CPA confusing requirements


Z

zibzulander

I'm thinking of getting a CPA. I am in the early stages of planning but
I am very confused about how things vary for each state. My problem
stems from the fact that I did my undergrad in computer science(in USA)
and my masters in Finance(in england). Now I feel I need a CPA to get
the job I'm looking for. I don't have the accounting credits to get a
CPA so far in any state. But Alaska only has a 15 semester credit in
accounting requirement. So, does it matter where I take the CPA?
Although I right now live in Ohio I intend to move soon to either New
York, California or even possibly (but unlikely) Massachusetts. Will it
look bad if I take the CPA in Alaska or another state which has a more
relaxed requirements? If I move to another state, can I still practice
there with my CPA from say Alaska or will I have some problems?
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

I'm thinking of getting a CPA. I am in the early stages of planning but
I am very confused about how things vary for each state. My problem
stems from the fact that I did my undergrad in computer science(in USA)
and my masters in Finance(in england). Now I feel I need a CPA to get
the job I'm looking for. I don't have the accounting credits to get a
CPA so far in any state. But Alaska only has a 15 semester credit in
accounting requirement. So, does it matter where I take the CPA?

It might. A future employer may need you to be licensed in the state they
intend to work you in, and then the issue comes down to - does that state
have reciprocity with Alaska? If not, you ain't nothing but an accountant
without their CPA.


Although I right now live in Ohio I intend to move soon to either New
York, California or even possibly (but unlikely) Massachusetts. Will it
look bad if I take the CPA in Alaska or another state which has a more
relaxed requirements? If I move to another state, can I still practice
there with my CPA from say Alaska or will I have some problems?

To practice, and by that I mean physically work, as a CPA in another state
generally requires you to be licensed in that state. It may be as simple as
filing a form and paying a fee, to having to sit all over again if the state
you are licensed in isn't recognized by the state you want to work in.

Now, are you absolutely sure you meet the requirements to sit for the exam
in Alaska? I thought they required 150 hours like most all other states.

http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/occ/pub/CPARegulations.pdf

Section 08.04.120
 
D

David Jensen

I'm thinking of getting a CPA. I am in the early stages of planning but
I am very confused about how things vary for each state. My problem
stems from the fact that I did my undergrad in computer science(in USA)
and my masters in Finance(in england). Now I feel I need a CPA to get
the job I'm looking for. I don't have the accounting credits to get a
CPA so far in any state. But Alaska only has a 15 semester credit in
accounting requirement. So, does it matter where I take the CPA?
Yes. Even states that have reciprocity tend to have rules about how long
you have practiced in the state you got your CPA from. You may also want
to check to see if Alaska has any experience requirements.
Although I right now live in Ohio I intend to move soon to either New
York, California or even possibly (but unlikely) Massachusetts. Will it
look bad if I take the CPA in Alaska or another state which has a more
relaxed requirements?
Initially, practicing as a CPA is limited to the state that you have
your CPA from. I doubt that any state will give reciprocity if you sat
for the test in one state but never practiced there.
If I move to another state, can I still practice
there with my CPA from say Alaska or will I have some problems?
If you have qualifying experience in the state that you originally
qualified in, most states have reciprocity. If you do not, you may not.
 
C

Chinvat

To practice, and by that I mean physically work, as a CPA in another state
generally requires you to be licensed in that state. It may be as simple as
filing a form and paying a fee, to having to sit all over again if the state
you are licensed in isn't recognized by the state you want to work in.
According to my research:
You can perform accounting services to the general public without
licensure, including preparation of financial statements, tax prep,
auditing and bookkeeping. To audit a publically held company or to
prepare financial statements for a publically held company you need to
be licensed, but most CPAs don't do that anyway.

If you get licensed in another state, you are legally permitted to call
yourself a CPA and you are legally permitted to perform functions not
requiring licensure. Given all this, I don't see why not just get
licensed by the state with the lowest requirement.

Most state boards of accountancy will say you need to be licensed in
that state to practice public accountancy, but they don't define public
accountancy.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Chinvat said:
According to my research:
You can perform accounting services to the general public without
licensure, including preparation of financial statements, tax prep,
auditing and bookkeeping.

