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Contact Us
        Board Email:Contact.Accountancy@llr.sc.gov
        Board Phone:(803) 896-4770
        Administrator:Doris Cubitt, CPA
        Assistant Administrator:Susanna Sharpe, CPA
        Board Staff:Chelsea Buchanan
        Board Staff:Johnnie Rose
        Board Staff:Courtney Wise
        Advice Counsel:   Mary League   **
        Directions:110 Centerview Dr, Columbia SC

**The Office of Advice Counsel is responsible for
providing legal advice to all Boards, Commissions
and Panels. These attorneys do not provide legal
advice to parties outside LLR.

South Carolina Board of Accountancy

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What address should I use to send mail to you?

For standard delivery mail:

SC Board of Accountancy
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211
For FedEx or UPS:

SC Board of Accountancy
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, SC 29210

How can I send my transcripts?

Transcripts must be sent directly to the Board from the college. If they will be sent electronically, the email address is: contact.accountancy@llr.sc.gov. Paper copies you may have retained will be accepted only if they are in a sealed envelope. If you choose to have the college mail a paper copy, the address is:

SC Board of Accountancy
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211

Who do I make my check out to?

Please make the check out to the SC Board of Accountancy.

Do you take payments over the phone?

The Board is not set up for phone payments at this time.

I am applying for licensure in another state, but I am licensed in SC or took the CPA exam as a SC candidate. How can I have a license verification/grade transfer/letter of good standing sent to the state I am applying to?

You may send the Board the relevant form from the state you are applying to, or a detailed written request, along with a check or money order for the $5 fee for that service.

Renewals

When will I receive my renewal notice?

Renewal notices will be mailed mid-November.

Will the Board of Accountancy send out any reminders for licensees who have not renewed?

During the renewal period, the Board will send out 3 to 5 emails to licensees who have not renewed as of that date.
Licensees are responsible for updating their contact information with the Board, as the current contact information on file with the Board will be used to send reminders to licensees.

How do I renew my license?

Renewal is a two-step process:
  • Complete the renewal form and pay your fees online.
  • Submit your CPE report via email to AcctCPE@llr.sc.gov
    • Name the PDF document in the following format: “Last name, First name – CPA License #”.
      For example: Smith, John – CPA1234.

How can I check my renewal status online to verify it was completed properly?

If you have paid the renewal fee and submitted the renewal form, the status of your license should change from Active in Renewal to Active.
If you think you renewed or tried to renew, wait two days, and then use licensee lookup to check your status.
If the status indicates Active in Renewal, please send the Board an email at Contact.Accountancy@llr.sc.gov and be sure to include your license number and the date you tried to renew your license.
Be sure to check your status by January 31. If it does not indicate that your license has a status of Active, and you tried to renew, please contact us.

What is the deadline for license renewal?

The deadline for license renewal is 11:59 p.m. on January 31, and if a license is not renewed by then, it will be considered lapsed.

What if I don’t renew my license on time?

If your license is not renewed by February 15 you state law requires that you fill out a reinstatement application, pay the $80 renewal fee, a $500 reinstatement fee, and obtain a criminal background check.
If you continue to practice or hold out as a CPA, without a valid license or while your license is lapsed, you may be subject to additional penalties as well as disciplinary action.
If you are unable to renew your license timely due to extenuating circumstances, you must contact the Board no later than January 15 to determine if you qualify to come before the Board to request special consideration before the January 31 renewal deadline. If your request is not heard at the Board meeting in January, the earliest your request can be heard will be at the Board meeting in April. In the interim, if you continue to practice or hold yourself out as a CPA without a valid license or while your license is lapsed, you may be subject to disciplinary action, as well as additional penalties.

When am I required to notify the Board outside of the yearly renewal process?

You must notify the Board if there are any changes in your address or contact information.
You must notify the Board if you are disciplined by another state’s Board of Accountancy, any other licensing agency, any regulatory agency, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or any other recognized professional organization.
Section 40-2-240(B) states that “each holder of a certificate issued under this section shall notify the Board in writing within thirty days after its occurrence of any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a designation or commencement of a disciplinary or enforcement action by any jurisdiction.”
Section 40-2-40(H) states that “each holder of or applicant for a registration issued pursuant to this section shall notify the Board in writing, within thirty days after its occurrence, of any change in the identities of partners, officers, shareholders, members, or managers whose principal place of business is in this State, any change in the number or location of offices within this State, any change in the identity of the licensee in charge of these offices, and any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a registration by any other state.”
The Board may discipline a firm under Section 40-2-110(B)(3) for “failure to notify the Board in writing, within thirty days after its occurrence, of any revocation, suspension, reprimand, or other discipline of the right to practice by the licensee in any other state or by a federal agency.”

Can you explain Emeritus status?

A licensee who is retiring may request his or her license be put into Emeritus status.
A licensee with Emeritus status may not perform or offer to perform for compensation 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, or consulting services or the preparation of tax returns or the furnishing of advice on tax matters.
A licensee with Emeritus status may provide services as a CPA on a volunteer basis, as long as those services would not normally be subject to peer review.
A licensee with Emeritus status must renew his or her license annually, with no fee required.
A license in Emeritus status may not be reinstated as an active license. If a licensee in Emeritus status later decides that he or she would like to offer or perform services as a CPA in exchange for compensation, he or she will have to apply for a new license and retake the CPA exam.

Firm Registration

What is the deadline for firm registration renewal?

The deadline for firm registration renewal is January 31, and if a firm registration is not renewed by 11:59pm on January 31, it will be considered lapsed.
For multi-office firms, you only need to complete one firm registration renewal, but be sure to include any changes or updates in office locations.

Can my firm have non-CPA owners?

