete the needed resources.

The VBOA Board and staff continue to work diligently to provide assurance to the citizens of the Commonwealth that the individuals and firms we entrust to practice in public accounting meet certain professional standards.