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2012 Florida Statutes

F.S. 473.308
473.308 Licensure.
(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a Florida certified public accountant in this state shall apply to the department for licensure, and the department shall license any applicant who the board certifies is qualified to practice public accounting.
(2) The board shall certify for licensure any applicant who successfully passes the licensure examination and satisfies the requirements of subsections (3), (4), and (5), and shall certify for licensure any firm that satisfies the requirements of ss. 473.309 and 473.3101. The board may refuse to certify any applicant or firm that has violated any of the provisions of s. 473.322.
(3) An applicant for licensure must have at least 150 semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by an accredited college or university, with a concentration in accounting and business in the total educational program to the extent specified by the board.
(4)(a) An applicant for licensure after December 31, 2008, must show that he or she has had 1 year of work experience. This experience shall include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of which must be verified by a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state or territory of the United States. This experience is acceptable if it was gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice; constituted a substantial part of the applicant’s duties; and was verified by a certified public accountant licensed by a state or territory of the United States. The board shall adopt rules specifying standards and providing for the review and approval of the work experience required by this section.
(b) However, an applicant who completed the requirements of subsection (3) on or before December 31, 2008, and who passes the licensure examination on or before June 30, 2010, is exempt from the requirements of this subsection.
(5) An applicant for licensure shall show that the applicant has good moral character.
(6)(a) “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.
(b) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for failure to satisfy this requirement if:
1. The board finds a reasonable relationship between the lack of good moral character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a certified public accountant; and
2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by competent substantial evidence.
(c) When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a license because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish to the applicant a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the applicant to a rehearing and appeal.
(7) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by endorsement an applicant who:
(a)1. Is not licensed and has not been licensed in another state or territory and who has met the requirements of this section for education, work experience, and good moral character and has passed a national, regional, state, or territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by s. 473.306; and
2. Has completed such continuing education courses as the board deems appropriate, within the limits for each applicable 2-year period as set forth in s. 473.312, but at least such courses as are equivalent to the continuing education requirements for a Florida certified public accountant licensed in this state during the 2 years immediately preceding her or his application for licensure by endorsement; or
(b)1.a. Holds a valid license to practice public accounting issued by another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of such license were substantially equivalent to the licensure criteria that existed in this state at the time the license was issued;
b. Holds a valid license to practice public accounting issued by another state or territory of the United States but the criteria for issuance of such license did not meet the requirements of sub-subparagraph a.; has met the requirements of this section for education, work experience, and good moral character; and has passed a national, regional, state, or territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by s. 473.306; or
c. Holds a valid license to practice public accounting issued by another state or territory of the United States for at least 10 years before the date of application; has passed a national, regional, state, or territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by s. 473.306; and has met the requirements of this section for good moral character; and
2. Has completed continuing education courses that are equivalent to the continuing education requirements for a Florida certified public accountant licensed in this state during the 2 years immediately preceding her or his application for licensure by endorsement.
(8) If the applicant has at least 5 years of experience in the practice of public accountancy in the United States or in the practice of public accountancy or its equivalent in a foreign country that the International Qualifications Appraisal Board of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has determined has licensure standards that are substantially equivalent to those in the United States, or has at least 5 years of work experience that meets the requirements of subsection (4), the board shall waive the requirements of subsection (3) which are in excess of a baccalaureate degree. All experience that is used as a basis for waiving the requirements of subsection (3) must be while licensed as a certified public accountant by another state or territory of the United States or while licensed in the practice of public accountancy or its equivalent in a foreign country that the International Qualifications Appraisal Board of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has determined has licensure standards that are substantially equivalent to those in the United States. The board shall have the authority to establish the standards for experience that meet this requirement.
(9) The board may refuse to certify for licensure any applicant who is under investigation in another state for any act that would constitute a violation of this act or chapter 455, until such time as the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated.
History.ss. 7, 25, ch. 79-202; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 10, 11, ch. 85-9; s. 1, ch. 86-102; s. 21, ch. 89-374; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 126, 223, ch. 94-119; s. 3, ch. 94-151; s. 347, ch. 97-103; s. 115, ch. 98-166; s. 4, ch. 98-340; s. 1, ch. 2000-114; s. 176, ch. 2000-160; s. 10, ch. 2000-332; s. 1, ch. 2004-87; s. 1, ch. 2007-139; s. 2, ch. 2008-81; s. 7, ch. 2009-54; s. 1, ch. 2012-176.