Enforcement

1. What is the process of a Certified Public Account (CPA) complaint?

If the complaint is determined to be legally sufficient an investigation is opened.  The subject is made aware of the allegations, provided with a copy of the complaint that initiated the investigation, and offered an opportunity to respond to the allegations.  In the course of the investigation, either the subject or complainant may be asked to provide additional information.

After the investigation is complete, the documentation is sent to the Office of General Counsel for review and presentation to the Probable Cause Panel.  The complainant will receive written notification following the General Counsel’s action.  A CPA can be disciplined, the case can be closed, or the CPA can be issued a letter of guidance or caution.

If the complaint is not legally sufficient, the complainant is notified in writing with the reason it will not be pursued.

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2. What if I have other questions or concerns regarding the complaint process?

Please check the Division’s Enforcement page to see if your question may be answered there. If your question still has not been answered, please contact the Customer Contact Center at 850-487-1395.

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3. Where do I locate the complaint form?

A copy of the complaint form can be located in the Forms Section of our website or on DBPR Online Services

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4. What is required to file a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaint?

The complaint should identify the subject of the complaint, the alleged violations, and supporting documentation which may include, but is not limited to the following:

Court documents (if criminal) Copy of audits
Engagement letters/contracts Invoices
Copies of written communication Proof of payment
Delinquency notices Advertisements

Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in a delay of processing, or closure of your complaint. To file a complaint, complete our Uniform Complaint Form, or file an online complaint using our Online Services Portal.

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5. Where can I get a copy of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Florida Statutes and Administrative Code?

To view CPA related statutes and rules visit the Florida Certified Public Accounting’s Statutes and Rules webpage.

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6. Can I file an anonymous complaint against a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

Yes; s. 455.225(1), F.S., states, “the department may investigate an anonymous complaint if the complaint is in writing and is legally sufficient, if the alleged violation of law or rules is substantial, and if the department has reason to believe, after preliminary inquiry, that the violations alleged in the complaint are true.”

However, the Department needs as much information as possible to successfully investigate an anonymous complaint. If not enough information is received, the case may be closed.

CAUTION: You cannot remain anonymous if your complaint contains, your name, or any other identifying information or if you contact us for case updates.  Also, under Florida law, e-mails to the Board are considered public records and are subject to release when a public records request is made.  Finally, once you identify yourself to DBPR personnel, you can no longer remain anonymous.

To file a complaint, complete our Uniform Complaint Form DBPR-0070 or file online using our Online Services Portal. The complaint should identify the subject of the complaint and the allegations.  You should also include documentation to support your claim, (i.e. court orders, copy of the engagement letter, contracts, witnesses with contact information, etc.). Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in a delay of processing, or closure of your complaint.

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7. What happens to my complaint after the investigation is complete?

After the investigation is complete, the file is forwarded to the Office of General Counsel for review.  The case is then presented to the Probable Cause Panel who will make the ultimate determination as to the outcome of an investigation.  Typical findings can include the following:

  • A finding of probable cause and referral to the full Board for disciplinary action*
  • Closure of the case
  • Issuance of a Letter of Guidance (Caution)

*See Rule 61H1-36, F.A.C., for a range of penalties associated with disciplinary actions.

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8. How do I know if a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaint has been filed against my license or business?

If a complaint filed against your license is found to be legally sufficient, you will be notified and a copy of the complaint along with supporting documentation will be provided to you.  You will then have 20 days to respond to the allegations.

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9. When can I expect to receive information regarding the completion of the investigation?

The Complainant will be informed when the investigation is completed and forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel in writing. This letter will have instructions on how you can obtain an update of your case status once it reaches the Office of the General Counsel.  Upon review by the Office of the General Counsel and the Probable Cause Panel, the Complainant will receive written notification of their action.

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10. Are Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaints public records?

Pursuant to s. 455.225, F.S., the complaint and all information obtained during the investigation is confidential until 10 days after probable cause is found to exist. However, any case against an unlicensed individual or firm is considered public record.

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11. Can a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaint be withdrawn?

Yes, the complainant can withdraw a complaint by submitting a written request.

12. Can a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaint be closed at the local level?

Yes, a complaint can be closed due to insufficient evidence or if it is determined that the Board of Accountancy does not have jurisdiction.

13. Do I need an attorney if a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) complaint has been filed against my license?

Attorney representation is not required; however, the decision to seek legal representation should be made independently by each licensee.

14. What happens if Probable Cause is found against me as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

If the Probable Cause Panel finds probable cause against a licensee, the case is then referred to the Board of Accountancy (Board) to decide appropriate discipline.  You will be notified, and encouraged to attend the meeting when your case is presented to the Board. The disciplinary guidelines, including the range of penalties, can be found in Rule 61H1-36.004, F.A.C.

Pursuant to s. 455.225, F.S., the complaint and all information obtained during the investigation is confidential until 10 days after probable cause is found to exist.

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15. What is a Notice of Non-Compliance and when is it used with regard to Certified Public Accountancy (CPA)?

The Department may issue a Notice of Non-compliance to a Certified Public Accountant for a first offense of a minor violation. If the required corrective action outlined in the Notice of Non-compliance is not taken within 15 days, further disciplinary action is possible.

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16. Why is there still a citation on my record after two-years?

Citations are a minor form of discipline and will appear on your license record as such.  After the citation has been on your license record for two years, and you have satisfied all conditions of discipline, you may petition the Department to have the citation removed from your record by contacting the Office of the General Counsel.

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17. What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) engagement letter and is one required?

A CPA engagement letter is a contract that specifies the services and fees to be performed by the CPA or firm.

While an engagement letter is not required, we strongly recommend obtaining one.  Because the engagement letter spells out the scope of services and fees, having one can reduce or eliminate misunderstandings between client and licensee.  This in turn can reduce the likelihood of a complaint being filed.

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18. Does the Florida Board regulate the preparation of tax returns (i.e., require that the preparer of a tax return hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license issued by the Board)?

No, the State of Florida and the Board of Accountancy do not regulate the preparation of tax returns. However, if a Florida-licensed CPA prepares tax returns, they are subject to Florida Laws and Rules.

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19. Does the Florida Board of Accountancy regulate Certified Public Accountant (CPA) fees?

No, the Board of Accountancy does not have the authority to regulate fees charged by licensees.

20. Does the Florida Board of Accountancy collect or disburse revenue for complainants?

No, the Board does not have jurisdiction to make collections or disburse revenue on behalf of individuals.

21. How should a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) handle a client records request?

If the record(s) are in your (the CPA and/or the CPA Firm’s) possession, you are required to furnish this information in a reasonable amount of time.

