TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is warning Floridians of the danger of hiring unlicensed certified public accountants (CPAs) to assist with their personal and business financial needs. In Florida, CPAs are required to have a professional license.
“With tax season upon us, Floridians and businesses across the state are hiring CPAs to prepare their financial documents,” DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson said. “While there are many other accountants and tax professionals who are able to assist with a variety of financial needs, only CPAs are licensed by the state to perform specific services. It’s important to be aware of the benefits of hiring licensed CPAs and to be informed on how to verify a CPA license with the state.”
In order to provide advanced financial, business and tax services to their clients, licensed CPAs must have successfully passed the Uniform CPA Examination and are required to meet strict professional and technical requirements mandated by Florida law. They are licensed to perform audits, reviews and compilations, as well as express opinions of financial statements that provide a level of assurance regarding the reliability or fairness of the financial information at hand.
Before a licensed CPA is hired, consumers should always verify the individual’s State of Florida professional license with DBPR. Licenses can be verified by visiting www.MyFloridaLicense.com, calling (850) 487-1395or downloading the free DBPR Mobile app available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Unlicensed activity occurs when an individual offers to perform or performs services that require a state license and the individual does not hold the required license. Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure and holds the people who have met these requirements to high professional standards. Floridians are asked to report any suspected unlicensed activity to DBPR by emailing ULA@myfloridalicense.com or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1 (866) 532-1440.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.