2005 California Business and Professions Code Sections 5070-5079 Article 4. Applications, Registrations, Permits Generally
5070. Permits to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state shall be issued by the board only to holders of the certificate of certified public accountant issued under this chapter and to those partnerships, corporations, and other persons who, upon application approved by the board, are registered with the board under this chapter. All applicants for registration shall furnish satisfactory evidence that the applicant is entitled to registration and shall pay the fee as provided in Article 8 (commencing with Section 5130). Every partnership, corporation, and other person to whom a permit is issued after December 31, 1962, shall, in addition to any other fee which may be payable, pay the initial permit fee provided in Article 8 (commencing with Section 5130). Each partnership, corporation, and other person issued a permit by the board to practice as a certified public accountant or as a public accountant shall be furnished with a suitable certificate evidencing such registration. 5070.5. (a) A permit issued under this chapter to a certified public accountant or a public accountant expires at 12 midnight on the last day of the month of the legal birthday of the licensee during the second year of a two-year term if not renewed. To renew an unexpired permit, a permitholder shall, before the time at which the permit would otherwise expire, apply for renewal on a form prescribed by the board, pay the renewal fee prescribed by this chapter and give evidence satisfactory to the board that he or she has complied with the continuing education provisions of this chapter. (b) A permit to practice as an accountancy partnership or an accountancy corporation expires at 12 midnight on the last day of the month in which the permit was initially issued during the second year of a two-year term if not renewed. To renew an unexpired permit, the permitholder shall, before the time at which the permit would otherwise expire, apply for renewal on a form prescribed by the board, pay the renewal fee prescribed by this chapter, and provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the accountancy partnership or accountancy corporation is in compliance with this chapter. 5070.6. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, an expired permit may be renewed at any time within five years after its expiration upon the filing of an application for renewal on a form prescribed by the board, payment of all accrued and unpaid renewal fees and providing evidence satisfactory to the board of compliance as required by Section 5070.5. If the permit is renewed after its expiration, its holder, as a condition precedent to renewal, shall also pay the delinquency fee prescribed by this chapter. Renewal under this section shall be effective on the date on which the application is filed, on the date on which the accrued renewal fees are paid, or on the date on which the delinquency fee, if any, is paid, whichever last occurs. If so renewed, the permit shall continue in effect through the date provided in Section 5070.5 that next occurs after the effective date of the renewal, when it shall expire if it is not again renewed. 5070.7. (a) A permit that is not renewed within five years following its expiration may not be renewed, restored, or reinstated thereafter, and the certificate of the holder of the permit shall be canceled immediately upon expiration of the five-year period, except as provided in subdivision (e). (b) A partnership or corporation whose certificate has been canceled by operation of this section may obtain a new certificate and permit only if it again meets the requirements set forth in this chapter relating to registration and pays the registration fee and initial permit fee. (c) A certified public accountant whose certificate is canceled by operation of this section may apply for and obtain a new certificate and permit if the applicant: (1) Is not subject to denial of a certificate and permit under Section 480. (2) Pays all of the fees that would be required of him or her if he or she were then applying for the certificate and permit for the first time. (3) Takes and passes the examination which would be required of him or her if he or she were then applying for the certificate for the first time. The examination may be waived in any case in which the applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the board that, with due regard for the public interest, he or she is qualified to engage in practice as a certified public accountant. (d) The board may, by appropriate regulation, provide for the waiver or refund of all or any part of the application fee in those cases in which a certificate is issued without an examination under this section. (e) Revoked permits may not be renewed, but may be reinstated by the board, without regard to the length of time that has elapsed since the permit was revoked, and with conditions and restrictions as the board shall determine. 5070.8. A permit which has been suspended is subject to expiration, and shall be renewed as provided in this article, but such renewal does not entitle the holder of the permit, while it remains suspended, and until it is reinstated, to engage in the practice of accountancy, or in any other activity or conduct in violation of the order or judgment by which the permit was suspended. A permit which has been revoked is subject to expiration, but it may not be renewed. If it is reinstated after its expiration, the holder of the permit, as a condition precedent to its reinstatement, shall pay a reinstatement fee which shall be in an amount equal to the renewal fee in effect on the last regular renewal date before the date on which it is reinstated, plus the delinquency fee, if any, accrued at the time of its revocation. 5072. (a) No persons shall engage in the practice of accountancy as a partnership unless the partnership is registered by the board. (b) A partnership, other than a limited partnership, may be registered by the board to engage in the practice of public accountancy provided it meets the following requirements: (1) At least one general partner shall hold a valid permit to practice as a certified public accountant, public accountant, or accountancy corporation, or shall be an applicant for a certificate as a certified public accountant under Sections 5087 and 5088. (2) Each partner personally engaged within this state in the practice of public accountancy as defined by Section 5051 shall hold a valid permit to practice in this state or shall have applied for a certificate as a certified public accountant under Sections 5087 and 5088. (3) Each partner not personally engaged in the practice of public accountancy within this state shall be a certified public accountant in good standing of some state, except as permitted by Section 5079. (4) Each resident manager in charge of an office of the firm in this state shall be a licensee in good standing of this state, or shall have applied for a certificate as a certified public accountant under Sections 5087 and 5088. 5073. (a) Application for registration of a partnership shall be made upon a form prescribed by the board. The board shall in each case determine whether the applicant is eligible for registration. (b) A partnership that is so registered and that holds a valid permit issued under this article and that has at least one general partner who is licensed to practice using the designation "certified public accountant" or the abbreviation "C.P.A." and one additional licensed person may use the words "certified public accountants" or the abbreviation"C.P.A.s" in connection with its partnership name. (c) A partnership that is so registered and that holds a valid permit issued under this article and that has at least one general partner who is licensed to practice using the designation "public accountant" or the abbreviation "P.A." and one additional licensed person may use the words "public accountants" or the abbreviation "P.A.s" in connection with its partnership name. (d) Notification shall be given to the board within one month after the admission to, or withdrawal of, a partner from any partnership so registered. (e) Any registration of a partnership under this section granted in reliance upon Sections 5087 and 5088 shall terminate forthwith if the board rejects the application under Sections 5087 and 5088 of the general partner who signed the application for registration as a partnership, or any partner personally engaged in the practice of public accountancy in this state, or any resident manager of a partnership in charge of an office in this state. 