But, you can't use the "CPA", "Certified Public Accountant" or any similar
misleading terminology. In other words, you can't hold yoursefl out as a
CPA. So someone can do tax work, but not as a CPA without that certificate.
AND - without that state license.

If I were to go to another state, and work in that state - AS A CPA - then I
have to have that state's license, or a temporary license/permit, or a
permit for a foreign CPA, or whatever the terminology is.


If you get licensed in another state, you are legally permitted to call
yourself a CPA and you are legally permitted to perform functions not
requiring licensure. Given all this, I don't see why not just get
licensed by the state with the lowest requirement.

Last time I checked, Alaska has a 150 hour rule. Besides, don't you have to
fly to Alaska to take the test?


Most state boards of accountancy will say you need to be licensed in
that state to practice public accountancy, but they don't define public
accountancy.

They define within the statute, what you can - and most importantly what you
can not - call yourself.
 
C

Chinvat

But, you can't use the "CPA", "Certified Public Accountant" or any similar
misleading terminology. In other words, you can't hold yoursefl out as a
CPA. So someone can do tax work, but not as a CPA without that certificate.
AND - without that state license.
If you are a CPA then you are a CPA where ever you are. You don't have
to lie to people and tell them you are not a CPA whenever you cross a
state line. And if some high school drop-out can open up a tax prep
office, then an out of state CPA can perform the same service next
door.

Having out of state licensure shouldn't give you less rights than the
high school drop-out, next door. I have yet to see where any board of
accountancy has specifically stated that you can't perform the same
services, as any other individual and keep your out of state license.
But I'm not saying that such a statute doesn't exist.

If any state board of accountancy says you can't claim you are a CPA,
when you clearly are, they are violating your basic right of free
speech, which they do not have the authority to do.

If I were to go to another state, and work in that state - AS A CPA - then I
have to have that state's license, or a temporary license/permit, or a
permit for a foreign CPA, or whatever the terminology is.
Define work as a CPA.

They define within the statute, what you can - and most importantly what you
can not - call yourself.
They don't have the authority.
 
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S

Steve

If you are a CPA then you are a CPA where ever you are. You don't have
to lie to people and tell them you are not a CPA whenever you cross a
state line. And if some high school drop-out can open up a tax prep
office, then an out of state CPA can perform the same service next
door.

Having out of state licensure shouldn't give you less rights than the
high school drop-out, next door. I have yet to see where any board of
accountancy has specifically stated that you can't perform the same
services, as any other individual and keep your out of state license.
But I'm not saying that such a statute doesn't exist.

If any state board of accountancy says you can't claim you are a CPA,
when you clearly are, they are violating your basic right of free
speech, which they do not have the authority to do.



Define work as a CPA.



They don't have the authority.
Actually "they" do. There are state laws about who can advertise a "CPA"
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Chinvat said:
If you are a CPA then you are a CPA where ever you are.

Sure you are, but you can't call yourself that in a business and/or work AS
A CPA without that state's approval.


And if some high school drop-out can open up
a tax prep office, then an out of state CPA can
perform the same service next door.

And if the CPA doesn't have a license from that state and calls themselves a
CPA, then they are breaking the law (and risk losing their license in
whatever state licensed them) while the high school dropout picks up their
clients.


Having out of state licensure shouldn't give you less
rights than the high school drop-out, next door.

Not having a license gives you the SAME rights as the high school drop-out
next door. And both of you have the right to do the work without calling
yourselves a CPA.

You want to call yourself a CPA, get the license.


Define work as a CPA.

Call myself a CPA while doing accounting or tax work.

If I don't call myself a CPA, I'm not working "AS A CPA", I'd just be a
bookkeeper, like the guy next door.


They don't have the authority.

Yes, they do. There are often cease and desist orders handed out, increased
to monetary fines, and caps out at felony convictions for claiming to be a
licensed CPA when said license does not exist.

You can be a plumber too, but you can't do plumbing work in another state
without that state issuing a license.
 
