Certified public accounting is a profession comprised of individuals regulated and licensed by 54 licensing jurisdictions. The Uniform CPA Examination, administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, is used by the regulatory bodies of all 54 licensing jurisdictions. Boards of accountancy use the exam as a prerequisite for the CPA certificate because it is the primary way to measure the competency of CPA candidates. Despite the profession's agreement on the Uniform CPA Examination, licensing qualifications and other professional requirements vary significantly among the states. The 54 jurisdictions also have varying requirements for continuing professional education (CPE) standards and ethics requirements to maintain the CPA license. If the purpose of CPE is to increase the professional competency of practitioners, the requirements should be the same for every jurisdiction.
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