Compliance Responsibilities - NASBA’s 23 Fields of Study

April 2013

Why are there 23 fields of study?  I am a CPE provider and state societies require certain fields of study on their certificates of completion that aren’t included on the list of 23?

Effective March 1, 2006, the Registry reorganized the fields of study to the current 23 fields of study.  The purpose of reorganizing the fields of study was to promote the classification of a program based on subject area or content. The intent of the current 23 fields of study is to help alleviate guesswork during board examination of CPE certificates of completion and assist CPAs in reporting CPE more accurately for higher CPE compliance rates.

The 23 fields of study represent a compilation of fields of study used by the 55 jurisdictions.  We recognize that boards of accountancy have varying rules on CPE fields of study.  Some boards list seven or fewer broad subject areas, while other boards have very detailed descriptions.  To assist in classifying programs using the 23 fields of study into broader categories, see the two tables below:

Example 1: Licensee must earn a certain amount of technical and non-technical credits

Non-Technical

  • Administrative Practice
  • Business Management & Organization
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Ethics – Behavioral
  • Ethics – Regulatory
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development
  • Personnel/HR
  • Production
  • Specialized Knowledge & Applications
  • Social Environment of Business
  • Statistics

Technical

  • Accounting
  • Accounting – Governmental
  • Auditing
  • Auditing – Governmental
  • Business Law
  • Management Advisory Services
  • Taxes

Example 2: Licensee must classify CPE credit hours in seven fields of study

Accounting and Auditing

  • Accounting
  • Accounting - Governmental
  • Auditing
  • Auditing - Governmental

Consulting Services

  • Administrative Practice
  • Social Environment of Business

Ethics

  • Regulatory Ethics

Management

  • Business Law
  • Business Management & Organization
  • Finance
  • Management Advisory Services
  • Marketing

Personal Development

  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Communications
  • Personal Development
  • Personnel/HR

Specialized Knowledge & Applications

  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Production
  • Specialized Knowledge & Applications
  • Statistics

Taxes

  • Taxes

NASBA permits a CPE sponsor to include different or supplemental information on the certificate such as that information required by a state society.  Just be sure to include a line or area on the certificate that specifies the NASBA field of study.  For example:

NASBA Field of Study:          Business Management & Organization

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