H

Holly Sommer

Last time I checked, Alaska has a 150 hour rule. Besides, don't you have to
fly to Alaska to take the test?
Nope, the exam can be taken in any Prometric site, AFAIK.
 
B

brecker

Chinvat? Does that mean don't know %#&! in French?

States DO regulate CPAs, Lawyers, Doctors, Banks, Insurance just to name a
few industries.

You can perform tax work without a CPA license, but you cannot perform any
attestation without it. Not just audits of public companies, but audits of
any companies.

You can be a lawyer in one state, but cannot practice in another that you
are not licensed in. You can still lecture, consult to other lawyers and
perform limited functions, jut not the full scope of the professional
services. You can't call yourself attoney at law in the state that you are
not licensed. You can still put JD after your name assuming that was your
degree.
 
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B

brecker

That is because you just can't sign up online. They offer it everywhere, in
every state.

In the old days (actually just a couple years ago), when we took the paper
and pencil test, you were approved by the state and the state administered
the exam twice a year. No you go through some national clearing house that
approves your qualifications based on the state requirements and then you go
call the site to schedule your exam. Not sure as I have not had to do it.

However, the plus side is that you can take the exam in any office for your
home state. I knew people here in AZ taking the exam for CA since they
started in CA and wanted complete their certification there and the apply
for reciprocity.
 
B

brecker

That is because you just can't sign up online. They offer it everywhere, in
every state.

In the old days (actually just a couple years ago), when we took the paper
and pencil test, you were approved by the state and the state administered
the exam twice a year. No you go through some national clearing house that
approves your qualifications based on the state requirements and then you go
call the site to schedule your exam. Not sure as I have not had to do it.

However, the plus side is that you can take the exam in any office for your
home state. I knew people here in AZ taking the exam for CA since they
started in CA and wanted complete their certification there and the apply
for reciprocity.
 
C

Chinvat

brecker said:
Chinvat? Does that mean don't know %#&! in French?
Chinvat is the ancient Assyrian accounting god, that kept your life in
his G/L. He would debit your good deeds and credit your bad deeds. If
you didn't have a positive balance at the end of your life you were
damned.
States DO regulate CPAs, Lawyers, Doctors, Banks, Insurance just to name a
few industries.
duh

You can perform tax work without a CPA license, but you cannot perform any
attestation without it. Not just audits of public companies, but audits of
any companies.
Wrong! Privately held companies can do whatever they want with their
books, just as long as they don't try to defraud investors with them
and they pay the correct taxes they owe.

If they wanted to they could call their assets bananas and their
liabilities cabbages. They could hire a alcholic homeless person to
audit the company.

The point of privately held companies using GAAP is that it gives them
a clearer understanding of what is going on with their business, so
management can make informed decisions, not to conform to any
regulation.
You can be a lawyer in one state, but cannot practice in another that you
are not licensed in.
That is because you can't practice law without a license. You can
practice accounting without a license. That is a big difference.
You can still lecture, consult to other lawyers and
perform limited functions, jut not the full scope of the professional
services. You can't call yourself attoney at law in the state that you are
not licensed. You can still put JD after your name assuming that was your
degree.
I realize that the state boards of accoutancy are telling people they
can't practice public accountancy without being licensed in their state
and I already stated that. I still think they are exceeding their
authority and am sure a good lawyer could beat them in court.

If you are a CPA in one state you should be able to call yourself one
in another. Where are they drawing the line: at telling people you are
a CPA, putting it on business cards or hanging a sign on your door? It
just seems wrong to me.

There would be no attempt to defraud the public if an out of state CPA
claimed they were a CPA. It strikes me as state government asserting
its influence not because it needs to but because it can.
 
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B

brecker

You can perform tax work without a CPA license, but you cannot perform
any
Wrong! Privately held companies can do whatever they want with their
books, just as long as they don't try to defraud investors with them
and they pay the correct taxes they owe.
Anyone can do taxes, but state law mandates that one has to be a CPA with a
LICENSE to Opine. Do you know what Opine means? Anyways, one can only
practice certain aspects of accounting without a license, taxes being one of
those areas because for 85% of the people the returns are not complex. Hell,
H&R Block can hire high school drop outs. However, I will repeat this one
more time because you have your head so far up your ass, only a CPA can
issue an opinion on financials being GAAP.

