State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_93 > GS_93-12

§ 93‑12.  Board ofCertified Public Accountant Examiners.

The name of the State Board ofAccountancy is hereby changed to State Board of Certified Public AccountantExaminers and said name State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners ishereby substituted for the name State Board of Accountancy wherever the lattername appears or is used in Chapter 93 of the General Statutes. Said Board iscreated as an agency of the State of North Carolina and shall consist of sevenmembers to be appointed by the Governor, five persons to be holders of validand unrevoked certificates as certified public accountants issued under theprovisions of this Chapter and two persons who are not certified publicaccountants who shall represent the interest of the public at large. Members ofthe Board shall hold office for the term of three years and until theirsuccessors are appointed. Appointments to the Board shall be made under theprovisions of this Chapter as and when the terms of the members of the presentState Board of Accountancy expire; provided, that all future appointments tosaid Board shall be made for a term of three years expiring on the thirtiethday of June. All Board members serving on June 30, 1980, shall be eligible tocomplete their respective terms. No member appointed to a term on or after July1, 1980, shall serve more than two complete consecutive terms. The powers andduties of the Board shall be as follows:

(1)        To elect from itsmembers a president, vice‑president and secretary‑treasurer. Themembers of the Board shall receive compensation and reimbursement for travelexpenses in accordance with G.S. 93B‑5.

(2)        To employ legalcounsel, clerical and technical assistance and to fix the compensationtherefor, and to incur such other expenses as may be deemed necessary in theperformance of its duties and the enforcement of the provisions of thisChapter. Upon request the Attorney General of North Carolina will advise theBoard with respect to the performance of its duties and will assign a member ofhis staff, or approve the employment of counsel, to represent the Board in anyhearing or litigation arising under this Chapter. The Board may, in theexercise of its discretion, cooperate with similar boards of other states,territories and the District of Columbia in activities designed to bring aboutuniformity in standards of admission to the public practice of accountancy bycertified public accountants, and may employ a uniform system of preparation ofexaminations to be given to candidates for certificates as certified publicaccountants, including the services and facilities of the American Institute ofCertified Public Accountants, or of any other persons or organizations ofrecognized skill in the field of accountancy, in the preparation of examinationsand assistance in establishing and maintaining a uniform system of grading ofexamination papers, provided however, that all examinations given by said Boardshall be adopted and approved by the Board and that the grade or grades givento all persons taking said examinations shall be determined and approved by theBoard.

(3)        To formulate rulesfor the government of the Board and for the examination of applicants forcertificates of qualification admitting such applicants to practice ascertified public accountants.

(4)        To hold written,oral, and computer‑based examinations of applicants for certificates ofqualification at least once a year, or more often, as may be deemed necessaryby the Board.

(5)        To issuecertificates of qualification admitting to practice as certified publicaccountants, each applicant who, having the qualifications herein specified,has passed an examination to the satisfaction of the Board, in"accounting," "auditing," "business law," andother related subjects.

Aperson is eligible to take the examination given by the Board, or to receive acertificate of qualification to practice as a certified public accountant, ifthe person is a citizen of the United States, has declared the intention ofbecoming a citizen, is a resident alien, or is a citizen of a foreignjurisdiction which extends to citizens of this State like or similar privilegesto be examined or certified, is 18 years of age or over, and is of good moralcharacter.

To beeligible to take the examination given by the Board, a person shall submitevidence satisfactory to the Board that the person holds a bachelors degreefrom a college or university that is accredited by one of the regionalaccrediting associations or from a college or university determined by theBoard to have standards that are substantially equivalent to a regionallyaccredited institution. The degree studies shall include a concentration inaccounting as prescribed by the Board or shall be supplemented with coursesthat are determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to aconcentration in accounting.

TheBoard may, in its discretion, waive the education requirement of any candidateif the Board is satisfied from the result of a special written examinationgiven the candidate by the Board to test the candidate's educationalqualifications that the candidate is as well qualified as if the candidate metthe education requirements specified above. The Board may provide by regulationfor the general scope of such examinations and may obtain such advice andassistance as it deems appropriate to assist it in preparing, administering andgrading such special examinations.

To beeligible to receive a certificate of qualification to practice as a certifiedpublic accountant, a person shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Boardthat:

a.         The person hascompleted 150 semester hours and received a bachelors degree with aconcentration in accounting and other courses that the Board may require from acollege or university that is accredited by a regional accrediting associationor from a college or university determined by the Board to have standards thatare substantially equivalent to those of a regionally accredited institution.

b.         The person has theendorsement as to the person's eligibility of three certified publicaccountants who currently hold licenses in any state or territory of the UnitedStates or the District of Columbia.

c.         The person has oneof the following:

1.         One year'sexperience in the field of accounting under the direct supervision of a certifiedpublic accountant who currently holds a valid license in any state or territoryof the United States or the District of Columbia.

