Adopted and Filed

Licensure status and renewal of certificates and licenses, ch 5

Untitled document

ARC 7681C

ACCOUNTANCY EXAMINING BOARD[193A]

Adopted and Filed

Rulemaking related to licensure status and renewal of certificates and licenses

The Accountancy Examining Board hereby rescinds Chapter 5, "Licensure Status and Renewal of Certificates and Licenses," Iowa Administrative Code, and adopts a new chapter with the same title.

Legal Authority for Rulemaking

This rulemaking is adopted under the authority provided in Iowa Code section 542.4.

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rulemaking implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code chapter 542 and Executive Order 10 (January 10, 2023).

Purpose and Summary

These amendments implement changes recommended by Executive Order 10. Chapter 5 provides useful information to current Iowa Certified Public Accountant (CPA)/Licensed Public Accountant (LPA) individual licensees on status options available for a license, and what, if any, services may be offered while in a specific status. The provisions for license renewal include necessary information on due dates and processes.

Public Comment and Changes to Rulemaking

Notice of Intended Action for this rulemaking was published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on January 10, 2024, as ARC 7388C. Public hearings were held on January 30, 2024, and January 31, 2024, at 12:30 p.m.at 6200 Park Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. No one attended the public hearings. No public comments were received. No changes from the Notice have been made.

Adoption of Rulemaking

This rulemaking was adopted by the Board on February 15, 2024.

Fiscal Impact

This rulemaking has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa. No current fees are being changed, and no new fees are being imposed.

Jobs Impact

After analysis and review of this rulemaking, no impact on jobs has been found.

Waivers

Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rulemaking would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to 481—Chapter 6.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rulemaking by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rulemaking at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

Effective Date

This rulemaking will become effective on April 10, 2024.

The following rulemaking action is adopted:

Item 1. Rescind 193A—Chapter 5 and adopt the following new chapter in lieu thereof:

CHAPTER 5

LICENSURE STATUS AND RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES

193A—5.1(542) Licensure status and practice privilege.

5.1(1) Licenses issued by the board pursuant to Iowa Code section 542.6, 542.8, or 542.19, or any other applicable law or rule, may be in active, inactive, or lapsed status, as follows:

a. An initial license is issued in active status with an expiration date. Maintaining active status is conditioned on periodic renewal as provided in rule 193A—5.3(542). Completion of sufficient continuing education as provided in 193A—Chapter 10 is a prerequisite to renewal in active status.

b. A license may be renewed in inactive status as provided in rule 193A—5.7(272C,542) if the licensee does not satisfy the continuing education obligations for renewal in active status. A renewal license issued in inactive status lapses if not timely renewed pursuant to rule 193A—5.3(542). An inactive license may be reinstated to active status at any time pursuant to subrule 5.7(7).

c. An active or inactive license that is not timely renewed lapses. A lapsed license may be reinstated to active or inactive status at any time pursuant to subrule 5.4(3).

5.1(2) Practicing public accounting in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa while holding an inactive or lapsed license is a ground for discipline under Iowa Code section 542.10 and may also or alternatively provide grounds for the regulatory actions described in Iowa Code section 542.14.

5.1(3) Out-of-state individuals holding an inactive or lapsed Iowa CPA certificate and out-of-state individuals to whom an Iowa CPA certificate has never been issued under Iowa Code chapter 542 or prior law may exercise a practice privilege under Iowa Code section 542.20 if they hold an active CPA certificate in the jurisdiction in which they maintain their principal place of business and otherwise satisfy all of the conditions described in Iowa Code section 542.20 and 193A—Chapter 20.

5.1(4) Exercising a practice privilege in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa while holding an inactive or lapsed Iowa CPA certificate places a special burden on the individual to ensure that the public is informed about the individual's licensure status in Iowa and in the jurisdiction of active licensure, as provided in 193A—paragraphs 20.8(2)"b" and 20.8(3)"b." As a practical matter, an individual's failure to clarify licensure status in Iowa and in the jurisdiction of the individual's principal place of business may confuse the public. However, the public may consult CPAverify, a comprehensive national data bank, to verify an individual's licensure in another jurisdiction. CPAverify may be accessed at www.cpaverify.org. A client contacting the board or consulting the board's website will be informed of the individual's licensure status in Iowa.