Banks can be private, but 'Joe's Accounting' cannot give an opinion on their
financial statements being GAAP. It would be in violation of both state, and
in this example, federal laws. Also, many not for profit entities require
single audits (know what that is?). The Feds say only a CPA, licensed by the
state, can do that. So, one more time, only CPAs can perform audits, or any
attestation work, and give an opinion. Both the state and federal gov't
uphold that.
 
C

Chinvat

brecker said:
Anyone can do taxes, but state law mandates that one has to be a CPA with a
LICENSE to Opine.
Nope. The state board of accountancy can only issue CPA licensure or
takes it away. It can't take away licensure from another state and it
doesn't make decisions on how your books must be kept. If you doubt
this, prove it.

Let me dumb this down for YOU. If little Sally has a lemonaide stand
and she asks her older brother to look at her books and tell her if
they confirm to GAAP, he is permitted to give his opinion.

As that lemonaide stand grows to a chain, nothing has changed. Her
brother can still audit her company. Suppose she decides to get a loan
from her grandfather. Her grandfather doesn't need to see CPA audited
financial statements and is legally permitted to trust her brother.

And if that chain grows further and she trys to get a loan from the
bank? Banks are prohibited from making risky investments, so they
wouldn't give the loan in many cases. They could though decide to make
the loan on non-audited or non-CPA audited financial statements if it
isn't large enough to effect the amount of risk in their loan
portfolio.

It is only after Sally goes public, then the SEC steps in and regulates
her accounting.

However, I will repeat this one
more time because you have your head so far up your ass, only a CPA can
issue an opinion on financials being GAAP.
You are retarded.
Banks can be private, but 'Joe's Accounting' cannot give an opinion on their
financial statements being GAAP. It would be in violation of both state, and
in this example, federal laws.
Banks are not like normal businesses because the finanancial security
of the country depends on a sound banking system. Try taking a basic
economics course.


Also, many not for profit entities require
single audits (know what that is?). The Feds say only a CPA, licensed by the
state, can do that.
Only ones receiving money from the federal government.

So, one more time, only CPAs can perform audits, or any
attestation work, and give an opinion. Both the state and federal gov't
uphold that.
No one more time. Sally can do whatever she wants to with the books for
her lemonaide stand. It belongs to her. If she wants some smoe to audit
her she can. Just as long as she doesn't try to defraud investors and
she pays her taxes.
 
J

Joe Canuck

Chinvat said:
Nope. The state board of accountancy can only issue CPA licensure or
takes it away. It can't take away licensure from another state and it
doesn't make decisions on how your books must be kept. If you doubt
this, prove it.

Let me dumb this down for YOU. If little Sally has a lemonaide stand
and she asks her older brother to look at her books and tell her if
they confirm to GAAP, he is permitted to give his opinion.

As that lemonaide stand grows to a chain, nothing has changed. Her
brother can still audit her company. Suppose she decides to get a loan
from her grandfather. Her grandfather doesn't need to see CPA audited
financial statements and is legally permitted to trust her brother.

And if that chain grows further and she trys to get a loan from the
bank? Banks are prohibited from making risky investments, so they
wouldn't give the loan in many cases. They could though decide to make
the loan on non-audited or non-CPA audited financial statements if it
isn't large enough to effect the amount of risk in their loan
portfolio.

It is only after Sally goes public, then the SEC steps in and regulates
her accounting.

However, I will repeat this one

You are retarded.


Banks are not like normal businesses because the finanancial security
of the country depends on a sound banking system. Try taking a basic
economics course.


Also, many not for profit entities require

Only ones receiving money from the federal government.

So, one more time, only CPAs can perform audits, or any

No one more time. Sally can do whatever she wants to with the books for
her lemonaide stand. It belongs to her. If she wants some smoe to audit
her she can. Just as long as she doesn't try to defraud investors and
she pays her taxes.
I think you are just green with envy there ChiaPet.
 
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