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SB 796 — Public Accountancy

by Senator Latvala

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill increases the number of quarter hours required to sit for the examination for licensure as a certified public accountant (CPA) from 160 quarter hours to 180 quarter hours, which is equivalent to the alternative 120 semester hours required to sit for the examination.

The bill requires that persons who apply to sit for the license examination must show that he or she has good moral character, and that the Board of Accountancy within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation must deny an applicant who fails to show good moral character. Good moral character means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for the laws of this state and nation.

The bill requires the board to find a reasonable relationship between the lack of good moral character and an accountant’s professional responsibilities. The board must furnish the applicant the findings, complete record, and notice of rights if the applicant is found to be unqualified because of lack of good moral character.

The bill provides a process for reactivation of CPA licenses that have become inactive due to failure to complete the continuing education requirements. It extends the deadlines in the process for reactivation of licenses that have become inactive due to failure to complete the continuing education requirements. The bill extends, from June 30, 2012 to June 30, 2014, the date by which a person must have been inactive or delinquent for failure to complete the continuing education requirement. The bill extends, from June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2016, the deadline to complete the reactivation of the license. To reactivate the license, the person must complete 120 hours of continuing education.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 114-0