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22. How long is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) required to maintain records?

A CPA is required to maintain records for a minimum of three years.

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23. If I need duplicate records of my tax information and supporting documentation, can the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) charge me?

Yes, the CPA can charge a nominal fee for the cost of copying.

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24. Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) required to give me a copy of the tax or financial software?

If a CPA purchased the software, the software belongs to the purchaser.  The CPA is only required to produce paper documents as the purchase of software would have copyright law protection.

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25. Where can I get information regarding Advertising as it relates to Certified Public Accounting (CPA)?

Refer to Rule 61H1-24.001, F.A.C., and s. 473.322(1)(b), F.S. for more information. We do not directly advise on these matters.

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26. If a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) no longer works for the firm, is it required for his/her name and CPA designation to be removed from signage and advertisements?

27. If I suspect an individual is practicing without a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, can I file a complaint against them?

Yes. You can file an unlicensed activity complaint against the individual. Complaints against unlicensed individuals are not confidential, and you will need to provide supporting information and/or documentation of the alleged violation. Under s. 473.322(1)(b), F.S., a person may not knowingly assume or use the titles or designations “certified public accountant” or “public accountant” or the abbreviation “C.P.A.” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person holds a license to practice public accounting under this chapter or the laws of any other state, territory, or foreign jurisdiction unless the person holds an active license under this chapter or has the practice privileges pursuant to s. 473.3141.

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28. How do I verify that my accountant is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

You can verify licensure by visiting the DBPR Online Services webpage or the CPA Verify webpage.

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29. Can a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm employ an unlicensed person to practice public accounting?

Unlicensed individuals are unable to practice public accounting in the State of Florida.

To practice public accounting in the State of Florida as defined in s. 473.302(8), F.S., an individual must hold a Florida license and be a member of a Florida licensed CPA firm. An out-of-state firm can lawfully provide public accounting services described in s. 473.302(8), F.S pursuant to the practice privileges granted in s. 473.3141, F.S.

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30. Can a non-Florida licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) have clients that live in Florida but conduct the business outside the State of Florida?

Yes, if the CPA is licensed in his/her home state, resides in his/her home state, and conducts the work in his/her home state.

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31. My income taxes were not filed timely and the IRS is assessing penalties, fines and/or additional taxes. Can the Florida Board of Accountancy help me to receive reimbursement from the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) individual/firm?

No, the Board of Accountancy does not have the authority to force the CPA/firm to make restitution.  This type of matter should be addressed through a civil suit.  The Board determines if the CPA/firm has violated any Florida Statutes and would only have jurisdiction over the timely filing of the income tax return.

32. Can the Board of Accountancy force a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or CPA firm to produce or reproduce financial statements in civil lawsuits?

No, these questions should be referred to the local County Court. For questions regarding trust documents, please refer to your local Probate Court.

33. Does the Board of Accountancy conduct investigations regarding condos and their respective boards?

No, the Board of Accountancy only conducts investigations relating to Certified Public Accountant (CPA) activity.  For complaints relating to condos and their respective boards, contact the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.

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34. Do you have to be a board member of a condo association to file a complaint against a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) individual/firm?

No, anyone can file a complaint; however, all questions regarding condo associations should be referred to the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.

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35. Can the Board of Accountancy force a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) individual/firm to comply with providing information to condo owners?

No, all questions should be referred to the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.

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36. Is it the Certified Public Accountant’s (CPA) or CPA firm’s responsibility to report to the condo association of suspected fraud or embezzlement?

When performing an audit, a CPA must make a concerted, professional effort to determine if there is fraud, and if found they have a duty to report it.

37. Can I file a complaint against my tax return preparer?

A complaint can be filed if the services were provided by a Florida licensed CPA. If the services were not performed by a Florida-licensed CPA, then the complaint should be made to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

38. Does bookkeeping or income tax preparation require a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

No, an individual does not need to be a Florida-licensed CPA in order to perform bookkeeping services or the preparation of tax returns.

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39. Do I need to follow Florida Statutes if I am not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but offer bookkeeping and tax preparation to clients?

The Florida Board of Accountancy’s jurisdiction is limited to Florida licensed CPAs/firms.  Unlicensed individuals or firms are not permitted to use the title of CPA in signage, business cards/stationery, advertisements, or other forms of media.

40. Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) allowed to engage in the selling of real estate?

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is allowed to engage in the selling of real estate only if the property is their own or if the CPA also is a Florida licensed real estate broker or sales associate with a listed agreement.
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41. Do you have to be a Florida licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to conduct audits?

Any individual and firm that provide any services as defined in s. 473.302(8), F.S., a license is required to practice public accounting in this state. An out-of-state firm can lawfully provide services described in s. 473.302(8), F.S., pursuant to the practice privileges granted in s. 473.3141, F.S.

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42. If my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) was practicing in Florida based on mobility and I have a complaint, do I submit that to the CPA’s home state or Florida?

Each state’s Board of Accountancy initiates investigations into the home state or out-of-state CPA firms whenever they receive legally sufficient evidence to warrant such an investigation. Each licensed CPA or firm is subject to discipline by the Board for committing violations of the practice act, including having CPA practice privileges suspended or revoked by any state or federal agency.

To file a complaint, complete the Uniform Complaint Form DBPR-0070 or use the DBPR Online Services portal. You will need to provide supporting information and/or documentation of the alleged violation (I.e., engagement letters, correspondence, work product, court orders, contracts, witnesses with contact information, etc.). Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in a delay of processing or closure of your complaint.

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43. What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Peer Review?

A peer review is the study, appraisal, or review by one or more independent Certified Public Accountants of one or more aspects of the professional work of a licensee. Effective January 1, 2015, a licensed firm or public accounting firm as defined in s. 473.302(7), F.S., and licensed under s. 473.3101, F.S., and engaged in the practice of public accounting as defined in s. 473.302(8) (a), F.S., except for the performance of compilations and reviews as those terms are defined by the board, must be enrolled in a peer review program (See s. 473.3125, F.S., and Rule 61H1-39, F.A.C.). Peer Reviews are required for all firms that are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

For more information on Peer Review, visit the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) Peer Review website.

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44. Can Certified Public Accountants (CPA) be reported for known criminal activity?

Yes, pursuant to s. 473.323(1)(d), F.S., – Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of public accounting or the ability to practice public accounting.

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45. Can disciplinary action be taken against me if I have self-reported a criminal conviction?

Yes, self-reporting a criminal conviction does not exempt a licensee from possible disciplinary action.

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46. Can financial statements be falsified to obtain capital gains/assets?

