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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 35, NUMBER 16
MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2003
RULE PROPOSAL

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
Applications For Original Examination; Education And Experience Requirements


Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6

Authorized By: New Jersey State Board of Accountancy, Elaine DeMars, Acting Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:2B-48 and 45:1-15.1.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2003-341.

Submit comments by October 17, 2003 to:

Elaine DeMars, Acting Executive Director

New Jersey State Board of Accountancy

124 Halsey Street

PO Box 45000

Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to the general rulemaking authority set forth at N.J.S.A. 45:2B- 48(b) and 45:1-15.1, the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy (the Board) is proposing an amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6, concerning the requirements that applicants for licensure must satisfy. The Board is proposing the amendment in order to implement the relevant provisions of P.L. 2001, c.149, which supplements the provisions of the Accountancy Act, N.J.S.A. 45:2B-42 et seq. The amendatory act and the proposed amendment at N.J.A.C. 13:29- 1.6(c) provide that an applicant for original examination for licensure as a certified public accountant may take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination before having satisfied the education requirements for licensure, provided the applicant meets certain criteria. Specifically, the applicant must qualify for licensure before July 1, 2005, and must have a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education. Applicants who qualify to sit for the examination under the proposed amendment, however, will not be granted a license to engage in the practice of public accounting until they have completed the additional hours of education required for licensure by N.J.S.A. 45:2B-49(c)2 and N.J.A.C. 13:29- 1.6(b).

In addition to the new provision proposed as new subsection (c) of N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6, existing subsection (c) will be recodified, with technical changes, as subsection (d). Existing subsections (d) through (g) are proposed to be recodified as subsections (e) through (h), without change.

The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board believes that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6 will have a positive impact upon applicants for licensure who apply to the Board prior to July 1, 2005. Pursuant to the proposed amendment, an applicant who has a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited institution of higher education will be permitted to take the licensure examination prior to having completed the additional hours of education required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:2B-49(c)2 and N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6(b). The Board believes that the proposed amendment will provide qualified applicants with greater flexibility in completing the requirements for obtaining a license.

Economic Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have an economic impact upon applicants for licensure. Although the proposed amendment will permit qualified applicants to sit for the licensing examination prior to completing the educational requirements for licensure, applicants will not be granted a license until the educational requirements of N.J.S.A. 45:2B-49(c) 2 and N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6(b) are satisfied. As a result, applicants will not be economically advantaged or disadvantaged by the decision to sit for the examination prior to completing their education.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendment is governed by N.J.S.A. 45:2B-42 et seq., and is not subject to any Federal standards or requirements.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will result in the creation or the loss of jobs in the State because the requirements for licensure remain unchanged.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry of the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., requires the Board to provide a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposed amendment will apply. Currently, the Board licenses approximately 19,637 accountants. If Board licensees are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Act, then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposed amendment, including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposed amendment, to outline the manner in which it has designed the proposed amendment to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses, and to set forth whether the proposed amendment establishes differing compliance requirements for small businesses.

The proposed amendment does not impose any reporting, recordkeeping or compliance requirements upon Board licensees. The proposed amendment, however, imposes compliance requirements upon applicants for licensure, to the extent that an applicant applying for licensure prior to July 1, 2005, who has a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education, must complete the 150 semester hours of education provided for in N.J.A.C. 13:29-1.6(b) prior to being issued a license by the Board.

No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendment nor, as discussed in the Economic Impact above, will the proposed amendment impose any additional economic costs upon licensees. The Board is proposing the amendment in order to ensure that its rules are consistent with the provisions of the Accountancy Act and, therefore, the Board believes that the proposed amendment should be uniformly applied to all applicants seeking licensure. As a result, no differing compliance requirements for any applicants for licensure are provided based upon size.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows:

<< NJ ADC 13:29-1.6 >>

13:29-1.6 Applications for original examination; education and experience requirements (a) (No change.)

(b) <<-An->> <<+Except as provided in (c) below, an+>> applicant for original examination shall satisfy the following educational requirements <<+ in order to qualify for licensure+>>:

1.-2. (No change.)

<<+(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of (b) above, an applicant who applies prior to July 1, 2005, shall qualify for examination if the applicant has a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Commission on Higher Education. Such applicant, however, shall not be issued a license until successful completion of at least 150 semester hours of education, as set forth in (b)2 above.+>>

<<-(c)->><<+(d)+>> An applicant for examination for the Certified Public Accountant's license who meets the requirements of (b) <<+or (c)+>> above to the Board's satisfaction shall be granted admission to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.

<<-(d)->><<+(e) +>>(No change in text.)

<<-(e)->><<+(f)+>> In lieu of the experience required in <<- (d)->> <<+(e)+>> above, the Board shall accept four or more years of experience obtained by an applicant, prior to April 6, 1998, working in government, industry or education without the supervision of a licensed public accountant or a certified public accountant. The Board shall accept such experience until April 6, 2004.

<<-(f)->><<+(g)+>> In lieu of the experience required in <<- (d)->> <<+(e)+>> above, the Board shall accept four or more years of experience obtained by an applicant, on or after April 6, 1998, working in government, industry or education without the supervision of a licensed public accountant or a certified public accountant. The Board shall accept such experience until April 6, 2002.

<<-(g)->><<+(h)+>> (No change in text.)



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Posted August 2003