WSR 99-13-065



[ Filed June 11, 1999, 1:29 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-05-026.

Title of Rule: WAC 4-25-750 Firm license.

Purpose: To prescribe the procedure to be followed to register and maintain offices established for the practice of public accounting in the state of Washington.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055(8), 18.04.205(3).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.04.205(3).

Summary: Lists the forms of practice in which a certified public accountant (CPA) may practice public accountancy; defines the application requirements a CPA must follow to obtain a firm license.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: RCW 18.04.195 was amended by the 1999 legislature to require CPA firms to license with the board every three years rather than biennially. The board's existing rule conflicts with the new statute. The proposed changes would conform current rules to the new statute.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dana M. McInturff, CPA, 210 East Union, Suite A, Olympia, (360) 664-9194.

Name of Proponent: Board of Accountancy, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: RCW 18.04.205(3) directs the board to prescribe the procedures to be followed to register and maintain offices established for the practice of public accounting in Washington state. RCW 18.04.195 requires CPA firms to obtain, and renew, licenses to practice public accounting.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Changes the expiration of firm licenses to the third year after issuance of the firm's initial license from the second year and on the third year after the initial firm license expires from second year to conform with 1999 legislation.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will have negligible economic impact on the accounting profession.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to rules that clarify language of a rule without changing its effect.

Hearing Location: Western Washington University, Viking Addition, Room 461, Bellingham, Washington, on July 29, 1999, at 1:30 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cheryl Sexton by July 22, 1999, TDD (800) 833-6384, or (360) 664-9194.

Submit Written Comments to: Dana M. McInturff, P.O. Box 9131, Olympia, WA 98507-9131, fax (360) 664-9190, by July 27, 1999.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 30, 1999.

June 11, 1999

Dana M. McInturff, CPA

Executive Director

by Cheryl M. Sexton


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 96-12-061, filed 5/31/96, effective 7/1/96)

WAC 4-25-750
Firm license.

(1) A licensee may only practice public accountancy in a CPA firm organized as:

(a) A proprietorship;

(b) A partnership;

(c) A professional corporation;

(d) A limited liability company;

(e) A limited liability partnership; or

(f) Some other form of legal entity authorized by statute for use by a CPA firm.

(2) A CPA firm shall apply to the board for a license to practice public accountancy within ninety days of formation.  A CPA firm shall apply for renewal of its license no later than sixty days prior to expiration of the firm's current license.  The board will not accept a firm license renewal application unless it is accompanied by all applicable renewal and late filing fees.

(3) An application for a firm license shall include the:

(a) Firm name;

(b) Addresses and telephone numbers of the main office and any branch offices of the firm;

(c) Name of the manager of each branch office;

(d) Owners' names and the states in which they hold CPA licenses;

(e) Names of corporate directors, limited liability company managers, and all firm officers; and

(f) Type of legal organization under which the firm operates (such as, general partnership or limited liability company).

(4) Firm licenses expire on June 30 of the ((second)) third year after the board issues a firm's initial license and on June 30 of each ((second)) third year after the initial license expires.

(5) A CPA firm shall file with the board a written notification of any of the following events within ninety days after its occurrence:

(a) Formation or dissolution of a CPA firm;

(b) Admission of an owner;

(c) Retirement or death of an owner;

(d) Any change in the name of the firm;

(e) Change in the management of any branch office;

(f) Opening, closing, or relocating of a branch office; and

(g) The occurrence of any event that would cause the firm to be in violation of the provisions of the act or these rules.

A change in the legal form of a firm constitutes a new firm.  Accordingly the new firm shall within ninety days of the change file an application for a firm license and pay the applicable fee.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(3), 18.04.205(3) and 18.04.195.  96-12-061, 4-25-750, filed 5/31/96, effective 7/1/96.  Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055.  93-22-089, 4-25-750, filed 11/2/93, effective 12/3/93.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office