Regulation of Accountants – Missouri

Pursuant to § 326.280 R.S.Mo., a license shall be granted by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy  to any person who meets the requirements of the chapter and who:

  • Is a resident of this state or has a place of business in this state or, as an employee, is regularly employed in this state;
  • Has attained the age of twenty-one years;
  • Is of good moral character;
  • Applied for the initial examination prior to June 30, 1999, and holds a baccalaureate degree conferred by an accredited college or university recognized by the board, with a concentration in accounting or the substantial equivalent of a concentration in accounting as determined by the board; or
  • Applied for the initial examination on or after June 30, 1999, and has at least one hundred fifty semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by an accredited college or university recognized by the board, with the total educational program including an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate;
  • Has passed an examination in accounting, auditing and such other related subjects as the board shall determine is appropriate; and
  • Has had one year of experience.

§ 326.286 R.S.Mo.provides that the board may grant or renew licenses to persons who make application and demonstrate that their qualifications, including the qualifications prescribed by section 326.280, are in accordance with this section.  Licenses shall be initially issued and renewed for periods of not more than three years and shall expire on the renewal date following issuance or renewal.  Applications for licenses shall be made in such form, and in the case of applications for renewal, between such dates, as the board by rule shall specify. Application and renewal fees shall be determined by the board by rule.  With regard to applicants that do not qualify for reciprocity pursuant to subsection 1 of this section, or a provisional license through the substantial equivalency standard set out in subsection 1 of section 326.283, the board may issue a license to an applicant upon a showing that:

  • The applicant passed the examination required for issuance of the applicant’s certificate with grades that would have been passing grades at the time in this state;
  • The applicant had four years of experience outside of this state of the type described in subdivision (6) of subsection 1 of section 326.280 or meets equivalent requirements prescribed by the board by rule, after passing the examination upon which the applicant’s license was based and within the ten years immediately preceding the application; and
  • If the applicant’s certificate, license or permit was issued more than four years prior to the application for issuance of a license pursuant to this section, the applicant has fulfilled the requirements of continuing professional education that would have been applicable pursuant to subsection 6 of this section.

As an alternative to the requirements of subsection 3 of this section, a certified public accountant licensed by another state who establishes a principal place of business in this state shall request the issuance of a license from the board prior to establishing the principal place of business.  The board may issue a license to the person who obtains verification from the NASBA National Qualification Appraisal Service that the individual’s qualifications are substantially equivalent to the licensure requirements of sections 326.250 to 326.331.  An application pursuant to this section may be made through the NASBA Qualification Appraisal Service.

For renewal of a license pursuant to this section, each licensee shall participate in a program of learning designed to maintain professional competency.  Applicants for initial issuance or renewal of licenses pursuant to this section shall list all states in which they have applied for or hold certificates, licenses or permits and list any past denial, revocation or suspension or any discipline of a certificate, license or permit.  The board may issue a license to a holder of a substantially equivalent foreign designation, provided that the foreign authority which granted the designation makes similar provisions to allow a person who holds a valid license issued by this state to obtain such foreign authority’s comparable designation; and the foreign designation:

  • Was duly issued by a foreign authority that regulates the practice of public accounting and the foreign designation has not expired or been revoked or suspended;
  • Entitles the holder to issue reports upon financial statements; and
  • Was issued upon the basis of educational, examination and experience requirements established by the foreign authority or by law; and

The applicant:

  • Received the designation based on educational and examination standards substantially equivalent to those in effect in this state at the time the foreign designation was granted;
  • Completed an experience requirement substantially equivalent to the requirement set out in subdivision (6) of subsection 1 of section 326.280 in the jurisdiction which granted the foreign designation or has completed four years of professional experience in this state, or meets equivalent requirements prescribed by the board by rule within the ten years immediately preceding the application; and
  • Passed a uniform qualifying examination in national standards and an examination on the laws, regulations and code of ethical conduct in effect in this state acceptable to the board.

An applicant pursuant to subsection 8 of this section shall list all jurisdictions, foreign and domestic, in which the applicant has applied for or holds a designation to practice public accounting.  Each holder of a license issued pursuant to this subsection shall notify the board in writing within thirty days after its occurrence of any issuance, denial, revocation, suspension or any discipline of a designation or commencement of a disciplinary or enforcement action by any jurisdiction.10.  The board has the sole authority to interpret the application of the provisions of subsections 8 and 9 of this section.

Pursuant to § 326.289 R.S.Mo., the board may grant or renew permits to practice as a certified public accounting firm to applicants that demonstrate their qualifications in accordance with this chapter.  The following shall hold a permit issued under this chapter:

  • Any firm with an office in this state, as defined by the board by rule, performing attest services;
  • Any firm with an office in this state that uses the title “CPA” or “CPA firm”; and
  • Any firm that does not have an office in this state performing attest services for a client having a home office in this state.

A firm which does not have an office in this state may perform compilation and review services for a client having a home office in this state and may use the title “CPA” or “CPA firm” without a permit issued under this section only if it:

  • Has the qualifications described in subsections 4 and 9 of this section; and
  • Performs such services through an individual with the privilege to practice under subsection 1 of section 326.283.

