Leave it in! Analyzing the responses to a proposal to remove governmental accounting from the certified public accountant examination

Leveraging lobbying theory, we analyze responses to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s (AICPA) proposal suggesting the removal of state and local governmental accounting from the content tested on the uniform certified public accountant (CPA) examination. Furthermore, we compare the responses to a prior exam content review to place the uniqueness of the more recent response in perspective. We examine 181 comment letters obtained from the AICPA website. In addition, the relative concentration of governmental entities across the United States is studied for correlation with the response rate. Consistent with lobbying theory, we find that participating governmental entities overwhelmingly argued for the retention of governmental accounting. In contrast, most other groups of respondents (accounting firms, state societies, etc.)had at least one letter that agrees with the removal of the content. While the letter writers appear to be successful in retaining the governmental accounting content on the CPA exam, the majority of the detailed content has been placed within a specialized area on the new version of the CPA exam, expected to be deployed in 2024. This means that fewer CPA candidates will be exposed to governmental accounting than under the current regime. It has implications for governmental units seeking qualified candidates to fill their staffing needs especially as fewer universities offer governmental accounting courses.

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Work Title Leave it in! Analyzing the responses to a proposal to remove governmental accounting from the certified public accountant examination
Open Access
  1. Renee Flasher
  2. Lydia Didia
  3. Justyna Skomra
  1. Comment letter
  2. CPA exam
  3. CPA evolution
  4. Government accounting
  5. Lobbying theory
License CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, & Financial Management
Publication Date May 2, 2023
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1108/JPBAFM-09-2022-0148
Deposited May 16, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Added Creator Renee Flasher
  • Added Creator Justyna Skomra
  • Added Creator Lydia Didia
  • Added Attached standard file_.PDF
  • Updated Publication Date, License Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 02-Apr-2023
    • 2023-05-02
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher Show Changes
    • Comment letter, CPA exam, CPA evolution, Government accounting, Lobbying theory
    • Emerald Publishing Limited
    • Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, & Financial Management
  • Updated Creator Justyna Skomra
  • Updated Creator Lydia Didia
  • Updated