California becomes 49th state to pass CPA mobility law

BY KEN TYSIAC
September 21, 2012

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill allowing CPAs from outside California to represent clients in the state without being subject to additional license requirements.

The law takes effect on July 1, 2013. It will allow out-of-state CPAs to provide many services to their clients without obtaining a license or paying a fee to the California Board of Accountancy (CBA).

AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, applauded Brown for signing the bill, which was passed unanimously by the California legislature.

“It is a significant benefit to CPAs with valid licenses in other jurisdictions who already practice in California or who would like to do so,” Melancon said in a statement.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have passed CPA mobility legislation. Efforts continue to achieve cross-border privileges for CPAs under a “no notice, no fee, no escape” regulatory regime in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.. Since 2007, the AICPA has worked with state CPA societies, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, individual state boards of accountancy, AICPA members and firms in a national effort to update state licensing laws to permit cross-border mobility for CPAs.

“Nowadays even relatively small businesses may have offices or representatives in other states, let alone other nations,” Johanna Sweaney Salt, chair of the California Society of CPAs, said in a statement. “With the passage of this law, California CPAs will be better able to serve clients with multi-state locations.”

Salt said the law will benefit CPAs licensed in California because it eliminates the possibility of retaliatory action by other states that could reduce opportunities outside the state for California CPAs.

For more information about CPA mobility, see the AICPA webpage devoted to the topic.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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