A firm which is not subject to the requirements of subdivisions (1) or (2) of this subsection may perform other professional services while using the title “CPA” or “CPA firm” in this state without a permit issued under this section only if it:

  • Has qualifications described in subsection 4 of this section;
  • Performs such services through an individual with the privilege to practice under section 326.283; and
  • Can lawfully do so in the state where said individual with privilege to practice has his/her principal place of business.
  • Permits shall be initially issued and renewed for periods of not more than three years or for a specific period as prescribed by board rule following issuance or renewal.

The board shall determine by rule the form for application and renewal of permits and shall annually determine the fees for permits and their renewals.  An applicant for initial issuance or renewal of a permit to practice under this section shall be required to show that:

A simple majority of the ownership of the firm, in terms of financial interests and voting rights of all partners, officers, principals, shareholders, members or managers, belongs to licensees who are licensed in some state, and the partners, officers, principals, shareholders, members or managers, whose principal place of business is in this state and who perform professional services in this state are licensees under section 326.280 or the corresponding provision of prior law. and identifies that individual to the board

An applicant for initial issuance or renewal of a permit to practice shall register each office of the firm within this state with the board and show that all attest, review and compilation services rendered in this state are under the charge of a licensee.

§ 326.310 R.S.Mo.provides that the board may refuse to issue any license or permit required pursuant to this chapter for one or any combination of causes stated in subsection 2 of this section.  The board shall notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the refusal and shall advise the applicant of the applicant’s right to file a complaint with the administrative hearing commission as provided by chapter 621, RSMo.  The board may file a complaint with the administrative hearing commission as provided by chapter 621, RSMo, or may initiate settlement procedures as provided by section 621.045, RSMo, against any certified public accountant or permit holder required by this chapter or any person who fails to renew or surrenders the person’s certificate, license or permit for any one or any combination of the following causes:

  • Use of any controlled substance, as defined in chapter 195, RSMo, or alcoholic beverage to an extent that the use impairs a person’s ability to perform the work of any profession licensed or regulated by this chapter;
  • The person has been finally adjudicated and found guilty, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, in a criminal prosecution under the laws of any state or of the United States, for any offense reasonably related to the qualifications, functions or duties of any profession licensed or regulated pursuant to this chapter, for any offense an essential element of which is fraud, dishonesty or an act of violence, or for any offense involving moral turpitude, whether or not sentence is imposed;
  • Use of fraud, deception, misrepresentation or bribery in securing any certificate, permit or license issued pursuant to this chapter or in obtaining permission to take any examination given or required pursuant to this chapter;
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain any fee, charge, tuition or other compensation by fraud, deception or misrepresentation;
  • Incompetency, misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, misrepresentation or dishonesty in the performance of the functions or duties of any profession licensed or regulated by this chapter;
  • Violation of, or assisting or enabling any person to violate, any provision of this chapter or any lawful rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter;
  • Impersonation of any person holding a certificate or permit or allowing any person to use his or her certificate or permit or diploma from any school;
  • Revocation, suspension, restriction, modification, limitation, reprimand, warning, censure, probation or other final disciplinary action against the holder of or applicant for a license or other right to practice any profession regulated by this chapter by another state, territory, federal agency or country, whether voluntarily agreed to by the certified public accountant or applicant, including but not limited to the denial of licensure, surrender of a license, allowing a license to expire or lapse, or discontinuing or limiting the practice of accounting while subject to an investigation or while actually under investigation by any licensing authority, branch of the armed forces of the United States of America, court, agency of the state or federal government, or employer;
  • A person is finally adjudged insane or incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  • Assisting or enabling any person to practice or offer to practice accountancy pursuant to this chapter who is not eligible to practice pursuant to this chapter;
  • Issuance of a certificate or permit based upon a material mistake of fact;
  • Failure to display a valid certificate or permit required by this chapter or any rule promulgated pursuant to this chapter;
  • Violation of any professional trust or confidence;
  • Use of any advertisement or solicitation which is false, misleading or deceptive to the general public or persons to whom the advertisement or solicitation is primarily directed;
  • Violation of professional standards or rules of professional conduct applicable to the accountancy profession as promulgated by the board;
  • Failure to comply with any final order of a court of competent jurisdiction enforcing a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum from the board;
  • Failure to comply with any final order of the board;
  • Failure to maintain documentation evidencing compliance with the board’s continuing professional education requirements;
  • Failure, on the part of a holder of a certificate, license or permit pursuant to section 326.280 or 326.289, to maintain compliance with the requirements for issuance or renewal of such certificate, license, permit or provisional license or to report changes to the board pursuant to sections 326.280 to 326.289;
  • Making any false or misleading statement or verification in support of an application for a certificate, license or permit filed by another.

Pursuant to § 326.313 R.S.Mo., after notice and hearings as provided in chapter 621, RSMo, the board may revoke the permit of a CPA firm if it does not have all the qualifications prescribed by section 326.289; or may revoke, suspend or censure the permit holder for any of the causes enumerated in section 326.310.  § 326.316 R.S.Mo. provides that upon application in writing and after hearing pursuant to notice, the board may issue a new license to a licensee whose license has been revoked, or may reissue or modify the suspension of any permit to practice public accounting which has been revoked or suspended.


Inside Regulation of Accountants – Missouri