No.  However, in a civil matter, if the financial statements are misrepresented or falsified, contain fraudulent entries or hidden assets, the Board of Accountancy cannot force a CPA to redo the financial statements and the Board does not have the authority to override a judicial decision. The complainant would have to confer with an attorney or file an appeal in the circuit where the documents were originally filed.

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47. Do I have to provide proof of completion for CPE if it is no longer mandatory to report?

Yes, while reporting is no longer mandatory for renewal, individuals who have been selected for participation in the annual audit MUST provide valid proof of completion upon request per Rule 61H1-33.003 (5), F.A.C. Additionally, CPE records must be maintained by the licensee for a period of two (2) years after the renewal period for which the CPE was taken.

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48. Am I exempt from the annual CPE audit if I have participated previously?

No, past participation does not exempt a licensee from participating in the annual CPE audit.

49. Will relinquishing my license “cure” a CPE audit?

No, relinquishing a CPA license does not cure a CPE audit. Licensees who are selected to participate in the annual CPE audit and relinquish their license will still have to show proof of completion of CPE for the audited period.

50. What type of Disciplinary Actions may be taken under different circumstances concerning public accounting?

Refer to Rule 61H1-36, F.A.C., for more information.

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General Information

1. Will Florida Board of Accountancy staff be able to give opinions or advice?

The Board and its General Counsel does not permit board staff to render any informal or advisory opinions.

2. How can I get answers to Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) legal, ethical, or internal business practice questions?

The Board and its General Counsel does not permit staff to render any informal or advisory opinions.  Florida licensed CPAs or their representatives must request a Petition for Declaratory Statement in order to receive a response to these questions.

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3. What if I have questions that refer to general applicability to the practice of public accounting?

If the question is of general applicability to the practice, by definition, the Legislature requires the Board to initiate rulemaking.  However, it is the Legislature, not the Board, which is entitled to set and ultimately define the scope of practice for any profession.  Therefore, rulemaking has its limits.

4. What is a declaratory statement as it related to public accounting?

A declaratory statement is the sole means for a Florida licensed CPA or their representative to obtain a binding interpretation or opinion from the Florida Board of Accountancy (BOA) concerning the applicability of statutory provisions, rules, or orders over which the BOA has authority.

Furthermore, the declaratory statement may only be used to resolve questions or doubts as to how the statutes or rules may apply to the petitioner’s particular circumstances.   For instance, a licensee may request the Board to issue its opinion on whether a certain practice or procedure in which the licensee wishes to engage is permitted within the scope of practice.

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5. Where do I send my Petition for Declaratory Statement and what type of information should it contain?

You may submit your Petition for Declaratory Statement to:

Email: CPA.Admin.Team@myfloridalicense.com
Florida Division of Certified Public Accounting
Board of Accountancy
240 NW 76 Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, Florida 32607
Fax: 352-333-2508

Petitions for Declaratory Statements must be printed or typed on only one side of each page, using the format below. The body of the petition must contain the following Information:

  • The name and address of the petitioner
  • The specific provisions(s) of the statute, rule, or order on which the petitioner seeks a declaratory statement.
  • A statement of the reasons explaining why the petitioner needs a declaratory statement.
  • A short, detailed, and to-the-point statement of all relevant facts in numbered paragraphs, and a request for the division’s official opinion of how the specified statute rule or order applies to the petitioners in their particular set of circumstances. Board requests for interpretations of laws, rules or orders which apply to all condominiums generally and which are not restricted in scope to the petitioner’s circumstances will not be accepted by the division.
  • A statement as to whether the petitioner (or intervener) requests a hearing. The Division may, at its discretion, hold a hearing to dispose of the petition.

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6. Who will respond to my Petition for Declaratory Statement?

A Petition for Declaratory Statement must be presented before the Board for response.

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8. When can I expect my Petition for Declaratory Statement to be answered?

Responses to declaratory statements are not immediate.  Response time is dependent upon whether the Petition for Declaratory Statement has been found legally sufficient, noticed in Florida Administrative Registrar, and submitted to the Board for review.  Once a decision is made by the Board, a response will be made to the inquiring party.

7. Why are Petitions for Declaratory Statements noticed in the Florida Administrative Registrar?

Petitions for Declaratory Statements are noticed in the Florida Administrative Registrar pursuant to Section 120.565, Florida Statutes.  This allows other interested parties the opportunity to raise questions or concerns regarding the specific issue(s) raised in the declaratory statement.

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1. Would it be possible to qualify to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or apply for licensure if I declared bankruptcy beforehand?

Bankruptcy has no bearing on anyone qualifying to take the exam or apply for licensure.

2. If I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and file bankruptcy, will that affect my license?

No. The two are not related.

3. I overpaid DBPR. How do I request a refund?

Complete and submit the Refund Request Form.

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4. How do I update my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) application information?

For changes during application processing, submit the changes using one of the following options and reference your application number:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399

However, for approved examination applications, you must also notify NASBA by calling 1-800-CPA-EXAM or by visiting their website.

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5. How can I get an update on the status of my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) application?

You can check the status of your application by visiting Florida DBPR Online Services or by calling the Customer Contact Center at 850-487-1395.

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6. How will I be notified once my Certified Public Accounting (CPA) application has been reviewed?

You will be notified in writing if there are deficiencies found during the review of your application. Exam and Reactivation Applicants will also receive correspondence after approval.

7. How do I obtain a social security number?

Visit the Social Security Administration website.

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8. Can I obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license without a social security number?

No, pursuant to Title 42 United States Code, Sections 653.654 and 666(a); and Sections 455.203(9), 409.2577, and 409.2598, Florida Statutes, all applicants must have a valid social security number.

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Florida’s Mobility Law (473.3141) only applies to individuals, thus laws and rules regarding firms are the same that has existed in Florida since before 2009.

What is Mobility?

Mobility is the ability of a CPA, or CPA firm, who holds a current/active license from a state that has passed Mobility Legislation, or for a CPA with individual substantial equivalency, to gain practice privileges in Florida without having to obtain an additional license in order to serve a client.

References:  Rule 61H1-29.002(7), F.A.C., Section 473.3141, F.S.
Can I gain a practice privilege in Florida if my state of licensure has not passed Mobility?

Yes. If the Florida Board of Accountancy has determined that an out of state licensee meets the standards outlined in Section 5 of the Uniform Accountancy Act regarding substantial equivalency (meets the 150 hours of education, has a conferred bachelor’s degree or higher, passed the CPA exam, and has one year of qualified work experience), then an individual can gain the same Mobility practice privileges in Florida as if the state of licensure had passed Mobility legislation.

