Regulation of Accountants – Texas

Pursuant to Tex. Occ. Code § 901.251, a person who is an individual may not engage in the practice of public accountancy unless the person holds a certificate issued under this chapter or practices in this state under a privilege under Section 901.462.  The board shall issue a certificate to a person who meets the applicable requirements of this chapter.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.252 provides that to be eligible to receive a certificate, a person must:

  • be of good moral character as determined under Section 901.253;
  • meet the education requirements established under Section 901.254 or 901.255;
  • pass the uniform CPA examination;
  • meet the work experience requirements established under Section 901.256; and
  • pass an examination on the rules of professional conduct as determined by board rule.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.401 provides that an individual who holds a certificate issued under this chapter must also hold a license issued under this chapter.  Each office in this state of a certified public accountancy firm or a firm of public accountants must hold a license issued under this chapter.

Pursuant to Tex. Occ. Code § 901.402On payment of the required fees, the board shall issue a license to an applicant who:

  • holds a certificate issued under this chapter; or
  • holds a firm license issued under this chapter.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.403 provides that the board shall specify the form of the application for a license; the term of a license; and the requirements for renewal of a license.  The board by rule may adopt a system under which licenses expire on various dates during the year.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.451 provides that a person may not assume or use the title or designation ” certified public accountant,” the abbreviation “CPA,” or any other title, designation, word, letter, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a certified public accountant unless the person holds a certificate under this chapter.  A person may not provide attest services or assume or use the title “certified public accountants,” the abbreviation “CPAs,” or any other title, designation, word, letter, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a certified public accountancy firm unless:

  • the person holds a firm license issued under this chapter or
  • practices in this state under a privilege under Section 901.461;
  • ownership of the person complies with the requirements of this chapter and rules adopted by the board; and
  • the person complies with board rules authorizing the practice.

The title or designation “certified public accountant” and the abbreviation “CPA” may not be used in connection with an office that is required to be under the supervision of a resident manager under Section 901.353 unless the resident manager holds a certificate and a license issued under this chapter.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.452 provides that a person may not assume or use the title or designation “public accountant” or any other title, designation, word, letter, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a public accountant, or a firm composed of public accountants, unless:

  • the person is certified and licensed under this chapter; and
  • each of the person’s offices in this state for the practice of public accounting is maintained and practices under a firm license as required under Subchapter H.

Pursuant to Tex. Occ. Code § 901.457, a license holder or a partner, member, officer, shareholder, or employee of a license holder may not voluntarily disclose information communicated to the license holder or a partner, member, shareholder, or employee of the license holder by a client in connection with services provided to the client by the license holder or a partner, member, shareholder, or employee of the license holder, except with the permission of the client or the client’s representative.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.501 provides that on a determination that a ground for discipline exists under Section 901.502, after notice and hearing as provided by Section 901.509, the board may:

  • revoke a certificate, firm license, or practice privilege issued under this chapter;
  • suspend under any terms a certificate, firm license, practice privilege, or license issued under this chapter for a period not to exceed five years;
  • to renew a license;
  • place a license holder on probation;
  • reprimand a license holder;
  • limit the scope of a license holder’s practice;
  • require a license holder to complete a peer review program conducted in the manner prescribed by the board;
  • require a license holder to complete a continuing education program specified by the board;
  • impose on a license holder the direct administrative costs incurred by the board in taking action under Subdivisions (1) through (8);
  • require a license holder to pay restitution as provided by Section 901.6015;
  • impose an administrative penalty under Subchapter L; or
  • impose any combination of the sanctions provided by this subsection.

If a person’s license suspension is probated, the board may require the person to:

  • report regularly to the board on matters that are the basis of the probation;
  • limit practice to the areas prescribed by the board; or
  • continue or renew professional education until the license holder attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the board in those areas that are the basis of the probation.

Tex. Occ. Code § 901.502 provides that the board may discipline a person under Section 901.501 for:

  • fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate, firm license, or license under this chapter;
  • fraud, dishonesty, or gross negligence in the performance of services as a license holder;
  • the failure of a person who is certified or required to hold a firm license under this chapter to obtain a license not later than the third anniversary of the date on which the person was certified or required to obtain a firm license;
  • the failure of a person who is licensed under this chapter to renew the license not later than the third anniversary of the date on which the person most recently obtained or renewed the license;
  • revocation or suspension of the certificate or firm license or a revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew the license of the person’s partner, member, or shareholder;
  • a revocation, cancellation, placement on probation, limitation on the scope of practice, or suspension by another state, or a refusal of renewal by another state, of the authority issued by that state to the person, or to the person’s partner, member, or shareholder, to engage in the practice of public accountancy for a reason other than the failure to pay the appropriate authorization fee;
  • a revocation or suspension of, or a voluntary consent decree concerning, the right of the person, or of the person’s partner, member, or shareholder, to practice before a state or federal agency for a reason the board determines warrants its action;

Pursuant to Tex. Occ. Code § 901.507, on receipt of a written application, and after notice and hearing, the board may:

  • issue a new certificate to an individual whose certificate was revoked;
  • issue a new firm license to a person whose firm license was revoked;
  • reinstate a suspended license or modify the terms of the suspension;
  • approve a previously denied application to take the uniform CPA examination; or
  • reinstate an individual’s previously voided uniform CPA examination grades.

Inside Regulation of Accountants – Texas