Regulation of Accountants – North Dakota

Pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-01, Chapter, Accountants intend to promote the reliability of information that is used for guidance in financial transactions or for accounting for or assessing the financial status or performance of commercial, noncommercial, and governmental enterprises.

According to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-04, the board shall grant the certificate of “certified public accountant” to any person of good moral character.  The board shall also grant or renew certificates to persons who make application and demonstrate their qualifications.  The education requirement for a certificate is as follows:

  • Through December 31, 1999, a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, and an accounting concentration or equivalent, or four years of public accounting experience on one’s own account or in the office of a public accountant in active practice, or in an accounting or auditing position with the government of the United States or a state.
  • After December 31, 1999, at least one hundred fifty semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate.

An applicant must pass the examination which tests the applicant’s knowledge of the subjects of accounting and, in order to qualify for a certificate.  A certificate of certified public accountant must be renewed each year, with renewal subject to payment of fees and any other requirements prescribed by the board.  After December 31, 2000, an applicant for initial issuance of a certificate shall show that the applicant has had one year of experience which must include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills.  As a condition for granting and renewal of certificates, the board may require that applicants show completion of continuing education meeting requirements of board rule.

Pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-09, the board may revoke any certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit issued under this chapter ; suspend or refuse to renew any such certificate, license, practice privilege, for a period of not more than five years; reprimand, censure, or limit the scope of practice of any licensee or holder of a practice privilege; impose an administrative fine not exceeding 1,000 dollars; or place any licensee or holder of a practice privilege on probation,  for any one or more of the following reasons:

  • Fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit;
  • Cancellation, revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew a certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit in any other state or jurisdiction for any cause;
  • Failure, on the part of a holder of a certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit, to maintain compliance with the requirements for issuance or renewal of such certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit or to report changes to the board under section 43-02.2-04, 43-02.2-06, or 43-02.2-07;
  • Revocation or suspension of the right to practice before any state or federal agency;
  • Dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence in the performance of services as a licensee or in the filing or failure to file the licensee’s own income tax returns;
  • Violation of any provision of this chapter or rule adopted by the board;
  • Violation of any rule of conduct adopted by the board;
  • Conviction of a felony, or of any crime an element of which is dishonesty or fraud;
  • Performance of any fraudulent act while holding a certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit issued under this chapter or prior law;
  • Any conduct reflecting adversely upon the licensee’s fitness to perform services while a licensee; and
  • Making any false or misleading statement or verification, in support of an application for a certificate, license, or permit filed by another.

The board may require of a licensee either a practice review conducted as the board specifies or a satisfactory completion of continuing education programs the board specifies or both.  However, pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-10, the affected individual has a right to a hearing before the board on such contemplated disciplinary action and has a right to appeal to the courts from the decision of the board on the hearing.  Moreover, pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-11, the board may modify the suspension or reissue the certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit upon application in writing by the person or firm affected and for good cause shown and payment of a fee established by the board.

According to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-12, a person or firm that is not a licensee or otherwise authorized to practice in North Dakota not practice or offer to practice public accountancy or issue a report on financial statements of any other person, firm, organization, or governmental unit.  A person not holding a valid certificate or practice privilege issued under this chapter may not use or assume the title or designation “certified public accountant”, or the abbreviation “CPA” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a certified public accountant.   A person may not assume or use the title or designation “licensed public accountant” or the abbreviation “LPA”, or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a licensed public accountant unless the person is registered.  A person or firm not holding a valid certificate, license, practice privilege, or permit may not assume or use the title or designation “certified accountant”, “chartered accountant”, “enrolled accountant”, “licensed accountant”, “public accountant”, “registered accountant”, “accredited accountant”, or any other title or designation likely to be confused with the titles “certified public accountant” or “licensed public accountant”, or use any of the abbreviations “CA”, “LA”, “PA”, “RA”, “AA”, or similar abbreviation likely to be confused with the abbreviations “CPA” or “LPA”.

Pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-13, if as a result of an investigation, the board believes that any person has engaged in unlawful acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of the chapter, Accountants,  the board may make application to the appropriate court, and upon a showing by the board that such person has engaged, or is about to engage, in any such acts or practices, an injunction, restraining order, or other appropriate order must be granted by the court.

Pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-14, any person or firm who knowingly violates any provision of section 43-02.2-12 is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.  According to N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-02.2-15, in any action, evidence of the commission of a single act prohibited is sufficient to justify a penalty, injunction, restraining order, or conviction, without evidence of a general course of conduct.


Inside Regulation of Accountants – North Dakota