5076. (a) In order to renew its registration, a firm providing attest services, other than a sole proprietor or a small firm as defined in Section 5000, shall complete a peer review prior to the first registration expiration date after July 1, 2008, and no less frequently than every three years thereafter. (b) For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply: (1) "Peer review" means a study, appraisal, or review conducted in accordance with professional standards of the professional work of a licensee or registered firm by another licensee unaffiliated with the licensee or registered firm being reviewed. The peer review shall include, but not be limited to, a review of at least one attest engagement representing the highest level of service performed by the firm and may include an evaluation of other factors in accordance with requirements specified by the board in regulations. (2) "Attest services" include an audit, a review of financial statements, or an examination of prospective financial information, provided, however, "attest services" shall not include the issuance of compiled financial statements. (c) The board shall adopt regulations as necessary to implement, interpret, and make specific the peer review requirements in this section, including, but not limited to, regulations specifying the requirements for the approval of peer review providers, and regulations establishing a peer review oversight committee. (d) The board shall review whether to implement the program specified in this section in light of the changes in federal and state law or regulations or professional standards, and shall report its findings to the Legislature and the department by September 1, 2005. 5078. In each office of a certified public accountant or public accountant in this state which is not under the personal management of such an accountant, respectively, work shall be supervised by a certified public accountant or public accountant. 5079. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any firm lawfully engaged in the practice of public accountancy in this state may have owners who are not licensed as certified public accountants or public accountants if the following conditions are met: (1) Nonlicensee owners shall be natural persons or entities, such as partnerships, professional corporations, or others, provided that each ultimate beneficial owner of an equity interest in that entity shall be a natural person materially participating in the business conducted by the firm or an entity controlled by the firm. (2) Nonlicensee owners shall materially participate in the business of the firm, or an entity controlled by the firm, and their ownership interest shall revert to the firm upon the cessation of any material participation. (3) Licensees shall in the aggregate, directly or beneficially, comprise a majority of owners, except that firms with two owners may have one owner who is a nonlicensee. (4) Licensees shall in the aggregate, directly or beneficially, hold more than half of the equity capital and possess majority voting rights. (5) Nonlicensee owners shall not hold themselves out as certified public accountants or public accountants and each licensed firm shall disclose actual or potential involvement of nonlicensee owners in the services provided. (6) There shall be a certified public accountant or public accountant who has ultimate responsibility for each financial statement attest and compilation service engagement. (7) Except as permitted by the board in the exercise of its discretion, a person may not become a nonlicensee owner or remain a nonlicensee owner if the person has done either of the following: (A) Been convicted of any crime, an element of which is dishonesty or fraud, under the laws of any state, of the United States, or of any other jurisdiction. (B) Had a professional license or the right to practice revoked or suspended for reasons other than nonpayment of dues or fees, or has voluntarily surrendered a license or right to practice with disciplinary charges or a disciplinary investigation pending, and not reinstated by a licensing or regulatory agency of any state, or of the United States, including, but not limited to, the Securities and Exchange Commission or Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or of any other jurisdiction. (b) (1) A nonlicensee owner of a licensed firm shall report to the board in writing of the occurrence of any of the events set forth in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) within 30 days of the date the nonlicensee owner has knowledge of the event. A conviction includes the initial plea, verdict, or finding of guilt, pleas of no contest, or pronouncement of sentence by a trial court even though that conviction may not be final or sentence actually imposed until appeals are exhausted. (2) A California nonlicensee owner of a licensed firm shall report to the board in writing the occurrence of any of the following events occurring on or after January 1, 2006, within 30 days of the date the California nonlicensee owner has knowledge of the events: (A) Any notice of the opening or initiation of a formal investigation of the nonlicensee owner by the Securities and Exchange Commission or its designee, or any notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission to a nonlicensee owner requesting a Wells submission. (B) Any notice of the opening or initiation of an investigation of the nonlicensee owner by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or its designee. (C) Any notice of the opening or initiation of an investigation of the nonlicensee owner by another professional licensing agency. (3) The report required by paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be signed by the nonlicensee owner and set forth the facts that constitute the reportable event. If the reportable event involves the action of an administrative agency or court, the report shall identify the name of the agency or court, the title of the matter, and the date of occurrence of the event. (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, reports received by the board pursuant to paragraph (2) shall not be disclosed to the public pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) other than (A) in the course of any disciplinary proceeding by the board after the filing of a formal accusation, (B) in the course of any legal action to which the board is a party, (C) in response to an official inquiry from a state or federal agency, (D) in response to a subpoena or summons enforceable by order of a court, or (E) when otherwise specifically required by law. (5) Nothing in this subdivision shall impose a duty upon any licensee or nonlicensee owner to report to the board the occurrence of any events set forth in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) or paragraph (2) of this subdivision either by or against any other nonlicensee owner. (c) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply: (1) "Licensee" means a certified public accountant or public accountant in this state or a certified public accountant in good standing in another state. (2) "Material participation" means an activity that is regular, continuous, and substantial. (d) All firms with nonlicensee owners shall certify at the time of registration and renewal that the firm is in compliance with this section. (e) The board shall adopt regulations to implement, interpret, or make specific this section.
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