Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 - 9998.8]

  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 1. Accountants [5000 - 5158]

  ( Chapter 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 1353. )

ARTICLE 5. Certificates, Information and Records [5080 - 5095]
  ( Article 5 heading repealed and added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 310. )

5080.
  

The “certified public accountant” license shall be granted by the board to any person who meets the requirements of this article, has not committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of a license under Section 480, and files an application for licensure on a form provided by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1278, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1995.)

5080.1.
  

The board may require an applicant for a certified public accountant license to appear in person to determine if the applicant’s qualifications are as prescribed in this chapter and in rules adopted by the board.

(Added by renumbering Section 5081.3 by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1278, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1995.)

5081.
  

An applicant for an authorization to be admitted to the examination for a certified public accountant license shall:

(a) Not have committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of a license under Section 480.

(b) File the application prescribed by the board. This application shall not be considered filed unless all required supporting documents, fees, and the fully completed board-approved application form are received in the board office or filed by mail in accordance with Section 11003 of the Government Code on or before the specified final filing date.

(c) Meet one of the educational requirements specified in this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 807, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5082.
  

An applicant for a certified public accountant license shall have successfully passed an examination in subjects the board deems appropriate, and in the form and manner that the board deems appropriate. The board may, by regulation, prescribe the methods for applying for and conducting the examination, including methods for grading and determining a passing grade.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 807, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5082.1.
  

(a) The examination required by the board for the granting of a license as a certified public accountant may be conducted by the board or by a public or private organization specified by the board. The examination may be conducted under a uniform examination system.

(b) The board may make arrangements with a public or private organization for the conduct of the examination, as deemed necessary by the board. The board may contract with a public or private organization for materials or services related to the examination.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 807, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5082.2.
  

A candidate who fails an examination provided for in this article shall have the right to reexamination pursuant to the provisions of this article and regulations adopted by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 909, Sec. 19. Effective September 30, 2004.)

5082.3.
  

An applicant for a license as a certified public accountant may be deemed by the board to have met the examination requirements of Section 5082, 5092, or 5093 if the applicant satisfies all of the following requirements:

(a) The applicant is licensed or has comparable authority under the laws of any country to engage in the practice of public accountancy.

(b) The International Qualifications Appraisal Board jointly established by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has determined that the standards under which the applicant was licensed or under which the applicant secured comparable authority meet its standards for admission to the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination.

(c) The applicant has successfully passed the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination referenced in subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5082.4.
  

A Canadian Chartered Accountant in good standing may be deemed by the board to have met the examination requirements of Section 5082, 5092, or 5093 if he or she has successfully passed the Canadian Chartered Accountant Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination referenced in subdivision (b) Section 5082.3.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5082.5.
  

The board may give credit to a candidate who has passed all or part of the examination in another state or territory, if the members of the board determine that the standards under which the examination was held are as high as the standards established for examination in this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 704, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2002. See similar section added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718.)

5082.5.
  

The board may give credit to a candidate who has passed all or part of the examination in another state or territory, if the members of the board determine that the standards under which the examination was held are as high as the standards established for the examination in this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5086.
  

Individuals who, at the time of the enactment of this act, hold certified public accountant licenses heretofore issued under the laws of this state shall not be required to secure additional licenses under this chapter, but shall otherwise be subject to all the provisions of this act; and such licenses heretofore issued shall, for all purposes, be considered licenses under this chapter and subject to the provisions hereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1278, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1995.)

5087.
  

(a) The board may issue a certified public accountant license to any applicant who is a holder of a valid and unrevoked certified public accountant license issued under the laws of any state, if the board determines that the standards under which the applicant received the license are substantially equivalent to the standards of education, examination, and experience established under this chapter and the applicant has not committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial under Section 480. To be authorized to sign reports on attest engagements, the applicant shall meet the requirements of Section 5095.

(b) The board may in particular cases waive any of the requirements regarding the circumstances in which the various parts of the examination were to be passed for an applicant from another state.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5088.
  

(a) Any individual who is the holder of a current and valid license as a certified public accountant issued under the laws of any state and who applies to the board for a license as a certified public accountant under the provisions of Section 5087 may, until the time the application for a license is granted or denied, practice public accountancy in this state only under a practice privilege pursuant to the provisions of Article 5.1 (commencing with Section 5096), except that, for purposes of this section, the individual is not disqualified from a practice privilege during the period the application is pending by virtue of maintaining an office or principal place of business, or both, in this state. The board may by regulation provide for exemption, credit, or proration of fees to avoid duplication of fees.