References: Rule 61H1-29.002(7), F.A.C., Section 473.3141, F.S.
If my state of licensure has Mobility, or if the Florida Board of Accountancy determines that I meet the Mobility criteria set forth in Section 5 of the Uniform Accountancy Act, is there any circumstance that would still require me to get a license?

Yes, an individual may only perform services outlined in s. 473.302(8)(a), F.S., through a licensed firm.

References: Section 473.3141, F.S., Section 473.302(8)(a), F.S.
When would an individual or firm be required to obtain a Temporary License?

The following three circumstances would require the temporary permit:

  1. The individual is from a state that is not substantially equivalent
  2. The individual does not have personal substantial equivalency in accordance with Section 23 of the UAA
  3. The person is performing services outlined in s. 473.302(8)(a)
References: Rule 61H1-29.002, F.A.C., Section 473.3141, F.S., Section 473.302(8)(a), F.S.
Can a CPA Firm in another state practice under mobility?

Yes, if all of the following are true for the out of state CPA Firm:

  1. Complies with the qualifications described in s. 473.309.
  2. Is enrolled in a peer review program pursuant to s. 473.3125(4).
  3. Performs services through an individual with practice privileges under s. 473.3141.
  4. Lawfully performs services in a state where an individual with practice privileges granted under s. 473.3141 has his or her principal place of business.
References: Rule 61H1-29.002, F.A.C., Section 473.3141, F.S., Section 473.3101, F.S., Section 473.309, F.S., Section 473.3125(4), F.S.
Does the Florida Board of Accountancy have the authority to take disciplinary action against an individual or firm that practices pursuant to the Mobility provision set forth in Chapter 473, Florida Statutes?

Yes, an individual or firm is granted the same or equivalent practice privileges as a Florida licensed CPA. Pursuant to Chapter 473, Florida Statutes, the Florida Board of Accountancy has the authority to revoke, suspend, or take appropriate disciplinary action against the out-of-state licensee for any action that would have subjected a Florida licensee to discipline in the State of Florida.

References: Rule 61H1-36.004, F.A.C., Section 473.323, F.S., Section 473.3141, F.S.
Am I required to have a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm license or Temporary Permit License?

Pursuant to s. 473.3101(1), F.S., The following must hold a license issued under this section:
(a) Any firm with an office in this state which performs services as defined in s. 473.302(8)(a);
(b) Any firm with an office in this state which uses the title “CPA,” “CPA firm,” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to indicate that it is a CPA firm. The board shall define by rule what constitutes a CPA firm; or
(c)1. Any firm that does not have an office in this state but performs the services described in s. 473.3141(4) for a client having its home office in this state, unless it:
a. Complies with the qualifications described in s. 473.309.
b. Is enrolled in a peer review program pursuant to s. 473.3125(4).
c. Performs services through an individual with practice privileges under s. 473.3141.
d. Lawfully performs services in a state where an individual with practice privileges granted under s. 473.3141 has his or her principal place of business.  (See s. 473.3103, F.S.)

If your firm does not meet the requirements outlined above, then you must apply for a temporary license 30 days prior to commencement of the engagement and receive certification of the application by the Board prior to beginning any work.

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When would an individual be required to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Temporary License?

The following three circumstances would require a temporary permit:

  1. The individual is from a state that is not substantially equivalent
  2. The individual does not have personal substantial equivalency in accordance with section 23 of the UAA
  3. The person is performing a service outlined in s. 473.302(8)(a)

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How do I obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) temporary permit?

You must submit a complete application and the $400 application fee.  You can apply online or download the application by going to DBPR Online Services.

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How long is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) temporary permit valid?

The temporary permit is good for 90 days.

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What do I do if I need more than the 90 days to complete the accountancy engagement?

You must apply for a new temporary permit before the current temporary permit expires. Once the temporary permit expires, you cannot continue the engagement until the 2nd temporary permit is issued.

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Can I start my engagement before my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) temporary permit application is processed and approved?

No, your application must be approved before you can start the engagement.

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How far in advance of the date of engagement should I apply for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) temporary permit?

You are required by Rule 61H1-29.002(1) F.A.C., to file your application at least 30 days before your date of engagement.

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1. Where can I get a copy of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Florida Statutes and Administrative Code?

To view CPA-related statutes and rules visit the Florida Certified Public Accounting’s Statutes and Rules webpage or by visiting the Florida Senate webpage.

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2. How do I obtain a list of licensed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Florida?

Visit the Division’s Home Page, scroll to the “Quick Links” section, and select “Public Records”. You can download the lists available or select Open Government to submit a request.

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1. How do I get a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license and/or exam grades verification?

Option 1:

Submit the Authorization for Interstate Exchange form from the state you are applying for and a check or money order in the amount of $50 (payable) to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Option 2:

If the state you are applying for does not have its own form, you will need to submit the DBPR CPA 12 Verification Request Form with a check or money order in the amount of $50 (payable) to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Option 3:

If your request is for an employer or other entity than a state board, you will need to submit a written request authorizing the Florida Board to release your information. The request should include the following:

  • The name of the person you’re requesting the information (to who the request should be addressed)
  • Your contact information (email, phone, address)
  • License number (If applicable)
  • The state you’re applying for (if applicable)
  • Authorization for release
  • Your signature
  • $50 processing fee (payable to DBPR)

The form or request and fee should be mailed to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1027

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2. How long does it take the Florida Board of Accountancy to process a verification request?

Your request will be processed within thirty days of receiving all necessary documentation.

3. What information is provided in the online license certification for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or CPA Firm?
  • Licensee Name
  • Date of Initial License
  • Status of License
  • Expiration Date
  • State Seal
  • Director’s Signature
4. How do I get an online certification from the Florida Board of Accountancy?

You will need to sign in to your DBPR Online Services Account. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one.

If you already have an account, enter your login information, click on your license, click on Request a License Certification and follow the prompts.

If you do not have an account with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, click on “Create My Account.” After creating the account, you will need to link your license to your account. Once you’ve linked your license, you’ll click on your license link and then request a license certification.

Note: The Online License Certification is system generated and only supplies basic licensure information. It does NOT include exam grade information or whether there is any discipline.

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5. Is there a fee for the online certification of my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure?

No, there is no fee for the Online License Certification.

Note: The Online License Certification is system generated and only supplies basic licensure information. It does NOT include exam grade information or whether there is any discipline.

6. Can I have the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Online License Certification sent to my email address?

No, it will only be sent to another State Board.

Note: The Online License Certification is system generated and only supplies basic licensure information. It does NOT include exam grade information or whether there is any discipline.

7. How will I know my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Online License Certification request has been submitted?

