Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
January 30, 2023

Proposal Would Let Retired CPAs Take Their Three Letters Off Into the Sunset

My CPA license is inactive. Has been for years. Maybe I could use some discounted life insurance, but otherwise, I'm fine.

CPAs who retire from the daily grind and don't keep up on their CPE are also inactive, however, some states (Arizona, Mississippi, Washington, among others) allow for a "CPA Retired" status with varying requirements. That status doesn't allow its holders to perform services or hold themselves out as a CPA without "retired" affixed to it.

The AICPA and NASBA are now proposing a "uniform status for CPAs" because its demand  "has been heightened by the Baby Boomer generation’s arrival at retirement age." It largely follows what the states are doing, but will allow its holders to:

  • Refer to themselves as “Retired-CPA” with appropriate registration with their state board.
  • Offer volunteer tax preparation services if competent.
  • Participate in government-sponsored business mentoring programs if competent.
  • Serve on the board of a not-for-profit organization if competent.

This is all fine and well and good. But what's kinda funny is that right below all these allowances is this sentence: "All of these activities can currently be offered by non-CPAs." Like, for example, a blogger who has an inactive CPA license! The language is in the exposure draft, too.

So my hunch is that lots of retiring CPAs want the cachet that "CPA" provides without technically holding themselves out as CPAs. This might give them a leg up on ne'er–do–wells who didn't stay up on their CPE or your run-of-the-mill non-CPAs. 

I mean, that's what this is, right? A way for CPAs who have retired to retain some of the prestige. Or maybe the state societies put them up to it to wrestle a few more fees out of their retiring members? I'll entertain other theories.

[JofA, Exposure Draft]

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

sleeping dog

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: ESG Compliance Heats Up; Deloitte Disclosures; AI Says It Isn’t a Threat | 1.30.23

Deloitte & Touche LLP partners and staffers failed to make financial disclosures required to ensure the independence of their audit work, according to new details from the firm’s 2018 PCAOB inspection. [Bloomberg Tax] Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Monday it will monitor whether auditors were making spot checks on their compliance with environmental, social and […]

candles

An Audit Associate at KPMG’s NYC Office Has Died

Ed. note: an earlier version of this article used male pronouns based on the information available at the time. We have been informed the associate was female, confirmed this information with the NYPD, and have updated pronouns in this article. I debated even posting this at all but everyone is already talking about it and […]