(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2006.

(Repealed (in Sec. 9) and added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 921, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2005. Section operative January 1, 2006, by its own provisions.)

5090.
  

An applicant for the certified public accountant license shall comply with the education, examination, and experience requirements in either Section 5092 or 5093.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 415, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2011.)

5092.
  

(a) To qualify for the certified public accountant license, an applicant who is applying under this section shall meet the education, examination, and experience requirements specified in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d), or otherwise prescribed pursuant to this article. The board may adopt regulations as necessary to implement this section.

(b) An applicant for the certified public accountant license shall present satisfactory evidence that the applicant has completed a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university, meeting, at a minimum, the standards described in Section 5094, the total educational program to include a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting subjects and 24 semester units in business related subjects. This evidence shall be provided prior to admission to the examination for the certified public accountant license, except that an applicant who applied, qualified, and sat for at least two subjects of the examination for the certified public accountant license before May 15, 2002, may provide this evidence at the time of application for licensure.

(c) An applicant for the certified public accountant license shall pass an examination prescribed by the board pursuant to this article.

(d) The applicant shall show, to the satisfaction of the board, that the applicant has had two years of qualifying experience. This experience may include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills. To be qualifying under this section, experience shall have been performed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Experience in public accounting shall be completed under the supervision or in the employ of a person licensed or otherwise having comparable authority under the laws of any state or country to engage in the practice of public accountancy. Experience in private or governmental accounting or auditing shall be completed under the supervision of an individual licensed by a state to engage in the practice of public accountancy.

(e) This section shall become inoperative on January 1, 2014, but shall become or remain operative if the educational requirements in ethics study and accounting study established by subdivision (b) of Section 5093, Section 5094.3, and Section 5094.6 are reduced or eliminated.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 474, Sec. 1. Effective October 1, 2013. Conditionally inoperative on January 1, 2014, as provided in subd. (e).)

5092.1.
  

Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 5093, an applicant who has successfully completed the examination requirement specified in Section 5082 on or before December 31, 2013, may qualify for the issuance of a certified public accountant license until January 1, 2016, if he or she has met all remaining requirements specified in Section 5092 as they existed on December 31, 2013.

(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 474, Sec. 2. Effective October 1, 2013.)

5093.
  

(a) To qualify for the certified public accountant license, an applicant who is applying under this section shall meet the education, examination, and experience requirements specified in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d), or otherwise prescribed pursuant to this article. The board may adopt regulations as necessary to implement this section.

(b) (1) An applicant for admission to the certified public accountant examination under the provisions of this section shall present satisfactory evidence that the applicant has completed a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a degree-granting university, college, or other institution of learning accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency included in a list of these agencies published by the United States Secretary of Education under the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1001 et seq.), or meeting, at a minimum, the standards described in subdivision (c) of Section 5094. The total educational program shall include a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting subjects and 24 semester units in business-related subjects. This evidence shall be provided at the time of application for admission to the examination, except that an applicant who applied, qualified, and sat for at least two subjects of the examination for the certified public accountant license before May 15, 2002, may provide this evidence at the time of application for licensure.

(A) An applicant enrolled in a program at an institution as described in this paragraph that grants conferral of a baccalaureate degree upon completion of the 150 semester units required by paragraph (2) of this subdivision may satisfy the requirements of this paragraph if the applicant’s institution mails the applicant’s official transcript or its equivalent together or separately with a letter signed by the institution’s registrar, or its equivalent, directly to the board pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 5094. The letter shall include all of the following:

(i) A statement that the applicant is enrolled and in good standing in a program that will result in the conferral of a baccalaureate degree upon completion of either a master’s degree or the 150 semester units required by paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

(ii) A statement that the applicant has completed all requirements, including general education and elective requirements, for a baccalaureate degree and the only reason the college or university has yet to confer the degree is because the applicant is enrolled in a program that confers a baccalaureate degree upon completion of either a master’s degree or the 150 semester units required by paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

(iii) The date on which the applicant met all of the college’s or university’s requirements for conferral of a baccalaureate degree.

