(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a Florida certified public accountant shall apply to the department to take the licensure examination.
(2) An applicant is entitled to take the licensure examination to practice in this state as a certified public accountant if:
(a) The applicant has completed 120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours from an accredited college or university with a concentration in accounting and business courses as specified by the board by rule; and
(b) The applicant shows that she or he has good moral character. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “good moral character” has the same meaning as provided in s. 473.308(6)(a). The board may refuse to allow an applicant to take the licensure examination 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.
If an applicant is found pursuant to this paragraph to be unqualified to take the licensure examination 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.
(3) The board shall have the authority to establish the standards for determining and shall determine:
(a) What constitutes a passing grade for each subject or part of the licensure examination;
(b) Which educational institutions, in addition to the universities in the State University System of Florida, shall be deemed to be accredited colleges or universities;
(c) What courses and number of hours constitute a major in accounting; and
(d) What courses and number of hours constitute additional accounting courses acceptable under s. 473.308(3).
(4) The board may adopt an alternative licensure examination for persons who have been licensed to practice public accountancy or its equivalent in a foreign country so long as the International Qualifications Appraisal Board of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has ratified an agreement with that country for reciprocal licensure.
(5) For the purposes of maintaining the proper educational qualifications for licensure under this chapter, the board may appoint an Educational Advisory Committee, which shall be composed of one member of the board, two persons in public practice who are licensed under this chapter, and four academicians on faculties of universities in this state.