§ 43-3-16. Licensure requirements for firms practicing public accountancy.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 3. ACCOUNTANTS

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 43-3-16. Licensure requirements for firms practicing public accountancy

(a) The board shall grant or renew the license of a firm practicing public accountancy to firms that meet the following requirements:
(1)
(A) Partners, members, or shareholders owning at least a simple majority of the financial interest and voting rights of the firm shall be certified public accountants of this state or any other state in good standing, except that such partners, members, or shareholders who are certified public accountants and whose office location designated by such partners, members, or shareholders who are certified public accountants for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity is in this state and who perform accounting services in this state shall be required to hold a license from this state.
(B) An individual who has substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 who performs services for which a firm licensure is required under paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 shall not be required to obtain a certificate or license under this chapter;
(2) The firm shall be in compliance with all requirements and provisions of law governing the organizational form of the firm in any other state that is the firm's office location designation for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity;
(3) The firm shall comply with all rules or regulations pertaining to firms licensed by the board;
(4) The resident manager, as such term is defined in the board's rules or regulations, of each office of the firm within this state in the practice of public accountancy shall be a certified public accountant of this state in good standing;
(5) Any firm that includes nonlicensee owners shall comply with the following rules:
(A) The firm shall designate the holder of a license in this state, or in the case of a firm which is required to be licensed pursuant to subparagraph (b) (1) (C) of this Code section, a licensee of any other state who meets the substantial equivalency practice privileges requirements set forth in subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18, who shall be responsible for the proper licensure of the firm and shall identify that individual to the board;
(B) All nonlicensee owners shall provide services or perform functions in the firm or the firm's affiliated entities; and
(C) The firm shall comply with such other requirements as the board may impose by rule or regulation;
(6) Any holder of a license in this state and any individual who qualifies for substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 who is responsible for supervising attest or compilation services and signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on behalf of the firm shall meet the competency requirements set by the board for such services; and
(7) Any holder of a license in this state and any individual who qualifies for substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 who signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on behalf of the firm shall meet the competency requirements set by the board.
(b)
(1) The following firms shall be required to be licensed under this Code section:
(A) Any firm with a physical office in this state practicing public accountancy;
(B) Any firm with a physical office in this state that uses the title "CPA" or "CPA firm"; and
(C) Any firm that does not have a physical office in this state but performs any service described in subparagraph (A), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-3-2 for a client that specifies a location in this state to which such service is directed.
(2) A firm that does not have a physical office in this state may perform services described in subparagraphs (B) and (E) of paragraph (2) or paragraph (4) of Code Section 43-3-2 for a client that specifies a location in this state to which any service described in subparagraph (A), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-3-2 is directed and may use the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" without being licensed as provided in this Code section only if:
(A) It meets the qualifications described in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section;
(B) It complies with the board's rules or regulations regarding peer review; and
(C) It performs such services through an individual with substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18.
(3) A firm that does not have a physical office in this state and that is not subject to the requirements of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of this subsection may perform other professional services, as such services are defined in the board's rules or regulations, included in the practice of public accountancy while using the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" in this state without being licensed under this Code section only if:
(A) It performs such services through an individual with substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 ; and
(B) It can lawfully perform such services in any other state where such individuals with substantial equivalency practice privileges have their office location designated by such individuals for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity.
(c) Each firm required to be licensed under paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be licensed biennially under this chapter with the board, provided that any firm for which such requirement becomes effective between biennial reporting periods shall become licensed with the board within 60 days. Such a firm shall be required to show that all attest and compilation services rendered in this state are under the supervision of an individual holding a license issued by the board or an individual with substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18. The board, by rule or regulation, shall prescribe the procedure to be followed in effecting such licensure and the information which shall be required to be provided regarding the firm and its practice.
(d) A licensed firm shall file written notice to the board, within 60 days after the occurrence of the opening of a new office or the closing or change of address of any of its offices in this state. Each such office shall be under the supervision of a resident manager who may be a partner, principal, shareholder, member, or a staff employee holding a license in this state.
(e) Neither the denial of a firm license under this Code section nor the denial of the renewal of a firm license under Code Section 43-3-17 shall be considered to be a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." Notice and hearing within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50 shall not be required, but the applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she requests.

Cite as OCGA § 43-3-16

History. Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 59, §7, eff. 7/1/2015.

Renumbered from § 43-3-21 and amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 492, §1-2, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2008 Ga. Laws 775, §4, eff. 7/1/2009.

Amended by 2005 Ga. Laws 332, §7, eff. 7/1/2005.