Florida Senate - 2009 SB 1640
By Senator Jones
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to public accountancy; amending s.
3 455.217, F.S.; removing the authority of the Board of
4 Accountancy or the Department of Business and
5 Professional Regulation to require that certain
6 applicants for licensure pass an examination
7 pertaining to state laws and rules; amending s.
8 455.271, F.S.; providing that certain licensees are
9 not subject to specified continuing education
10 requirements for reactivation of a license; amending
11 s. 473.303, F.S.; specifying that members of the Board
12 of Accountancy and probable cause panels who hold
13 licenses must be licensed in this state; amending s.
14 473.305, F.S.; deleting provisions requiring a late
15 filing fee; amending s. 473.308, F.S.; revising
16 educational requirements for applicants for licensure;
17 providing an exception to a work experience
18 requirement for certain persons; amending s. 473.311,
19 F.S.; deleting an examination requirement for
20 licensure renewal; amending s. 473.313, F.S.; deleting
21 a minimum continuing education requirement for
22 reactivating an inactive license; requiring certain
23 continuing education hours in ethics in order to
24 reactivate certain licenses; conforming provisions;
25 providing an effective date.
27 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
29 Section 1. Subsection (7) of section 455.217, Florida
30 Statutes, is amended to read:
31 455.217 Examinations.—This section shall be read in
32 conjunction with the appropriate practice act associated with
33 each regulated profession under this chapter.
(7) In addition to meeting any other requirements for
35 licensure by examination or by endorsement, an applicant may be
36 required by a board, or by the department, if there is no board,
37 to pass an examination pertaining to state laws and rules
38 applicable to the practice of the profession regulated by that
39 board or by the department.
40 Section 2. Subsection (10) of section 455.271, Florida
41 Statutes, is amended to read:
42 455.271 Inactive and delinquent status.—
43 (10) Before reactivation, an inactive or delinquent
44 licensee shall meet the same continuing education requirements,
45 if any, imposed on an active status licensee for all biennial
46 licensure periods in which the licensee was inactive or
47 delinquent. This subsection does not apply to persons regulated
48 under chapter 473.
49 Section 3. Section 473.303, Florida Statutes, is amended to
51 473.303 Board of Accountancy.—
52 (1) There is created in the department the Board of
53 Accountancy. The board shall consist of nine members, seven of
54 whom must be certified public accountants licensed in this state
55 and two of whom must be laypersons who are not and have never
56 been certified public accountants or members of any closely
57 related profession or occupation. The members who are certified
58 public accountants must have practiced public accounting on a
59 substantially full-time basis in this state for at least 5
60 years. At least one member of the board must be 60 years of age
61 or older. Each member shall be appointed by the Governor,
62 subject to confirmation by the Senate.
63 (2) The probable cause panel of the board may be composed
64 of at least one current board member who shall serve as chair
65 and additional current board members or past board members of
66 the board who are certified public accountants licensed in this
67 state and licensees in good standing. The past board members
68 shall be appointed to the panel for a term maximum of 2 years by
69 the chair of the board with the approval of the secretary of the
70 department, and may be reappointed for additional terms.
71 Section 4. Section 473.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to
73 473.305 Fees.—The board, by rule, may establish fees to be
74 paid for applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and
75 renewal, reinstatement, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The
76 fee for the examination shall be established at an amount that
77 covers the costs for the procurement or development,
78 administration, grading, and review of the examination. The fee
79 for the examination is refundable if the applicant is found to
80 be ineligible to sit for the examination. The fee for initial
81 application is nonrefundable, and the combined fees for
82 application and examination may not exceed $250 plus the actual
83 per applicant cost to the department for purchase of the
84 examination from the American Institute of Certified Public
85 Accountants or a similar national organization. The biennial
86 renewal fee may not exceed $250. The board may also establish,
87 by rule, a reactivation fee , a late filing fee for the law and
88 rules examination, and a delinquency fee not to exceed $50 for
89 continuing professional education reporting forms. The board
90 shall establish fees which are adequate to ensure the continued
91 operation of the board and to fund the proportionate expenses
92 incurred by the department which are allocated to the regulation
93 of public accountants. Fees shall be based on department
94 estimates of the revenue required to implement this chapter and
95 the provisions of law with respect to the regulation of
96 certified public accountants.