193A—5.2(542) Notices.

5.2(1) The board typically sends, by electronic means, a notice to licensees in the May preceding license expiration, but neither the failure of the board to send nor a licensee's failure to receive a renewal notice excuses the obligation to timely renew a license.

5.2(2) A licensee needs to notify the board within 30 days of any change of address or firm affiliation.

193A—5.3(542) Renewal procedures.

5.3(1) Licenses expire on June 30 of each year. Licensees will submit electronic online renewal application by the deadline in the renewal year. An application is deemed filed on the date of electronic renewal. An annual renewal fee will be charged.

5.3(2) Applicants for renewal are obligated to disclose on the application all background and character information requested by the board including, but not limited to:

a. All states or foreign jurisdictions in which the applicant has applied for or holds a CPA certificate or license, an LPA license, or a substantially equivalent designation from a foreign country;

b. Any past denial, revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew a CPA certificate, license or permit to practice or LPA license; voluntary surrender of a CPA certificate, license or permit or LPA license to resolve or avoid disciplinary action; or similar actions concerning a substantially equivalent foreign designation;

c. Any other form of discipline or other penalty imposed against a CPA certificate, license or permit, LPA license, or a substantially equivalent foreign designation, or a practice privilege;

d. The conviction of any crime; and

e. The revocation of a professional license of any kind in this or any other jurisdiction.

5.3(3) A licensee who performs compilation services for the public other than through a certified public accounting or licensed public accounting firm needs to submit a certification of completion of a peer review conducted in accordance with 193A—Chapter 11 no less often than once every three years.

5.3(4) Within the meaning of Iowa Code section 17A.18(2), a timely and sufficient renewal application needs to be:

a. Received by the board in electronic form on or before the date the license is set to expire or lapse;

b. Certified as accurate through the online renewal process;

c. Fully completed, including continuing education, if applicable; and

d. Accompanied with the proper fee. Attempted financial transactions that result in payment of anything less than the proper fee will result in application rejection.

5.3(5) The administrative processing of an application to renew an existing license does not prevent the board from subsequently commencing a contested case to challenge the licensee's qualifications for continued licensure if grounds exist to do so.

5.3(6) If grounds exist to deny a timely and sufficient application to renew, the board will send written notification to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested. Grounds may exist to deny an application to renew if, for instance, the licensee failed to meet the continuing education obligations. If the basis for denial is pending disciplinary action or disciplinary investigation, which is reasonably expected to culminate in disciplinary action, the board shall proceed as provided in 193—Chapter 7. If the basis for denial is not related to a pending or imminent disciplinary action, the applicant may contest the board's decision as provided in 193—subrule 7.39(1).

5.3(7) When a licensee appears to be in violation of mandatory continuing education under 193A—Chapter 10, the board may, in lieu of proceeding to a contested case hearing on the denial of a renewal application as provided in rule 193—7.39(546,272C), offer a licensee the opportunity to renew in inactive status or to sign a consent order. While the terms of the consent order will be tailored to the specific circumstances at issue, the consent order will typically impose a penalty, depending on the severity of the violation; establish deadlines for compliance; and may impose additional educational obligations on the licensee. A licensee is free to accept or reject the offer. If the offer of settlement is accepted, the licensee will be issued a renewed license and will be subject to disciplinary action if the terms of the consent order are not complied with. If the offer of settlement is rejected, the matter will be set for hearing, if timely requested by the applicant pursuant to 193—subrule 7.39(1). A licensee who falsely reports continuing education to the board may be subject to additional sanctions including, when appropriate, suspension or revocation.