You will receive an email confirmation that your license certification has been submitted to the state you requested.

Note: The Online License Certification is system generated and only supplies basic licensure information. It does NOT include exam grade information or whether there is any discipline.

8. How do I get a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) wall certificate?

A complimentary wall certificate will be mailed to new licensees within three (3) to six (6) weeks after becoming licensed. If you already have your wall certificate and you want a replacement, you can request a duplicate wall certificate. To see if you are eligible for a duplicate, visit the division’s webpage.

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9. What should I do if I didn’t receive a wall certificate after I received my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

You will need to submit a notarized letter stating you never received your wall certificate.  The letter must include your license number, your name as it appeared on your application for licensure, and the correct mailing address.

Please keep in mind that wall certificates are mailed 3 to 6 weeks after becoming licensed.

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10. How can I get a duplicate Certified Public Accountant (CPA) wall certificate?

You can only get a duplicate wall certificate if your name has changed or your wall certificate is misspelled, misprinted, damaged, lost, or stolen.

If your name has changed or your wall certificate is misspelled, misprinted, or damaged you will need to submit:

  • Form DBPR CPA 8 and a court order or marriage certificate.  Note:  the wall certificate can only be issued in your official name on record.
  • Return your original wall certificate
  • $25 processing fee

Note: if your name is misspelled or your wall certificate is misprinted, you may return the incorrect certificate within 30 days of receipt for correction based on the licensure application.  A new certificate will be issued at no charge.

If your wall certificate is lost or stolen you will need to submit:

  • Form DBPR CPA 8
  • A notarized statement explaining why you can’t return the wall certificate
  • $25 processing fee

It is Board of Accountancy policy that only one wall certificate can be issued to each licensed CPA.  If you are unable to return the original wall certificate, for any reason, you must include a notarized statement explaining why you can’t return the wall certificate.

Please send all necessary documentation to:
Florida Board of Accountancy
Division of Certified Public Accountants
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, Florida  32607-6656

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Getting Your License

1. What are the requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in Florida?

The requirements to sit for the CPA Examination in Florida can be found on the following page:

Education Requirements

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2. I attended and/or received my degree from a university in a foreign country or an unaccredited university. What are my requirements to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

Applicants who have attended and/or graduated from a non-accredited school may still qualify to sit for the CPA examination. The candidate must take 15 semester hours of graduate classes from an accredited institution. The 15 semester hours must include at least nine hours of graduate-level accounting courses to include three semester hours of graduate tax.  The applicant must complete the graduate school courses to validate the non-accredited degree. These courses cannot duplicate other courses that the applicant has taken. Applicants must also submit an evaluation of their foreign transcripts, which must be completed by an evaluation service that has been approved by the Board (see Board Approved Evaluation Service).

The applicant must also meet the requirements as set forth in Rule 61H1-27.002(3)(a)(b), F.A.C.

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3. Do I need a social security number to apply to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination or to apply for licensure?

Social security numbers are mandatory pursuant to Title 42 United States Code, Sections 653.654, and 666(a); and Sections 455.203(9), 409.2577, and 409.2598, Florida Statutes.

4. When I submit my application to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, should I select all exam sections or check only the exam I am prepared to take now?

Yes, you should select all exam sections if you have not taken and passed any sections in another state.

5. If I sat for the exam in another state, what are my requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in Florida?

In order to sit for the CPA exam as a Florida Candidate, you must meet all of Florida’s education requirements, submit an exam application with the $50 fee, submit official transcripts, and submit an Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure form to Florida from the state(s) where you previously sat for the exam.

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6. How does the Florida Board of Accountancy (Board) define “Upper-Division” and “Lower-Division” courses?

Upper-division, as used in Rule 61H1-27.002, F.A.C., means courses above the principal introductory level.

By definition, any course taken at a community college is not upper-division.  Lower-division courses are any course taken at a junior college or community college or courses offered at the freshman and sophomore level at a four-year college or university regardless of the title or content of the course.

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7. Is my school’s accreditation accepted by the Florida Board of Accountancy?

A list of school accreditations accepted by the board can be found on the following page:

Acceptable School Accreditations

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8. Which evaluation services are approved by the Florida Board of Accountancy?
9. Can I use the same evaluation for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or licensure application that was used for certification with the Department of Education?

No. The evaluation must be a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation done specifically for the Florida Board of Accountancy.

10. Can my transcripts be evaluated to determine if all of my courses are acceptable before I submit an application to sit for the exam or for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

No.  The Board of Accountancy does not perform unofficial evaluations and will only evaluate transcripts received with a completed application.

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11. If I sat for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam prior to the work experience rule being passed, am I exempt from the work experience requirement?

You are exempt from the work experience requirement if you met the 150-semester-hour licensure education requirement on or before December 31, 2008, and passed all parts of the exam on or before June 30, 2010.

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12. Can I use work experience obtained before the educational requirements are completed for initial licensure?

You must complete 120 semester hours from an accredited college or university with a concentration in accounting and business courses before a person can start meeting requirements for work experience.

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13. Can the work experience requirement be waived or can additional education be submitted in lieu of work experience for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

No.  Work experience is required by statute and neither the Department nor the Board of Accountancy has the authority to waive a statute; nor does the statute give the Board the authority to accept additional education in lieu of work experience.

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14. What type of work qualifies for work experience to become a certified public accountant (CPA)?

The work experience must include the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of which must be verified by a certified public accountant licensed by a state or territory of the United States.

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15. Does my work experience have to be verified by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who supervised me?

No, the verifying CPA does not have to be your supervisor.  The verifying CPA must be in good standing with a regulating body or a chartered accountant recognized by the International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB), both during the one year of work experience and at the time of verification.

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16. Can I volunteer in a firm to gain work experience for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

Yes, you can volunteer in a firm to gain work experience as long as the work experience meets the requirements as set forth in Rule 61H1-27.0041, F.A.C.

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17. My name is misspelled or some of my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam information is incorrect, what do I do?

As an exam candidate, you will need to call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit their website.  You should also contact the Division at 850-487-1395 to update your application.

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18. My Certified Public Accountant (CPA) application has expired or was previously denied. How can I open another application?

You must re-apply by submitting a new application, application fee, and supporting documentation.

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19. The Florida Board of Accountancy (BOA) approved my application to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination, but I never contacted NASBA to schedule an exam. What do I do now?

Contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit their website for instructions.

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20. How long should I wait to schedule my exam(s) after being approved to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

It usually takes two days. You may contact the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) at 1-800-CPA-EXAMS (1-800-272-3926) or by visiting their website.

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21. I tried to schedule my Exam, but Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination Services said they cannot find me in their system. What do I do?

