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Capitol Report

The Year of the CPA

now is the time to renew your cpa license.
Marty Green, Esq. ICPAS VP of Government Relations

2015 is a renewal year, and over 21,000 licensed CPAs, 22,000 registered CPAs, and 800 CPA firms are expected to re-up their respective licenses and registrations with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Last year, Illinois CPA Society leaders began meeting with the director of the Division of Professional Regulation and staff to talk about improving the renewal process. Here are some insights to guide you.

Postcards Be on the lookout for a yellow renewal postcard from the IDFPR 60 to 90 days before the September 30 expiration of your current CPA license or registration. Check your current mailing address is on file at www.idfpr.com/applications/LicenseReprint. The postcard will include an individualized PIN number along with online renewal instructions. For those who prefer not to renew online, the IDFPR will mail formal renewal packets about a month later.

CPE Licensed CPAs must verify that they’ve completed 120 hours of CPE (including 4 hours of ethics) and pay a $120 renewal fee. Rules implemented in 2012 allow licensees to combine verifiable and unverifiable credit hours to satisfy this requirement [visit www.icpas.org/licensing-registration.htm for more information]. Registered and Licensed CPAs renewing for the first time are exempt from the CPE requirements, but must pay their respective $90 and $120 dues.

Peer Review CPA firms and sole practitioners performing audits and/or reviews of historical finance statements and/or examinations of prospective financial statements must undergo a peer review every three years as a condition for license renewal. However, licensees who are members of a firm are not subject to peer review; rather, the firm is, so check in with your firm’s compliance official.

Partners CPA firm licenses expire on November 30, 2015. In order to renew a firm’s license, all firm partner licenses must be up-to-date and in good standing. It’s a good idea for a managing partner or compliance official to closely monitor all renewals before the firm application is submitted. Firm renewal dues are $120 for a three-year period. While firm renewals traditionally have involved a paper application mailed to the firm, we anticipate that automated options may be made available. We continue to work with the IDFPR on this.

ICPAS Resources To help guide you, the ICPAS will be hosting a webinar with guests from the IDFPR, and provides resources online at www.icpas.org/licensing.htm. While we’re working closely with the IDFPR to ensure a seamless process, we still encourage you to start on things early. There are no renewal deadline extensions, and performing accountancy activities while holding yourself out as a CPA after your license expires is a violation of the Illinois Public Accounting Act, and therefore subject to discipline. Definitely get yourself ahead of the renewal game!