(B) The total educational program for an applicant described in subparagraph (A) shall include a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting subjects and 24 semester units in business-related subjects. This evidence shall be provided at the time of application for admission to the examination, except that an applicant who applied, qualified, and sat for at least two subjects of the examination for the certified public accountant license before May 15, 2002, may provide this evidence at the time of application for licensure.

(2) An applicant for issuance of the certified public accountant license under the provisions of this section shall present satisfactory evidence that the applicant has completed at least 150 semester units of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university, meeting, at a minimum, the standards described in Section 5094, the total educational program to include a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting subjects, 24 semester units in business-related subjects, and, after December 31, 2013, shall also include a minimum of 10 units of ethics study consistent with the requirements set forth in Section 5094.3 and 20 units of accounting study consistent with the regulations promulgated under subdivision (c) of Section 5094.6. This evidence shall be presented at the time of application for the certified public accountant license. Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed inconsistent with Section 5094 or 5094.6. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to be inconsistent with prevailing academic practice regarding the completion of units.

(c) An applicant for the certified public accountant license shall pass an examination prescribed by the board.

(d) The applicant shall show, to the satisfaction of the board, that the applicant has had one year of qualifying experience. This experience may include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills. To be qualifying under this section, experience shall have been performed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Experience in public accounting shall be completed under the supervision or in the employ of a person licensed or otherwise having comparable authority under the laws of any state or country to engage in the practice of public accountancy. Experience in private or governmental accounting or auditing shall be completed under the supervision of an individual licensed by a state to engage in the practice of public accountancy.

(e) Applicants completing education at a college or university located outside of this state, meeting, at a minimum, the standards described in Section 5094, shall be deemed to meet the educational requirements of this section if the board determines that the education is substantially equivalent to the standards of education specified under this chapter.

(f) An applicant who has successfully passed the examination requirement specified under Section 5082 on or before December 31, 2013, may qualify for the certified public accountant license without satisfying the 10 semester units of study set forth in Section 5094.3 or 20 semester units of accounting study consistent with the regulations promulgated under Section 5094.6, if the applicant completes all other requirements for the issuance of a license on or before December 31, 2015.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 474, Sec. 3. Effective October 1, 2013.)

5094.
  

(a) In order for education to be qualifying, it shall meet the standards described in subdivision (b) or (c) of this section.

(b) At a minimum, education shall be from a degree-granting university, college, or other institution of learning accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency included in a list of these agencies published by the United States Secretary of Education under the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1001 et seq.).

(c) Education from a college, university, or other institution of learning located outside the United States may be qualifying provided it is deemed by the board to be equivalent to education obtained under subdivision (b). The board may require an applicant to submit documentation of his or her education to a credential evaluation service approved by the board for evaluation and to cause the results of this evaluation to be reported to the board in order to assess educational equivalency.

(d) The board shall adopt regulations specifying the criteria and procedures for approval of credential evaluation services. These regulations shall, at a minimum, require that the credential evaluation service (1) furnish evaluations directly to the board, (2) furnish evaluations written in English, (3) be a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs, or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, (4) be used by accredited colleges and universities, (5) be reevaluated by the board every five years, (6) maintain a complete set of reference materials as specified by the board, (7) base evaluations only upon authentic, original transcripts and degrees and have a written procedure for identifying fraudulent transcripts, (8) include in the evaluation report, for each degree held by the applicant, the equivalent degree offered in the United States, the date the degree was granted, the institution granting the degree, an English translation of the course titles, and the semester unit equivalence for each of the courses, (9) have an appeal procedure for applicants, and (10) furnish the board with information concerning the credential evaluation service that includes biographical information on evaluators and translators, three letters of references from public or private agencies, statistical information on the number of applications processed annually for the past five years, and any additional information the board may require in order to ascertain that the credential evaluation service meets the standards set forth in this subdivision and in any regulations adopted by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 344, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2012.)

5094.3.
  

(a) An applicant for licensure as a certified public accountant shall, to the satisfaction of the board, provide documentation of the completion of 10 semester units or 15 quarter units of ethics study, as set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 5093, in the manner prescribed in this section.

(b) (1) Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, inclusive, an applicant shall complete 10 semester units or 15 quarter units in courses described in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f).

