Beginning September 1, 2020, licensed CPA firms and licensed individual CPAs can apply to place the restricted domain name .cpa on their web address. It took the AICPA almost seven years to win the rights to control the custom domain .cpa from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as other groups were anxious to have authority over the domain. The AICPA also plans to make the domain extension available to other global CPA organizations.
Anyone using the .cpa extension will be vetted by the AICPA to ensure they are a proven CPA entity.
“We want the public to have confidence that someone using a .cpa domain address for email or a website is affiliated with the CPA profession,” AICPA President Barry Melancon said. More information about the domain is available through https://domains.cpa.com.
NASBA leaders have been assured that AICPA will verify that a firm is registered and, if it loses its registration, then it would also be denied the domain’s service until that is rectified. Where there is no firm registration, then AICPA would be ensuring the firm’s principals are licensed. This might not be an entity’s primary address, but one to which a user is redirected.
If a non-CPA employee of a CPA firm uses an e-mail address with CPA in it, will that confuse the public? “We are always concerned about public confusion, particularly in matters of reliance,” NASBA President Ken Bishop said. “However, for years such employees have been using their firm names in their e-mail addresses and I am not aware of any cases where it was a problem.”
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