Please allow 1-2 business days from the date that you received your approval letter for NASBA to receive the electronic authorization from the board office approving your exam.

If it has been more than two business days since you received an approval letter from the Board, you will need to contact NASBA’s Florida Coordinator at:

800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3926)
International: (615) 880 -4250
Fax: (615) 880 -4290, Attn: FL Coordinator
Email: cpaes-fl@nasba.org

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22. I sat for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam before 1999, how do I go about taking the exam now?

You must submit a new application to update our system. Supporting documentation will not be required.

23. I have been approved to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam but I have deficiencies for licensure. How do I get my questions addressed?

You may email, fax, or mail your question to the board office.

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24. How long is my Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam application approval valid?

Your approval to sit for the CPA exam does not expire. Contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit their website for instructions on scheduling the exam.

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25. How long is the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

Each section of the exam is four hours in length for a total testing time of 16 hours.

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26. How many sections are there to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

There are four sections to the CPA exam.  For more information, please call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit their website.

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27. What are the dates for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

As of July 1, 2020, testing windows were replaced by continuous testing, allowing candidates to take the Exam year-round, without restriction, other than waiting to receive scores from prior attempts of the same section or when there is a major change to the Exam.

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28. Is there a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) testing site outside of the United States?

The CPA exam can be taken in Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. It can also be taken in US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

To find testing locations, contact the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) at 1-800-CPA-EXAMS (1-800-272-3926) or visit their website.

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29. How do I schedule/reschedule my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam?

You will need to contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit Prometric for more information.

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30. How long are my passing Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam scores valid?

Scores are valid for 36 months after passing the exam to apply for initial licensure. After 36 months, you must apply by Licensure by Endorsement.

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31. Where do I get my jurisdiction ID number?

NASBA will automatically send you your jurisdiction ID number once you have been approved to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam by the Florida Board. It may take up to three (3) to five (5) days for you to receive it. You can either verify your jurisdiction ID number by calling 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visiting NASBAs website.

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32. What is a Notice to Schedule (NTS)?

A Notice to Schedule (NTS) is the authorization you will need to schedule an exam and is provided to you by NASBA after approval by the Florida board. A valid NTS is needed to make an appointment with Prometric. The Board of Accountancy does not distribute NTS to exam candidates. Please call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or visit their website for more information.

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33. How long is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination Notice to Schedule (NTS) valid?

The NTS is valid for six (6) months. For more information, including how to request a new NTS, please contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM (1-800-272-3926) or visit their website.

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34. How long do I have to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam after I have passed the first section?

You have a rolling 18-month window to pass the remaining sections of the CPA exam once you have passed the first section.

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35. How do I calculate the rolling 18-month window for completing all four sections of the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam?

The clock starts the date you are notified that you have passed the first section. If the remaining sections are not passed within the next 18-months, you lose the credit for the first section, and the next section passed becomes the target date. The first date that starts the clock is based on when NASBA certified your first score. The date that completes the clock is based on the date that you sat for the exam.

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36. I'm in the process of passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams and I was wondering how to sign-up for automatic emails regarding NASBA news and score releases?

Candidates already taking the exam will automatically receive any emails that NASBA sends out. You can also follow NASBA on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

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37. Will I receive a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) initial licensure package once I have passed all parts of the CPA exam?

The Florida Board of Accountancy does not send out initial licensure packages. The application for initial licensure is available on the DBPR Licensing Portal.

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38. Where can I find an Initial Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensure Application?

Applicants who have successfully passed the CPA examination as a Florida candidate can apply online or download the application through DBPR Online Services.

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39. What application do I submit if I passed all four sections of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in another state?

Candidates who passed the exam in another state must apply for licensure using the endorsement method.

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40. How long do I have after passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam to complete my deficiencies and get the one year of work experience to be licensed?

You have 36 months after you were notified that you passed the last section of the CPA examination. After 36 months, you must apply by Licensure by Endorsement.

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41. I was approved to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. I have taken additional courses and completed my work experience, but I have not completed all requirements for licensure. Can I submit my information to the board to hold until I am ready to be licensed?

No. This information needs to be submitted with your original licensure application.

1. What application do I submit if I passed all four sections of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in another state?

Candidates who passed the exam in another state must apply for licensure using the endorsement method.

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2. I have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in another state. Can I obtain a license in Florida through reciprocity?

No, Florida does not have reciprocity. However, if you hold an active license in another state, you may apply for Licensure by Endorsement.

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3. Can I transfer my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant license if I am licensed in another country?

Chartered Accountants licensed in Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, or Hong Kong are required to pass either the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination or the IQEX examination as well as meet Florida’s education requirements.  Licensed accountants from other countries than listed above must first meet Florida’s education requirements and pass the AICPA Uniform CPA examination.

Note: If you are not a chartered accountant licensed in one of the countries listed, then you must pass the AICPA Uniform CPA examination.

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4. What forms do I need to submit to apply for Licensure by Endorsement?

You will need to submit an application and application fee, official transcripts*, the Verification of Work Experience Form*, and the Interstate Exchange of Information Form.

*If licensed 10 years or more, these items are not required.

For more details, visit the division’s Licensure by Endorsement webpage.

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5. Does Florida require work experience to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

Yes, if you have been licensed for less than ten years.

Note: If you completed the education requirements on or before December 31, 2008, and passed the licensure examination on or before June 30, 2010, you are exempt from work experience.

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1. What is needed to get a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Firm license other than the application, fees, and having a CPA owner?

All firms, with the exception of Sole Proprietors, are required to register with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations (Sunbiz). Sole Proprietors using a fictitious name are also required to register their fictitious name with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations (Sunbiz).

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2. Am I required to have a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Firm license or Temporary Permit License?

Pursuant to s. 473.3101(1), F.S., The following must hold a license issued under this section:
(a) Any firm with an office in this state which performs services as defined in s. 473.302(8)(a);
(b) Any firm with an office in this state which uses the title “CPA,” “CPA firm,” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to indicate that it is a CPA firm. The board shall define by rule what constitutes a CPA firm; or
(c)1. Any firm that does not have an office in this state but performs the services described in s. 473.3141(4) for a client having its home office in this state, unless it:
a. Complies with the qualifications described in s. 473.309.
b. Is enrolled in a peer review program pursuant to s. 473.3125(4).
c. Performs services through an individual with practice privileges under s. 473.3141.
d. Lawfully performs services in a state where an individual with practice privileges granted under s. 473.3141 has his or her principal place of business.  (See s. 473.3103, F.S.)

