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CPA Practice Mobility

CPA practice mobility is defined as the ability of a CPA licensed individual in good standing from a substantially equivalent state to gain practice privilege outside of their home state without getting an additional license in the state where they will be serving a client or an employer. A majority of states have adopted mobility legislation.

Nowadays, the essentiality of the professional services of CPAs have taken a steep growth. Every other organization is having its affairs on international basis. With this widening spectrum, the need of CPAs expands over the international line. The different aspects such as CPA license, certification, temporary practice, reciprocity etc. of the state accountancy legislation across 55 U.S. jurisdictions draws a sceptic line to the interstate mobility in practice privilege of CPAs. Hence, the states are adopting a uniform mobility legislation to allow licensed CPAs to provide professional services across the state boundaries. The mobility legislation also takes care of the public protection. The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the national organization of state boards of accountancy, through a provision in the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) is responsible for endorsing this approach.

Substantial Equivalency

Under Section 23 of the UAA, a CPA with a license in good standing from a jurisdiction with CPA licensing requirements essentially equivalent to those outlined in the UAA is deemed to be “substantially equivalent,” or a licensee who individually meets the requirements of:

  • Obtaining 150 credit hours with a Baccalaureate Degree

  • Minimum 1 year of CPA experience

  • Passing the Uniform CPA Examination

This provision helps in ensuring public protection and trust. The eradication of boundaries and allowing the CPAs to carry out their practice across the state boundary has made the professional expertise more readily available to businesses and individuals in U.S. The ability of the state board of accountancy to discipline is increased by being based on a CPA and the CPA Firm’s performance.

If a CPA has moved to another home state, then a reciprocal license is required for the new home state. As defined under UAA mobility you will require reciprocal license for your new home state. Mobility only applies if you do not move your principal place of business to another state.

If you are a CPA firm, then depending on the type of services your firm provides, you may or may not have to register your firm in every state where you provide services.

A nationwide effort to adopt a uniform CPA Practice mobility is underway. This will allow CPAs to render their services across state boundaries with no worries of unnecessary burdens which are not in the interest of the public. District of Columbia and the 50 states have sanctioned mobility laws and are now in the navigation and implementation phases.

CPA Mobility Tool

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and AICPA have developed an online tool to help accounting firms and CPAs in U.S. which will help them understand the implications of CPA Practise Mobility.


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