October 19, 2021

reciprocal licenses

NASBA Takes the Guesswork Out of Reciprocity with Its Accounting License Library

While most of you are either in the process of getting licensed as a CPA or perfectly content to stick around in the state in which you are already licensed, NASBA reminds everyone that those of you with licenses in different states should not simply let them expire now that mobility (mostly) allows you to hold one license but work in multiple states.

From the NASBA blog (which I didn’t even know existed until now):

Mobility has meant that many CPAs no longer need to keep an active license in a state in order to practice there. But even if the license is no longer needed, there’s more involved than just letting it expire. If you don’t file the proper paperwork to let the board know that you’re voluntarily relinquishing that license, you could face disciplinary action. Without communication from you, the board may assume that you’ve allowed your license to lapse.

The distinction between reciprocity and mobility is an important one, which is why NASBA is enhancing ALL in this regard. If your work in a state were likely to be short-term, then the state’s mobility guidelines would likely cover you for the project’s duration. But if you are licensed in one state and plan to relocate to another, then you’ll need a secondary or reciprocal license from that state’s board. Most states, even with mobility, are requesting that CPAs obtain reciprocal licenses if they are making such a permanent move. Either way, if you find yourself with redundant licenses, ALL can help you relinquish them properly.

Now, NASBA wants to use their Accountancy Licensing Library tool to figure out the rules in your state for relinquishing your license, which is fine. But you can also check with your state board directly for rules on this.

Keep in mind if you relinquish your license in any state you may have to re-apply and retake the exam all over again, assuming you somehow also relinquish your other licenses in other states and have no license to transfer to that state. But who is going to do that?!

The key word here is redundancy. In this day and age, it no longer makes sense to carry multiple licenses, even if your work means you need practice privilege in states other than your own.