Regulation and Licensing

An accountant is a practitioner of accountancy, which discloses or assures about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers to make resource allocation decisions.

In the U.S., most of the states have statutes that provide for a state board of accountancy or a board of certified public accountants.  Statutes may require the registration of accountants and accounting firms with the state board of accountancy[i].

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) serves as a forum for the state boards of accountancy.  NASBA’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness of state boards of accountancy.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the certified professional association of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the U.S.  AICPA deals with rule making, standard setting and legislative bodies, state CPA societies, and other professional organizations.

A state has the power to revoke the license which grants the right to practice public accountancy.  A person cannot acquire a vested right to practice accountancy by his/her registration certificate[ii].  However, the disciplinary charges before a licensing board must be established by clear and convincing evidence.

[i] Colo. State Bd. of Accountancy v. Paroske, 39 P.3d 1283 (Colo. Ct. App. 2001)

[ii] Murrill v. State Board of Accountancy, etc., 97 Cal. App. 2d 709 (Cal. App. 1950)

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