 

If your firm does not meet the requirements outlined above, then you must apply for a temporary license 30 days prior to commencement of the engagement and receive certification of the application by the Board prior to beginning any work.

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3. Do I have to have a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license to have a Florida firm license?

You must have a Florida CPA license to have a Florida CPA Firm license unless the firm has no Florida domiciled owners and qualifies under s. 473.3141, F.S.

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4. Does the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) Firm have to be located in Florida to be a Florida CPA firm?

No, you are not required to have an office in Florida.

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5. Can a person who is not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) own a Florida CPA firm?

At least 51% of the financial interest of a CPA Firm must be owned by Certified Public Accountants in some state. Non-CPA owners can own up to 49% of a firm.

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6. Do I have to be associated with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm, if I hold a current active CPA license in Florida?

No. An individual with a current, active CPA license can hold themselves out as a CPA.  As an individual, they may provide advice, tax, and/or bookkeeping services.  However, to provide audit or attest services, requires a CPA firm license.

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7. What are the rules concerning the naming of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Firm?

The name cannot be misleading or deceptive as to the owner and associates.

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8. Can I use “& Associate” or “& Company” in the name of my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) company?

Yes, as long as there is at least one other fully employed Florida CPA or non-CPA owner other than those named in the firm name.

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9. Does the Florida Board of Accountancy allow a hardship for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm renewals?

No. There is no provision in the Accountancy Practice Act that allows for a hardship renewal for CPA firms.

10. What is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Waiver on Limitation of Liability and where can it be found?

A waiver on limitation of liability is an option for meeting minimum capitalization or adequate public liability insurance requirements for Florida firms (with the exception of Sole Proprietorship).

For more information on the waiver see Rule 61H1-26.002, F.A.C.

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Maintaining Your License

1. How do I get a copy of my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

The Department no longer mails licenses upon issuance.  Licensees can now print their license by logging into their secure online account with the Department.

In addition to new licenses, this process allows licensees to renew online and print the license at their convenience, as well as print duplicate licenses as needed without paying a fee.

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2. Which address is used to mail me my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

All renewal notices will be emailed to the email address on file and will include information on how to renew your license using your DBPR Online Services Account. If you do not receive a renewal notice, you can print a blank renewal form under the Renew Your License tab.

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3. How do I renew my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license if I did not receive my renewal notice?

If you do not receive a renewal notice, click here to print a blank renewal form.

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4. How do I change personal information concerning my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

It is a MANDATORY responsibility for you, the licensee, to keep up-to-date personal and professional information with DBPR.

You will need to provide written and official documentation of the change you request. Acceptable documents to request a name change include a marriage license, a court order (e.g., adoption, divorce decree, name change, or federal identity change), a certificate of status, or a certificate of authorization.  To change your name or address online, visit DBPR Online Services to log in to your account, click on your individual license linked to your account and select Apply for Name Change. You can also download the name or address change form to mail with the supporting documents

All correspondence should be sent to the following address:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Central Intake Unit
2601 Blair Stone Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

You may call the Customer Contact Center to verify the information change at 850-487-1395.

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5. What is the re-establishment period for Certified Public Accountants (CPA)?

This is the two-year period for completing the CPEs. Generally, this period is from July 1st of one renewal year to June 30th of the next renewal two years later.  For initial licenses, this period begins on the date the license was approved and ends on the third June 30th after the initial licensure date.

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6. What is the renewal cycle for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)?

The Renewal Cycle is the period from October 1st to December 31st of the year in which your current active license expires.

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7. What are the rules regarding CPE after a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is issued for the first time or reactivated?

Start with the date that your license was issued or reactivated and count three June 30ths into the future. The third June 30th is when you will need to have your CPE completed. For instance, if your license is issued or reactivated on June 29th, 2016, then your first CPE reporting period will be June 30th, 2018; because the 1st June 30th will be in 2016, the second in 2017, and the third in 2018. But, if your license is issued or reactivated on July 1, 2016, your first CPE reporting period will be June 30, 2019; because the 1st June 30th will now be in 2017, the second in 2018, and the third in 2019.

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8. I completed my continuing professional education (CPE) by the deadline, but did not pay the renewal fee by December 31st. Can I still renew my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

Yes, you have until March 15th immediately preceding your license expiration date to renew your license by paying the current renewal fee, the $250 reactivation fee, and the $25 delinquent fee. If it is after March 15th, you will need to go through the reactivation process.

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9. What are the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements to renew my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

As a current, active licensee, your requirement is to complete 80 hours of continuing education in public accounting subjects or courses of study, of which at least eight (8) hours must be in accounting and/or auditing-related subjects, four (4) hours of a Florida board-approved ethics course, and no more than 20 hours in behavioral subjects.

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10. What type of information must a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) maintain as proof of completion for continuing professional education (CPE) courses?

Proof of completion must be supplied by the course provider and be in the form of a certificate of completion, a computer printout, a letter from the provider on the company’s letterhead, a roster of participants, or an official transcript for university courses. Proof of completion should include the attendees’ name, the title of the course, the date of completion, the number of hours received, the organization’s name, and the signature of a representative of the organization. See Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Guidelines for more information.

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11. Do college courses qualify for continuing professional education (CPE) credit for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)? If so, how many credit hours will I receive?

Yes, you can receive CPE credit for college courses as long as they meet our CPE guidelines. Higher education credit courses taken from an accredited institution as defined in subsection 61H1-27.001(1), F.A.C., shall be credited for continuing professional education purposes at the rate of 15 hours for each semester-hour of higher education credit and 10 hours for each quarter-hour of higher education credit, provided the number of contact hours (hours in the classroom) totals at least 90% of the continuing professional education credit so determined. No credit is allowed for attending or instructing elementary accounting courses.

Note: You cannot receive CPE credit for a college course that was used to meet the education requirement for licensure.

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12. Can I receive continuing professional education (CPE) credit as an instructor of a college course for my certified public accountant (CPA) license?

CPE credit for instructing a higher education course shall be twice the credit that would have been granted participants for the first presentation of a specific course of program, the same as the credit granted a participant for the second presentation and none thereafter, except as permitted by subparagraph 61H1-33.003(4)(b)4., F.A.C.

No continuing professional education credit shall be permitted for attending or instructing accounting courses considered to be elementary.

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13. Do continuing professional education (CPE) courses offered by my firm qualify as CPE credit?

Formal Organized in-firm educational programs shall be credited for CPE to the same extent and by the same requirements as other professional development courses.

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14. If I took an accounting-related course to become certified as a systems administrator, could it count towards my continuing professional education (CPE) requirement for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license? If so, how would I determine how many hours of CPE to count?