5.3(8) A certificate or license holder who continues to practice public accounting as a CPA or an LPA in Iowa after the certificate or license has expired may be subject to disciplinary action. Such unauthorized activity may also be grounds to deny a licensee's application for reinstatement.

193A—5.4(542) Failure to renew.

5.4(1) A license or certificate holder who fails to renew the certificate or license by the expiration date, but does so within 30 days following its expiration date, will be assessed a penalty as provided in rule 193A—12.1(542).

5.4(2) If the holder fails to renew the certificate or license within the 30-day grace period, the certificate or license will lapse. The licensee is not authorized to practice during the period of time that the certificate or license is lapsed, including the 30-day grace period.

5.4(3) The board may reinstate a lapsed certificate or license upon the applicant's submission of an application to reinstate and completion of all of the following:

a. Paying a penalty as provided in rule 193A—12.1(542);

b. Paying the current renewal fee;

c. Providing evidence of completed continuing education outlined in rule 193A—10.5(542), if the licensee wishes to reinstate to active status; and

d. Providing a written statement outlining the professional activities of the applicant during the period in which the applicant's license was lapsed describing all services performed that constitute the practice of accounting including, but not limited to, those professional practice activities described in subrule 5.9(2). The applicant will also be obligated to state whether the applicant exercised a practice privilege in the period during which the license was lapsed and, if so, the jurisdiction of the applicant's principal place of business and status of out-of-state licensure.

5.4(4) A licensee holding a lapsed CPA certificate is not authorized to perform attest or compilation services or to otherwise practice public accounting using the title "CPA" in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa. A licensee holding a lapsed LPA license is not authorized to perform compilation services or to otherwise practice public accounting in Iowa using the title "LPA." A licensee holding a lapsed CPA certificate or LPA license may not use the title "CPA" or "LPA" in any context unless the licensee discloses that the certificate or license has lapsed. Additionally, a person holding a lapsed Iowa CPA certificate and who is actively licensed as a CPA in another jurisdiction in which the person maintains the principal place of business may be eligible to exercise a practice privilege pursuant to Iowa Code section 542.20 and 193A—Chapter 20.

5.4(5) Practicing public accounting on a lapsed license is a ground for discipline. The board may find probable cause to file charges if the individual continues to offer services defined as the practice of public accounting while using the title "CPA" or "LPA" during the period of lapsed licensure. In addition to the disciplinary sanctions described in rule 193A—16.3(272C,542), individuals found to have practiced public accounting on a lapsed license will be obligated to notify clients upon such terms as the board orders.

193A—5.5(272C,542) Certificates and licenses—property of the board. Every certificate or license granted by the board will, while it remains in the possession of the holder, be preserved by the holder but always remain the property of the board. In the event that the certificate or license is revoked or suspended, or is not renewed in the manner prescribed by Iowa Code chapter 542 or 272C, the licensee will, on demand, deliver the certificate or license by the holder to the board. However, a person is entitled to retain possession of a lapsed certificate or license that has not been revoked, suspended or voluntarily surrendered in a disciplinary action as long as the person complies with all provisions of Iowa Code sections 542.10 and 542.13. A lapsed certificate or license may be reinstated to active or inactive status at any time pursuant to subrule 5.4(3).

193A—5.6(542) Licensee's continuing duty to report. An active or inactive licensee has a duty to notify the board in writing of the licensee's conviction of a crime within 30 days of the date of conviction. "Conviction" is defined in Iowa Code section 542.5(2). Licensees also have a duty to notify the board in writing within 30 days of the date of any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a certificate, license or permit by another state.

193A—5.7(272C,542) Inactive status.

5.7(1) General purpose. This rule establishes a procedure under which a person issued a certificate as a certified public accountant or a license as a licensed public accountant may apply to the board for licensure in inactive status. Inactive licensure under this rule is available to a certificate or license holder who is not engaged in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa in any practice of public accounting. A person eligible for inactive status may, as an alternative, allow the person's certificate or license to lapse.

