Practices not prohibited.
(1) Nothing in this chapter prohibits any individual not holding a license and not qualified for the practice privileges authorized by subsection (2) of this section from serving as an employee of a firm licensed under RCW 18.04.195 and 18.04.215. However, the employee shall not issue any compilation, review, audit, or examination report on financial or other information over his or her name.
(2) An individual whose principal place of business is not in this state shall be presumed to have qualifications substantially equivalent to this state's requirements and shall have all the privileges of licensees of this state without the need to obtain a license under RCW 18.04.105 if the individual:
(a) Holds a valid license as a certified public accountant from any state that requires, as a condition of licensure, that an individual:
(i) Have at least one hundred fifty semester hours of college or university education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university;
(ii) Achieve a passing grade on the uniform certified public accountant examination; and
(iii) Possess at least one year of experience including service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of which was verified by a licensee; or
(b) Holds a valid license as a certified public accountant from any state that does not meet the requirements of (a) of this subsection, but such individual's qualifications are substantially equivalent to those requirements. Any individual who passed the uniform certified public accountant examination and holds a valid license issued by any other state prior to January 1, 2012, may be exempt from the education requirements in (a)(i) of this subsection for purposes of this section.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual who qualifies for the practice privilege under subsection (2) of this section may offer or render professional services, whether in person or by mail, telephone, or electronic means, and no notice, fee, or other submission shall be provided by any such individual. Such an individual shall be subject to the requirements of subsection (4) of this section.
(4) Any individual licensee of another state exercising the privilege afforded under subsection (2) of this section and the firm that employs that licensee simultaneously consent, as a condition of exercising this privilege:
(a) To the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the board;
(b) To comply with this chapter and the board's rules;
(c) That in the event the license from the state of the individual's principal place of business is no longer valid, the individual will cease offering or rendering professional services in this state individually and on behalf of a firm; and
(d) To the appointment of the state board which issued the certificate or license as their agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by this state's board against the certificate holder or licensee.
(5) An individual who qualifies for practice privileges under subsection (2) of this section may, for any entity with its home office in this state, perform the following services only through a firm that has obtained a license under RCW 18.04.195 and 18.04.215:
(a) Any financial statement audit or other engagement to be performed in accordance with statements on auditing standards;
(b) Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with statements on standards for attestation engagements; or
(c) Any engagement to be performed in accordance with public company accounting oversight board auditing standards.
(6) A licensee of this state offering or rendering services or using their CPA title in another state shall be subject to disciplinary action in this state for an act committed in another state for which the licensee would be subject to discipline for an act committed in the other state. Notwithstanding RCW 18.04.295 and this section, the board shall cooperate with and investigate any complaint made by the board of accountancy of another state or jurisdiction.
(7) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a licensee, a licensed firm, any of their employees, or persons qualifying for practice privileges by this section from disclosing any data in confidence to other certified public accountants, quality assurance or peer review teams, partnerships, limited liability companies, or corporations of certified public accountants or to the board or any of its employees engaged in conducting quality assurance or peer reviews, or any one of their employees in connection with quality or peer reviews of that accountant's accounting and auditing practice conducted under the auspices of recognized professional associations.
(8) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a licensee, a licensed firm, any of their employees, or persons qualifying for practice privileges by this section from disclosing any data in confidence to any employee, representative, officer, or committee member of a recognized professional association, or to the board, or any of its employees or committees in connection with a professional investigation held under the auspices of recognized professional associations or the board.
(9) Nothing in this chapter prohibits any officer, employee, partner, or principal of any organization:
(a) From affixing his or her signature to any statement or report in reference to the affairs of the organization with any wording designating the position, title, or office which he or she holds in the organization; or
(b) From describing himself or herself by the position, title, or office he or she holds in such organization.
(10) Nothing in this chapter prohibits any person or firm composed of persons not holding a license under this chapter from offering or rendering to the public bookkeeping, accounting, tax services, the devising and installing of financial information systems, management advisory, or consulting services, the preparation of tax returns, or the furnishing of advice on tax matters, the preparation of financial statements, written statements describing how such financial statements were prepared, or similar services, provided that persons, partnerships, limited liability companies, or corporations not holding a license who offer or render these services do not designate any written statement as an "audit report," "review report," or "compilation report," do not issue any written statement which purports to express or disclaim an opinion on financial statements which have been audited, and do not issue any written statement which expresses assurance on financial statements which have been reviewed.
(11) Nothing in this chapter prohibits any act of or the use of any words by a public official or a public employee in the performance of his or her duties.
(12) Nothing contained in this chapter prohibits any person who holds only a valid certificate from assuming or using the designation "certified public accountant-inactive" or "CPA-inactive" or any other title, designation, words, letters, sign, card, or device tending to indicate the person is a certificate holder, provided, that such person does not perform or offer to perform for the public one or more kinds of services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, including issuance of reports on financial statements or of one or more kinds of management advisory, financial advisory, consulting services, the preparation of tax returns, or the furnishing of advice on tax matters.
(13) Nothing in this chapter prohibits the use of the title "accountant" by any person regardless of whether the person has been granted a certificate or holds a license under this chapter. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the use of the title "enrolled agent" or the designation "EA" by any person regardless of whether the person has been granted a certificate or holds a license under this chapter if the person is properly authorized at the time of use to use the title or designation by the United States department of the treasury. The board shall by rule allow the use of other titles by any person regardless of whether the person has been granted a certificate or holds a license under this chapter if the person using the titles or designations is authorized at the time of use by a nationally recognized entity sanctioning the use of board authorized titles.
[2008 c 16 § 6; 2001 c 294 § 18; 1992 c 103 § 15; 1986 c 295 § 16; 1983 c 234 § 17; 1969 c 114 § 7; 1949 c 226 § 34; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 8269-41.]
| Finding -- Intent -- 2008 c 16: See note following RCW 18.04.025.|
Effective date -- 2001 c 294: See note following RCW 18.04.015.