(2) Beginning January 1, 2017, an applicant shall complete 10 semester units or 15 quarter units in courses described in subdivisions (c), (d), (e), and (f).

(c) A minimum of three semester units or four quarter units in courses at an upper division level or higher devoted to accounting ethics or accountants’ professional responsibilities, unless the course was completed at a community college, in which case it need not be completed at the upper division level or higher.

(d) Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, inclusive, a maximum of 10 semester units or 15 quarter units, and on and after January 1, 2017, a maximum of 7 semester units or 11 quarter units, in courses containing the following terms in the course title:

(1) Business, government, and society.

(2) Business law.

(3) Corporate governance.

(4) Corporate social responsibility.

(5) Ethics.

(6) Fraud.

(7) Human resources management.

(8) Business leadership.

(9) Legal environment of business.

(10) Management of organizations.

(11) Morals.

(12) Organizational behavior.

(13) Professional responsibilities.

(14) Auditing.

(e) (1) A maximum of three semester units or four quarter units in courses taken in the following disciplines:

(A) Philosophy.

(B) Religion.

(C) Theology.

(2) To qualify under this subdivision, the course title shall contain one or more of the terms “introduction,” “introductory,” “general,” “fundamentals of,” “principles,” “foundation of,” or “survey of,” or have the name of the discipline as the sole name of the course title.

(f) A maximum of one semester unit of ethics study for completion of a course specific to financial statement audits.

(g) An applicant who has successfully passed the examination requirement specified under Section 5082 on or before December 31, 2013, is exempt from this section unless the applicant fails to obtain the qualifying experience as specified in Section 5092 or 5093 on or before December 31, 2015.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 474, Sec. 4. Effective October 1, 2013.)

5094.6.
  

(a) The board shall, by regulation, adopt guidelines for accounting study to be included as part of the education required under Section 5093.

(b) For purposes of this section, “accounting study” means independent study or other academic work in accounting, business, ethics, business law, or other academic work relevant to accounting and business, so as to enhance the competency of students as practitioners.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2013.)

5094.7.
  

(a) There is hereby created within the jurisdiction of the board an Accounting Education Advisory Committee for the purposes of subdivision (c) of Section 5094.6. The members of this committee shall be appointed by the board and shall be experts in accounting education. The committee shall be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2012, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2012, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 79. Effective January 1, 2010.)

5095.
  

(a) To be authorized to sign reports on attest engagements, a licensee shall complete a minimum of 500 hours of experience, satisfactory to the board, in attest services.

(b) To be qualifying under this section, attest experience shall have been performed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Experience in public accounting shall be completed under the supervision or in the employ of a person licensed or otherwise having comparable authority under the laws of any state or country to engage in the practice of public accountancy and provide attest services, and this experience shall be verified. Experience in private or governmental accounting or auditing shall be completed under the supervision of an individual licensed by a state to engage in the practice of public accountancy and perform attest services, and this experience shall be verified. An applicant may be required to present work papers or other evidence substantiating that the applicant has met the requirements of this section and applicable regulations.

(c) An individual who qualified for licensure by meeting the requirements of Section 5083 shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.

(d) The board shall adopt regulations to implement this section, including, but not limited to, a procedure for applicants under Section 5092 or Section 5093 to qualify under this section.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 704, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2002. See similar section added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718.)

5095.
  

(a) To be authorized to sign reports on attest engagements, a licensee shall complete a minimum of 500 hours of experience, satisfactory to the board, in attest services.

(b) To qualify under this section, attest experience shall have been performed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Experience in public accounting shall be completed under the supervision or in the employ of a person licensed or otherwise having comparable authority under the laws of any state or country to engage in the practice of public accountancy and provide attest services, and this experience shall be verified. Experience in private or governmental accounting or auditing shall be completed under the supervision of an individual licensed by a state to engage in the practice of public accountancy and perform attest services, and this experience shall be verified. An applicant may be required to present work papers or other evidence substantiating that the applicant has met the requirements of this section and any applicable regulations.

(c) An individual who qualified for licensure by meeting the requirements of Section 5083 shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.

(d) The board shall adopt regulations to implement this section, including, but not limited to, a procedure for applicants under Section 5092 or Section 5093 to qualify under this section.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 718, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 2002.)

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