5.7(2) Eligibility. A person holding a lapsed or active certificate or license that has not been revoked or suspended may apply to renew in inactive status through the online application process if the person is not engaged in the state of Iowa or for clients with a home office in Iowa in any practice regulated by the board, including:

a. Supervising or performing any attest services, such as audits, reviews or agreed-upon procedures (which may only be performed by a CPA within a CPA firm that holds a permit to practice);

b. Supervising or performing compilation services or otherwise issuing compilation reports (which may only be performed by a CPA or LPA); or

c. Performing any accounting, tax, consulting, or financial or managerial advisory services for any client, business, employer, government body, or other entity while holding oneself out as a CPA or an LPA or otherwise using titles regulated by Iowa Code section 542.13.

5.7(3) Affirmation. The application form will contain a statement in which the applicant affirms that the applicant will not engage in any of the practices in Iowa listed in subrule 5.7(2) without first complying with all rules governing reinstatement to active status. A person in inactive status may reinstate to active status at any time pursuant to subrule 5.7(7).

5.7(4) Renewal. A person licensed in inactive status may renew the person's certificate or license on the schedule described in rule 193A—5.1(542). Such person is exempt from the continuing education provisions under 193A—Chapter 10 and will be charged a reduced renewal fee as provided in rule 193A—12.1(542). An inactive certificate or license lapses if not timely renewed.

5.7(5) Permitted practices. A person may, while registered as inactive, perform for a client, business, employer, government body, or other entity those accounting, tax, consulting, or financial or managerial advisory services that may lawfully be performed by a person to whom a certificate or license has never been issued as long as the person does not in connection with such services use the title "CPA" or "LPA," or any other title regulated under Iowa law for use only by CPAs or LPAs in Iowa Code section 542.13 (with or without additional designations such as "inactive"). Regulated titles may only be used by active CPAs or LPAs who are subject to continuing education under 193A—Chapter 10 to ensure that the use of such titles is consistently associated with the maintenance of competency through continuing education. Additionally, individuals who are actively licensed as CPAs in another jurisdiction in which they maintain their principal place of business may be eligible to exercise a practice privilege pursuant to Iowa Code section 542.20 and 193A—Chapter 20.

5.7(6) Unauthorized practices. A person who, while licensed in inactive status, engages in any of the practices described in subrule 5.7(2) or violates any provision of rule 193A—14.2(17A,272C,542) is subject to disciplinary action. A person in inactive status is not authorized to verify the experience of an applicant for a CPA certificate under Iowa Code section 542.5(12) or an applicant for an LPA license under Iowa Code section 542.8(8).

5.7(7) Reinstatement to active status. A person licensed in inactive status needs to, prior to engaging in any of the practices in Iowa listed in subrule 5.7(2) or for a client with a home office in Iowa, apply to the board to reinstate to active status. Such person will be obligated to pay the applicable renewal fee for active status, but is given credit for renewal fees previously paid for inactive status if the person applies for reinstatement at a date other than the person's regular renewal date. Such person will be obligated to demonstrate compliance with all applicable continuing education and peer review obligations. A person who has engaged in the practice of public accounting as an active licensee of another jurisdiction while licensed as inactive in Iowa will be deemed to have satisfied the continuing education obligations for reinstatement if the person demonstrates that the person has satisfied substantially equivalent continuing education in the other jurisdiction.

5.7(8) Retired status. A person holding an inactive license who does not reasonably expect to return to the workforce in the practice of public accounting due to bona fide retirement or disability may use the title "CPA, retired" or "LPA, retired," as applicable, in the context of non-income-producing personal activities. These designations may only be used during a period of bona fide retirement or disability.

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code chapters 272C and 542 and section 10A.506.

[Filed 2/15/24, effective 4/10/24]

[Published 3/6/24]

Editor's Note: For replacement pages for IAC, see IAC Supplement 3/6/24.

Accountancy Examining Board


This Organization is a part of the Professional Licensing and Regulation Bureau

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  • Licensure status and renewal of certificates and licenses, ch 5
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  • Adopted and Filed

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