The course can be counted if it meets the CPE guidelines, included in Rule 61H1-33.003(3), F.A.C., and available as a stand-alone document on our website.  To calculate hours for credit, the licensee again should refer to Rule 61H1-33.003(3), F.A.C.

If the licensee is not sure if a course counts, they may email an outline to the board office for review. The outline should include topics covered and time spent on each topic.

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15. Can courses taken for insurance and other designations be used toward meeting my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) continuing professional education (CPE) requirements?
16. I completed an ethics course for another jurisdiction; can I use the same course to meet Florida's Certified Public Accountant (CPA) ethics CPE requirements?
17. Where can I find a list of Florida board-approved Certified Public Accounting (CPA) ethics courses and providers?

You can find a list of board-approved ethics courses and providers on the Division’s website.

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18. I missed the June 30th completion deadline for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) continuing professional education (CPE), is there an extension?

Yes, there are two automatic extensions for Florida Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to complete CPE for their reestablishment period. Licensees wishing to take advantage of the extension periods must complete additional CPE hours in accounting and auditing subjects.

The first extension period requires the completion of eight (8) additional CPE hours in accounting and auditing subjects for a total of 88 hours with at least 16 in accounting and auditing, four (4) in Florida board-approved ethics, and not more than 20 in behavioral. To use this extension, you must complete the additional hours by September 15th.

The second extension period requires the completion of 16 additional CPE hours in accounting and auditing subjects for a total of 96 hours with at least 24 in accounting and auditing, four (4) in Florida board-approved ethics, and not more than 20 in behavioral. To use this extension, you must complete the additional hours by December 31st.

There is no application to utilize either of the extension periods.

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19. How many years should I retain proof of completion of continuing professional education (CPE) for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

Documentation evidencing course completion should be retained for at least two years after the current renewal period in the event the licensee is selected for the annual CPE audit.

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20. Do I have to complete the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Laws and Rules exam?

No, effective with the reestablishment period ending June 30, 2009, the exam is no longer required.

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21. How do I notify DBPR that a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is deceased?

You can mail us a letter advising us of the licensee’s passing along with a copy of the death certificate to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Central Intake Unit
2601 Blair Stone Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Or, send an email advising us of the licensee’s passing with an attached copy of the death certificate or obituary.

22. How do I retire my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

The Florida Board of Accountancy does not have a retired status. If you do not wish to maintain an active license you have the following options:

Option 1a – Request Inactive Status (During Renewal Period): A licensee can remain on inactive status indefinitely by renewing every two years. If you wish to place your license on inactive status you can do so during your renewal cycle. To place your license on inactive status check the inactive box on the top of the renewal notice and pay the fee as indicated in the renewal notice. Note: Licensees who are in an inactive status cannot use the CPA designation or practice public accounting.

Option 1b – Request Inactive Status (Outside of Renewal Period): If a licensee is outside the renewal cycle (90 days prior to license expiration), they can submit the Change of Status application and the applicable fee.

Option 2 – Voluntary Relinquish License – To voluntarily relinquish your license, you will need to complete the Change of Status Application.

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23. How do I change my mailing address or location address for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

Address changes can be made one of several ways:

  • Through DBPR Online Services
  • Submit an address change form or letter via fax at 850-487-9529
  • By mail to:
    Department of Business and Professional Regulation
    2601 Blair Stone Rd
    Tallahassee, FL 32399

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24. If I change my mailing address for my certified public accounting (CPA) license, does my location address automatically change?

No. You must specify which address you would like changed.

1. How do I change the name of my Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Firm license?
2. Can a null and void Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm license be reinstated?

A null and void CPA firm license cannot be reinstated. You must complete and submit a new CPA firm application.  Once approved, you will be assigned a new CPA firm license number.

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3. If a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is retired or deceased, is the firm required to remove the name from the signage and advertisement?

If the CPA is retired or deceased, the firm name may include the names of these partners, shareholders, or members of the entity.

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4. How do I add a new Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a non-CPA owner to the firm?

Inform the Florida Board of Accountancy of any new CPA or non-CPA owner(s) to the firm In your annual report.

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5. How do I update my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Firm's mailing or location address?

You can update your Firm’s mailing address online at DBPR Online Services.

To update your location address you must submit a written request that is signed by an owner of the firm to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation 2601 Blair Stone Rd Tallahassee, FL 32399-1027.

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1. Can I relinquish a delinquent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license?

No. Your license must be in current active or current inactive status to relinquish.

2. How do I relinquish my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or CPA firm license?

You must submit a Change of Status Application to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Rd
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Your request will be considered by the Florida Board of Accountancy at a regularly scheduled board meeting. You will be notified of the Board’s decision within two weeks of the meeting date.

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Reactivating or Reinstating Your License

1. What is reactivation in regards to a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license?

When a CPA’s license reverts to delinquent, active status, they must reactivate their license if they are practicing as a CPA. This process requires submitting the reactivation application, application fee, CPE, and supporting documents.

Note: The license can be placed on “inactive” status prior to the license reverting to null, which would be two years after the expiration date.

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2. How long does it take to process the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) reactivation package?

It takes approximately three (3) to five (5) business days for the initial review of the reactivation package. It can take longer the closer the application package is sent to the deadline because of the number of applications being received.

3. How can I verify whether or not my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) reactivation package was received?

You can contact the Florida Board of Accountancy at (850) 487-1395 or visit DBPR Online Services.

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4. How many continuing professional education (CPE) hours are required to reactivate a delinquent or inactive CPA license?

You will need to complete 120 total CPE hours to include 30 hours of accounting and auditing, eight (8) hours of Florida board-approved ethics and not more than 30 hours in behavioral subjects.

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5. What is the 24 month rule in regards to Certified Public Accounting (CPA)?

The CPE hours must be completed within the 24 months immediately preceding the date of the application for reactivation.

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1. Can a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) reactivate/reinstate their null and void license?

Yes, there are three ways to regain licensure once a CPA license reverts to null & void status:

1. Apply for the CPA examination by completing the application, submitting the $50.00 application fee, and submitting official transcripts evidencing current education requirements are met.
2. If licensed in another state, you can apply for licensure by endorsement.
3.  If the licensee has made a good faith effort to maintain their license but has failed to comply because of illness or unusual hardship, the licensee must complete Form # DBPR CPA 9 Application for Reinstatement of Null and Void License and submit it to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 2601 Blair Stone Rd, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

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2. Can a null and void Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm license be reinstated?

A null and void CPA firm license cannot be reinstated. You must complete and submit a new CPA firm application.  Once approved, you will be assigned a new CPA firm license number.

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Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Roger Scarborough, Director
Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 352.333.2508