NASHVILLE, TENN., (APRIL 9, 2015) – In January, Certified Public Accounting reached a milestone among regulated professions. CPAverify.org—a national registry of CPAs—integrated data from the 50th State Board of Accountancy. As a result, the public database now houses CPA license information for over 97% of U.S. CPAs throughout the world, marking an unprecedented degree of data sharing between state regulatory boards.
CPAverify.org is a free service available to the public for quickly searching one website to determine if a person or firm is licensed to practice public accounting. License issue dates, license status and other details are included for all records. CPAverify.org is the public-facing version of the Accountancy Licensee Database (ALD), which is the original database formed for internal use by Board regulators.
The ALD and CPAverify.org are managed by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Out of 55 total Boards of Accountancy, integrating data from 50 of those boards distinguishes the accounting regulators as having one of the most accelerated data sharing programs among state-regulated professions.
"In a time when the public is talking about how the government should become more streamlined, we’re proud to see the accounting boards ahead of the curve," said Maria Caldwell, NASBA’s Chief Legal Officer and Director of Compliance Services. "Sharing data through the ALD and CPAverify.org makes the Boards of Accountancy more efficient—saving taxpayer dollars while enhancing their public protection efforts."
Since 2004, NASBA has worked directly with its member Boards of Accountancy to build the national database, navigating the needs and interests of each board’s budget, individual data formats, technical constraints, policies, and security concerns. But the impetus for building the registry, according to Elizabeth Stanton, NASBA’s Manager of the ALD and CPAverify.org, has been the progressive thinking of Accountancy Board members and staff. "They saw the potential public benefit in sharing their data at a time before ‘the cloud’ was even a thing people talked about," she said.
"The ALD is our one-stop resource to verify whether out-of-state licensees applying for CPA licensure in California have had any disciplinary action against their license. This information is critical in determining whether to authorize a CPA to offer services to California consumers," said Patti Bowers, Executive Officer of the California Board of Accountancy.
Three of the remaining five Boards of Accountancy not currently sharing data with the ALD are actively working on implementations and NASBA is working with the final two boards to overcome remaining obstacles to participation.
"With every board that volunteers data, we’re that much closer to providing better information and protection within the accounting profession," said Caldwell. "It’s a testament to both the power of modern technology and the capacity of government agencies to collaborate for the greater good."
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