AICPA and NASBA Launch Joint Program to Address Path to CPA Licensure

Looking to address growing consternation throughout the profession surrounding the 150-hour course credit requirement to become a licensed CPA, the AICPA and NASBA have teamed up to launch a new post-graduate program in collaboration with the Tulane School of Professional Advancement.

The new Experience, Learn and Earn (ELE) program, which will be offered beginning in January, blends online learning with on-the-job professional experience for college accounting graduates, offering a less costly and more flexible way to complete the 150-hour requirement. Accounting majors who have completed their bachelor’s degree and core accounting classes but possess fewer than the 150 credit hours required for licensure will join an ELE-affiliated firm as a paid staff member and earn up to 30 university credits through self-study online courses, with firms agreeing to provide time during the week for course work.

Tulane will offer an initial library of courses in topic areas relevant to a student’s career in accounting, as well as others that firms believe will jump-start participating associates’ careers. As the program grows, AICPA and NASBA expect additional courses to be added from other universities, allowing participants and firms to customize their plans.

“Lessons from this pilot will be applied to extensions of the program at other universities, with the idea the initiative can grow quickly to meet the demand nationally,” says NASBA president and CEO Ken Bishop. “The ELE program reinforces the rigor we want reflected in CPA licensure with the needed flexibility and support for today’s accounting graduates.”

Firms interested in participating in the ELE pilot can find more information at


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