In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on August 1, NCACPA and 64 other organizations renewed the nomination of six accounting-related instructional programs to be added to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Designated Degree list for the DHS Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
Designating accounting as a STEM field is one of NCACPA’s policy priorities to help address the dwindling talent pipeline in the profession.
The coalition stresses that accounting has evolved into a profession that relies upon and actively drives technological innovation in a variety of areas, including artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, blockchain, data analysis, and financial analytics.
While many college accounting programs have modified their curricula to reflect the changing environment of accounting and its technological base, these changes are not yet reflected in the recognition of accounting as a DHS STEM field under Technology.
The letter requests the addition of six Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes to the STEM list: Accounting, Accounting and Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Audting, Financial Forensics and Fraud Investigation, and Taxation.
The addition of these CIP codes to the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program provides several benefits. The intiative would help attract more top international students to the U.S. and provide them an extended work authorization of 24 months. Graduates would gain valuable work experience in their field as firms and organizations benefit from access to more skilled workers in high-demand positions.
The letter was signed by the AICPA, all state CPA societies, and organizations including the National Association of Black Accountants, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, American Accounting Association, Center for Audit Quality, and others.
NCACPA recently lobbied members of the state’s congressional delegation to support H.R. 3541, the Accounting STEM Pursuit Act of 2023. This federal legislation would establish the accounting profession as a STEM career pathway. Representative Deborah Ross (D-NC-02) and Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC-06) are cosponsors.
If you have questions about this issue or other policy matters, please contact NCACPA Director of Advocacy Robert Broome, CAE.