2.         Four years ofexperience teaching accounting in a four‑year college or universityaccredited by one of the regional accrediting associations or in a college oruniversity determined by the Board to have standards substantially equivalentto a regionally accredited institution.

3.         Four years ofexperience in the field of accounting.

4.         Four years ofexperience teaching college transfer accounting courses at a community collegeor technical institute accredited by one of the regional accreditingassociations.

5.         Any combination ofsuch experience determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to theforegoing.

The Boardmay permit persons otherwise eligible to take its examinations and withholdcertificates until the person has had the required experience.

(6)        In its discretion togrant certificates of qualification admitting to practice as certified publicaccountants such applicants who shall be the holders of valid and unrevokedcertificates as certified public accountants, or the equivalent, issued by orunder the authority of any state, or territory of the United States or theDistrict of Columbia, when in the judgment of the Board the requirements forthe issuing or granting of such certificates or degrees are substantiallyequivalent to the requirements established by this Chapter: Provided, however,that the state or political subdivision of the United States upon whosecertificate the reciprocal action is based grants the same privileges toholders of certificates as certified public accountants issued pursuant to theprovisions of this Chapter. The Board, by general rule, may grant temporarypermits to applicants under this subsection pending their qualification forreciprocal certificates.

(7)        To charge for eachexamination provided for in this Chapter a fee not exceeding four hundreddollars ($400.00). In addition to the examination fee, if the Board uses a testingservice for the preparation, administration, or grading of examinations, theBoard may charge the applicant the actual cost of the examination services. Theapplicant shall pay all fees and costs associated with the examination at thetime the application is filed with the Board. Examination fees and costs shallnot be refunded unless the Board deems the applicant ineligible forexamination.

(7a)      To charge for eachinitial certificate of qualification provided for in this Chapter a fee notexceeding one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).

(7b)      To require an annualregistration of each firm and to charge an annual registration fee not toexceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each firm with one office, and a feenot to exceed twenty‑five dollars ($25.00) for each additional NorthCarolina office of the firm, to defray the administrative costs of accountingpractice review programs. The Board may charge an annual fee not to exceedtwenty‑five dollars ($25.00) for each firm application for exemption fromthe accounting practice review program.

(8)        To require therenewal of all certificates of qualification annually on the first day of July,and to charge an annual renewal fee not to exceed one hundred dollars($100.00).

(8a)      To require theregistration of certified public accountant firms which have offices bothwithin and outside of North Carolina, and the payment by such firms of anannual registration fee based on the total number of partners in each suchfirm, but not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per firm peryear.

(8b)      To formulate rulesfor the continuing professional education of all persons holding thecertificate of certified public accountant, subject to the followingprovisions:

a.         After January 1,1983, any person desiring to obtain or renew a certificate as a certifiedpublic accountant must offer evidence satisfactory to the Board that the personhas complied with the continuing professional education requirement approved bythe Board. The Board may grant a conditional license for not more than 12months for persons who are being licensed for the first time, or moving intoNorth Carolina, or for other good cause, in order that the person may complywith the continuing professional education requirement.

b.         The Board shall adoptrules for the administration of the continuing professional educationrequirement with a minimum number of hours of 20 and a maximum number of hoursof 40 per year, and the Board may exempt persons who are retired or inactivefrom the continuing professional education requirement. The Board may alsopermit any certified public accountant to accumulate hours of continuingprofessional education in any calendar year of as much as two additional yearsannual requirement in advance of or subsequent to the required calendar year.

c.         Any applicant whooffers satisfactory evidence on forms promulgated by the Board that theapplicant has participated in a continuing professional education program ofthe type required by the Board shall be deemed to have complied with thissubdivision.

(8c)      The Board mayformulate rules and regulations for report review and peer review of audits,reviews, compilations, and other reports issued on financial information in thepublic practice of accountancy of all firms, as herein defined, subject to thefollowing provisions:

a.         After June 30, 1992,any firm desiring to obtain or maintain a registration as a firm must offersatisfactory evidence to the Board that such firm has complied with the peerreview and report review requirements approved by the Board; provided, however,that the Board shall give to every firm subject to this section not less than12 months advance notice of each peer review and report review required of thefirm.

b.         The Board may granta conditional registration for not more than 24 months for firms which arebeing registered for the first time, or moving into North Carolina, or forother good cause, in order that such firm may comply with the report review andpeer review requirements, and in order that the Board may develop a system ofreview rotation among the various firms that must comply with this section.

c.         The peer review andreport review shall be valid for a minimum of three years subject to the powerof the Board to require remedial action by any firm with a deficiency in thereview according to the rules established by the Board.

d.         The Board shallpromulgate rules and regulations for the administration of the report reviewand peer review requirements and the Board shall exempt firms that show to thesatisfaction of the Board that they are not engaged in the public practice ofaccountancy or that the scope of their practice does not come within the peerreview and report review guidelines established by the Board.

e.         Any firm that offerssatisfactory evidence to the Board that the firm has satisfactorilyparticipated in and successfully completed a peer review or a report review ofthe type required by the Board shall be deemed to have complied with thissection and the Board shall promulgate rules and regulations for theadministration of this procedure.

f.          For purposes ofthis section, a firm means an entity, sole proprietorship, partnership,registered limited liability partnership, professional limited liabilitycompany, or professional corporation through which one or more certificateholders engage in the public practice of accountancy through an office.

