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IllinoisCPA-180x150

An individual license and a license for all firms are required. An individual license is all that is required for a sole practitioner, unless the firm name suggests the firm consists of more than one person (such as "and associates" or "and company"). Learn more about licensing

Licensed Services

Professional Service Corporation

If your firm is organized as a Professional Service Corporation (e.g., “PC”, “Ltd”, “Chtd”) and is performing an audit or review of historical financial statements or examination of prospective financial statements (i.e., “licensed services”), you will need to obtain a separate Professional Service Corporation license before issuing the accountant’s or auditor’s report on any such engagement.

An application for Professional Service Corporation license may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website.

Other Forms of Organization

If your firm is other than a Professional Service Corporation (e.g., partnership, LLP, LLC, or sole practitioner with a firm name that suggests more than one person as noted above) and is performing an audit or review of historical financial statements or examination of prospective financial statements (i.e., “licensed services”), you will need to obtain a separate Public Accounting Firm license before issuing the accountant’s or auditor’s report on any such engagement.

An application for Public Accounting Firm license may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website.   

Peer Review

Firms and sole practitioners performing the services listed above must enroll in an approved peer review program and satisfactorily complete a peer review for license renewal purposes. Thus, if your firm is engaged to perform any of the services listed above, it will need to enroll in an approved peer review program and satisfactorily complete a peer review within 18 months of the client period-end of your firm’s first licensed service.    

AICPA Requirement

If you are a member of the AICPA, your firm will be subject to peer review if you perform any accounting or auditing engagements (including compilation and agreed upon procedure engagements). Thus, if your firm is engaged to perform any accounting or auditing engagement, it will need to enroll in an approved peer review program and satisfactorily complete a peer review within 18 months of the client period-end of your firm’s first accounting or auditing engagement. An AICPA Peer Review Enrollment Form (PDF) may be downloaded from the AICPA website. 

Practice Governance

  • The practice of public accounting in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Public Accounting Act and the Illinois Administrative Code. More
     
  • AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

  • Form of Organization & Name | Illinois Administrative Code | 68 ILAC 1430.5050

    Only in the case of a partnership where one partner retires and the entity becomes a sole proprietorship does the firm name need to be changed, and then only after two years. 

    If an entity continues as a partnership, LLP, LLC, etc. with more than one owner, the firm name does not need to be changed and may include the name(s) of former owners (e.g. PriceWaterhouseCoopers). 

Mobility

Are you considering doing work in another state? If so, check out CPAmobility.org, an online tool to help CPAs navigate the new practice privilege requirements that allow CPAs to more easily practice across state borders. CPAmobility.org is a joint venture of the AICPA and NASBA. 

Starting a Practice