The Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) is the product of a joint effort by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. It is intended to serve as a model for public accountancy legislation by the individual states, and is designed to protect the public interest, promote high professional standards, and advance the goal of uniformity across jurisdictions. In response to growing dissatisfaction with the current status of professional accountancy regulation, the UAA was substantially revised in 1998. Based on existing rationales for governmental involvement in occupational licensing, we assess whether selected changes reflected in the revised UAA are consistent with its stated public interest objective. We conclude that many, but not all, of these changes are in the public interest. Based on an economic theory of regulation, the paper also examines the likelihood that the states will adopt the proposed changes. Because the CPA profession is well positioned to significantly influence accountancy regulations, we hypothesize that the UAA changes which are in the best interest of existing members of the profession will tend to be adopted more quickly and more pervasively.

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