BOA, AICPA and NASBA-oh my!
There are several bodies of governance that work together to make the title of CPA possible. Get to know them and how they interact below.
What Are BOAs?
Issued at the jurisdiction level, CPA licenses are granted by a Board of Accountancy (BOA) in one of the 55 US jurisdictions. These BOAs are made up of appointed individuals and staff (many of whom are CPAs) who are charged with the responsibility of carrying out the laws in place for granting CPA licensure. Each BOA is an administrative agency that handles the day-to-day operations that regulate the practice of accountancy and, in some cases, contracts out certain examination-related tasks like the review of applications and collection of exam fees.
Who Is NASAB
All of the 55 US and territorial BOAs are members of NASBA, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. NASBA exists to serve its members by providing numerous services that encourage common understanding and practices to promote uniformity across the country to facilitate interstate practice. NASBA takes on the role of a central clearing house where all jurisdictions submit information on eligible candidates and from which all jurisdictions receive advisory scores and other examination data.
What Is A Non-NASAB State
All jurisdictional BOAs are members of NASBA, but not all BOAs use NASBA in the release of exam scores. Let's start at the beginning of the chain: it's a common misconception that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) distributes scores to the CPA exam. The AICPA scores the exam, then sends the results to NASBA, which matches the scores to individual candidates. NASBA then forwards the scores to BOAs for approval. Here's where the process takes one of two paths: in some states, the BOA for that jurisdiction releases the scores directly. In others, the BOA approves the scores, then gives NASBA the go-ahead to release the scores itself. if you live in one of the following states, sometimes called "non-NASBA" states, you'll get your score directly from your BOA, not NASBA:
District of Colombia
To get a complete list of the rules, requirements and fees related to CPA exam and licensure, your jurisdiction's BOA is your best resource.