Regulation of Accountants – New Jersey

New Jersey’s Accountancy Act of 1997 deals with registration, examination and revocation of license of accountants.  According to N.J. Stat. § 45:2B-49, every applicant for examination for licensure as a certified public accountant shall apply to the board a written application along with the required fee, and satisfactory proof of the following:

  • That the applicant is at least 18 years of age;
  • That the applicant is of good moral character; and
  • That the applicant has at least 120 semester hours of education, including a baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent, from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Commission on Higher Education, except that no applicant shall be issued a license unless he has successfully completed at least 150 hours of education. The educational program shall include a concentration in accounting or its equivalent and related professional courses as determined by regulation of the board.

N.J. Stat. § 45:2B-51 requires that, every applicant, having passed the examination in compliance with the provisions of the act, shall provide satisfactory proof to the board that s/he has had one year of experience in the practice of public accountancy or its equivalent, and the experience includes evidence of intensive and diversified experience in auditing or accounting.

N.J. Stat. § 45:2B-58 requires every certified public accountant and public accountant licensed to practice public accountancy within New Jersey shall renew his or her license triennially with the board and pay a triennial license fee established by the board by regulation.  A certified public accountant or a public accountant shall not engage in practice without renewing license.

According to N.J. Stat. § 45:2B-59, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, the board may revoke any license or registration, suspend any license or registration or refuse to renew any license or registration; reprimand, censure, or limit the scope of practice of any licensee; impose an administrative fine; or place any licensee on probation, for any of the following reasons:

  • Fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in obtaining a license or registration;
  • Cancellation, revocation, suspension or refusal to renew the authority to engage in the practice of public accountancy in any other state for reasons consistent with this section;
  • Failure to maintain compliance with the requirements for issuance or renewal of that license or registration or to report changes to the board in the name or composition of any firm or individual licensed or registered in New Jersey;
  • Revocation or suspension of the right to practice before any state or federal agency;
  • Dishonesty, fraud, gross negligence or repeated acts of negligence in the practice of public accountancy or in the filing or failure to file the licensee’s or registrant’s own income tax returns;
  • Violation of any provision of the act or regulation, or any rule of professional conduct promulgated by the board;
  • Conviction of a crime, an element of which is dishonesty or fraud;
  • Performance of any fraudulent act while holding a license or registration issued under this act, or prior laws regulating accountants in this State;
  • Any conduct reflecting adversely upon the licensee’s fitness to engage in the practice of public accountancy;
  • If the licensee is incapable for medical or any other good cause of discharging the functions of a licensee in the manner consistent with the public’s health, safety and welfare; or
  • The failure of an individual or a firm to have all the qualifications prescribed by the act under which the individual or firm qualified for registration or licensing.

The board may impose any other disciplinary sanction or civil penalties also.  In addition to the above board may require of a licensee or registrant a quality review conducted in a manner as specified by the board or satisfactory completion of continuing professional education programs required by the board or appropriate community service as the board may require.

Inside Regulation of Accountants – New Jersey