97 Section 5. Subsections (3) and (4) of section 473.308,
98 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
99 473.308 Licensure.—
100 (3) An applicant for licensure must have at least 150
101 semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate
102 or higher degree conferred by an accredited college or
103 university received a baccalaureate degree with a major in
104 accounting or its equivalent plus at least 30 semester hours or
105 45 quarter hours in excess of those required for a 4-year
106 baccalaureate degree, with a concentration in accounting and
107 business in the total educational program to the extent
108 specified by the board.
109 (4)(a) An applicant for licensure after December 31, 2008,
110 must show that he or she has had 1 year of work experience. This
111 experience shall include providing any type of service or advice
112 involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management
113 advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of
114 which must be verified by a certified public accountant who is
115 licensed by a state or territory of the United States and who
116 has supervised the applicant. This experience is acceptable if
117 it was gained through employment in government, industry,
118 academia, or public practice; constituted a substantial part of
119 the applicant's duties; and was under the supervision of a
120 certified public accountant licensed by a state or territory of
121 the United States. The board shall adopt rules specifying
122 standards and providing for the review and approval of the work
123 experience required by this section.
124 (b) However, an applicant who completed the requirements of
125 subsection (3) on or before December 31, 2008, and who passes
126 the licensure examination on or before June 30, 2010, is exempt
127 from the requirements of this subsection.
128 Section 6. Section 473.311, Florida Statutes, is amended to
130 473.311 Renewal of license.—
131 (1) The department shall renew a license upon receipt of
132 the renewal application and fee and upon certification by the
133 board that the licensee has satisfactorily completed the
134 continuing education requirements of s. 473.312 and has passed
135 an examination approved by the board on chapter 455 and this
136 chapter and the related administrative rules. However, each
137 licensee must complete the requirements of s. 473.312 (1)(c)
138 prior to taking the examination .
139 (2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a
140 procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses.
141 Section 7. Section 473.313, Florida Statutes, is amended to
143 473.313 Inactive status.—
144 (1) A licensee may request that her or his license be
145 placed in an inactive status by making application to the
146 department. The board may prescribe by rule fees for placing a
147 license on inactive status, renewal of inactive status, and
148 reactivation of an inactive license.
149 (2) A license that has become inactive may be reactivated
150 under s. 473.311 upon application to the department. The board
151 may prescribe by rule continuing education requirements as a
152 condition of reactivating a license. The minimum continuing
153 education requirements for reactivating a license shall be those
154 prescribed by board rule and those of the most recent biennium
155 plus one-half of the requirements in s. 473.312 for each year or
156 part thereof during which the license was inactive.
157 Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the
158 continuing education requirements are 120 hours, including at
159 least 30 hours in accounting-related and auditing-related
160 subjects, and not more than 30 hours in behavioral subjects, and
161 a minimum of 8 hours in ethics subjects approved by the board,
162 for the reactivation of a license that is inactive on June 30,
163 2009 1998, if the licensee notifies the Board of Accountancy by
164 December 31, 2009 1998, of an intention to reactivate such a
165 license and completes such reactivation by June 30, 2011 2000.
166 (3) Any licensee holding an inactive license may be
167 permitted to reactivate such license in a conditional manner.
168 The conditions of reactivation shall require, in addition to the
169 payment of fees, the passing of the examination approved by the
170 board concerning chapter 455 and this chapter, and the related
171 administrative rules, and the completion of required continuing
173 (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 455.271, the board
174 may, at its discretion, reinstate the license of an individual
175 whose license has become null and void if the individual has
176 made a good faith effort to comply with this section but has
177 failed to comply because of illness or unusual hardship. The
178 individual shall apply to the board for reinstatement in a
179 manner prescribed by rules of the board and shall pay an
180 application fee in an amount determined by rule of the board.
181 The board shall require that the such an individual meet all
182 continuing education requirements as provided in subsection (2)
183 s. 473.312, pay appropriate licensing fees, and otherwise be
184 eligible for renewal of licensure under this chapter.
185 Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009.