(9)        Adoption of Rules ofProfessional Conduct; Disciplinary Action. – The Board shall have the power toadopt rules of professional ethics and conduct to be observed by certifiedpublic accountants in this State and persons exercising the practice privilegeauthorized by this Chapter. The Board shall have the power to revoke, eitherpermanently or for a specified period, any certificate issued under theprovisions of this Chapter to a certified public accountant or any practiceprivilege authorized by the provisions of this Chapter or to censure the holderof any such certificate or person exercising the practice privilege authorizedby this Chapter. The Board also shall have the power to assess a civil penaltynot to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any one or combination of thefollowing causes:

a.         Conviction of afelony under the laws of the United States or of any state of the United States.

b.         Conviction of anycrime, an essential element of which is dishonesty, deceit or fraud.

c.         Fraud or deceit inobtaining a certificate as a certified public accountant.

d.         Dishonesty, fraud orgross negligence in the public practice of accountancy.

e.         Violation of anyrule of professional ethics and professional conduct adopted by the Board.

Anydisciplinary action taken shall be in accordance with the provisions of Chapter150B of the General Statutes. The clear proceeds of any civil penalty assessedunder this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fundin accordance with G.S. 115C‑457.2.

(10), (11) Repealed by SessionLaws 1993, c. 518, s. 8.

(12)      To submit annually onor before the first day of May to the Secretary of Revenue the names of allpersons who have qualified under this Chapter as certified public accountants.Privilege license issued under G.S. 105‑41 shall designate whether suchlicense is issued to a certified public accountant or an accountant.

(13)      The Board shall keepa complete record of all its proceedings and shall annually submit a fullreport to the Governor.

(14)      All fees collected onbehalf of the Board and all receipts of every kind and nature, as well as thecompensation paid the members of the Board and the necessary expenses incurredby them in the performance of the duties imposed upon them, shall be reportedannually to the State Treasurer. All fees and other moneys received by theBoard pursuant to the provisions of the General Statutes shall be kept in aseparate fund by the treasurer of the Board, to be held and expended only forsuch purposes as are proper and necessary to the discharge of the duties of theBoard and to enforce the provisions of this Chapter. No expense incurred by theBoard shall be charged against the State.

(15)      Any certificate ofqualification issued under the provisions of this Chapter, or issued under theprovisions of Chapter 157 of the Public Laws of 1913, shall be forfeited forthe failure of the holder to renew same and to pay the renewal fee therefor tothe State Board of Accountancy within 30 days after demand for such renewal feeshall have been made by the State Board of Accountancy.

(16)      To apply to thecourts, in its own name, for injunctive relief to prevent violations of thisChapter or violations of any rules adopted pursuant to this Chapter. Any courtmay grant injunctive relief regardless of whether criminal prosecution or anyother action is instituted as a result of the violation. A single violation issufficient to invoke the injunctive relief under this subdivision.

(17)      The Board shall havethe power to acquire, hold, rent, encumber, alienate, and otherwise deal withreal property in the same manner as a private person or corporation, subjectonly to approval of the Governor and the Council of State as to theacquisition, rental, encumbering, leasing, and sale of real property.Collateral pledged by the Board for an encumbrance is limited to the assets,income, and revenues of the Board.  (1925, c. 261, s. 11; 1939, c. 218, s. 1; 1951, c.844, ss. 4‑9; 1953, c. 1041, s. 20; 1959, c. 1188; 1961, c. 1010; 1971,c. 738, ss. 1‑3; 1973, c. 476, s. 193; c. 1331, s. 3; 1975, c. 107; 1975,2nd Sess., c. 983, s. 69; 1977, c. 804, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 750, ss. 6‑10;1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1087, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 10; 1983, c. 185, ss. 4‑11;1985, c. 149; 1987, c. 353; c. 827, ss. 1, 79; 1989, c. 624; 1991, c. 214, s.1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1011, s. 6; 1993, c. 518, s. 8; 1995, c. 137, s.1; 1997‑157, s. 1; 1997‑284, s. 1; 1998‑215, s. 130; 1998‑216,s. 6; 1998‑217, s. 51; 1999‑440, s. 3; 2001‑313, ss. 2, 3, 4,5; 2009‑347, s. 5.)