Daniel J. Dustin, CPA Executive Secretary, New York State Board for Public Accountancy

The Accountancy Licensee Database (ALD) is poised to become a significant tool for use by the staff of the New York State Board for Public Accountancy when licensing and regulating CPAs in New York.

Today, out-of-state licensed CPAs, whose principal place of business has become New York, must obtain a New York license through the endorsement (reciprocal license) of their out-of-state license. In the past, this meant that the CPA had to submit a New York form to his/her original state of licensure to verify date of licensure and license status. At times, applicants failed to submit the necessary paperwork to his/her state of licensure, thereby delaying the licensing process.

State board staff verifies license status for endorsement applicants by searching individual state board Web sites to obtain and confirm license status information. As we reach the tipping point with ALD, with respect to the number of participating states, ALD will become the one trusted source of out-of-state license information. Using ALD to verify licensing information will provide significant efficiencies to board office staff. Investigators will also be aided by access to one central repository of information about licensed CPAs. State board investigative staff will be able to efficiently determine state of licensure and licensure status when investigating complaints filed against out-of-state licensed CPAs. State boards will be also able to efficiently share information on disciplinary actions taken against CPAs.

Similarly, federal and state regulators often find that identifying a CPA’s state(s) of licensure can be a somewhat arduous task if the investigator does not capture all relevant licensure information at the outset of an investigation. By creating CPAverify (the public Web site), NASBA has developed a valuable tool that federal and state regulators can use to quickly access a CPA’s state(s) of licensure and/or principal place of business. These investigators may then appropriately notify state boards of accountancy of findings and sanctions related to unprofessional conduct in the practice of public accountancy, thereby enhancing the oversight activities of state boards of accountancy. Public protection will be significantly enhanced through use of this powerful new tool.

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