Yes. Your firm can have non-CPA owners, but the majority of the firm’s ownership (at least 51%) must be held by CPAs who are currently licensed in some state.
All owners must be active individual participants in the firm.
  • Investors, LLPs, LLCs, and commercial interests are not permitted to be firm owners.

Does my firm’s designated resident manager need to be a CPA?

Yes. Your firm’s designated resident manager needs to be a CPA, licensed in SC.
For multi-office firms, each office location must have a designated resident manager that is a CPA licensed in SC.

What is my firm’s designated resident manager responsible for in regards to non-CPA owners?

The designated resident manager is responsible for ensuring that all non-CPA owners:
  • Comply with all applicable accountancy statutes and regulations.
  • Are of good moral character and do not engage in any conduct that, if committed by a licensee, would constitute a violation.
Your firm’s designated resident manager must submit CPE reports for all non-CPA owners by January 31 each year.
  • Non-CPA owners must complete the same number of hours of CPE as licensed CPAs.

What if my firm hires a CPA who is licensed in another state?

If you hire someone who is a CPA in another state to work in and/or from your SC office, he or she must have a SC CPA license before they can hold out.
  • Be careful how you advertise, to ensure that you are not holding out for someone who is not yet licensed as a SC CPA.

Do I need to register a firm if I just do some work on the side?

Yes. You must register as a firm, even if you are a sole proprietor.
If you do any work for compensation, you must register as a firm.
Any type of work for the public, while holding out as a CPA, must be done in a registered firm. For example, a CPA who works for a registered firm, but earns additional income by preparing a tax return for a friend, would need to register a firm for the work done on the side.

Do I need to apply for an out-of-state firm registration?

If your firm is an out-of-state firm providing attest services for a client in SC, you must register with the Board as an out-of-state firm.

CPA

Do I need a license to practice accounting?

Section 40-2-30(A) states that “it is unlawful for a person to engage in the practice of accountancy as regulated by this Board without holding a valid license or registration or without qualifying for a practice privilege pursuant to Section 40-2-245.”
Section 40-2-20(15) states that the “’Practice of accounting’ means:
  • (a) Issuing a report on financial statements of a person, firm, organization, or governmental unit or offering to render or rendering any attest or compilation service. This restriction does not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of that person’s duties or prohibit the performance by a nonlicensee of other services involving the use of accounting skills, including the preparation of tax returns, management advisory services, and the preparation of financial statements without the issuance of reports; or
  • (b) Using or assuming the title ’Certified Public Accountant’ or the abbreviation ‘CPA’ or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a certified public accountant.”

Do I need to apply for an SC CPA license to practice accounting?

If you move to SC, and work from your home, you must obtain a SC CPA license and have a registered firm.
If you have been in SC for a while and do not have a SC CPA license, you must self-report and be in compliance.
If your principal place of business is in SC and you are going to do work for a client located in another state, check with that State Board of Accountancy to determine what is required to be in compliance.
A CPA who is licensed in another state and is coming into SC, should contact the SC Board of Accountancy to ensure that they are in compliance before they begin practicing or holding out in SC.

How do I apply for a SC CPA license under reciprocity?

You must have passed the uniform CPA exam and currently hold an active CPA license with another state.
You must complete the application for a SC CPA license by reciprocity, pay the applicable fees, submit your transcripts, and submit proof of completion of 80 hours of CPE in the previous 2 years.
Depending on where and when you were initially licensed, there may be additional requirements.

Do I need to designate a responsible party as part of my succession plan?

Yes – Regulation 1-12(A) requires each licensee to “designate a partner, personal representative, or other responsible party to assume responsibility for client files in the case of incapacity or death of the licensee.”
The designated responsible party must be another CPA, who agrees to serve as the designated responsible party.
The succession plan and designation of responsible party must be in writing, and must be provided to the Board upon request.

What are the rules and requirements on returning client records?

Section 40-2-190(C) states that “a licensee shall furnish to a client or former client, upon request and reasonable notice: (1) a copy of the licensee’s working papers, to the extent that the working papers include records that would ordinarily constitute part of the client’s records and are not otherwise available to the client; and (2) accounting or other records belonging to, or obtained from or on behalf of, the client that the licensee removed from the client’s premises or received for the client’s account; the licensee may make and retain copies of these documents of the client when based on work completed by the licensee.”
Regulation1-10(C) defines client records as “all information provided by the client and all documents provided to the client (or on behalf of the client) including the materials necessary (including electronic files) to support the final work performed (financial statements, tax returns, etc.). Client records do not constitute other work files or documents, which the licensee may use to audit, test or verify the accuracy of a client’s account balances and/or transaction classes (revenues, expenses).”

What should licensees and firms do to ensure they are in compliance with Regulation 1-10(D)?

Regulation 1-10(D) states that “a licensee or permit holder shall not employ or associate with in South Carolina, directly or indirectly, a person whose license is revoked or suspended by this Board or by the Board of Accountancy in any other jurisdiction. Employing or associating such a person in South Carolina as an accountant, investigator, tax preparer or in any other capacity connected with the practice of accounting subjects the license or permit holder to discipline by the Board.”
  • Licensees and firms should take steps to ensure that they have done their due diligence before entering into any business relationship with another licensee or firm (or former licensee/firm)
  • Licensees and firms should ask all job candidates, consultants, contractors, and any other business partners to confirm that their credentials are valid and not revoked or suspended as part of the evaluation process the licensee/firm uses
  • Licensees and firms can use https://cpaverify.org/ to verify credentials and should also check with the appropriate state’s Board of accountancy
  • Licensees and firms should document the process they used to confirm the validity and status of the credentials
  • Licensees and firms should have a process in place to re-verify credentials periodically, such as on a yearly basis

CPE

Does CPE earned through nano-learning count towards my yearly CPE requirements?

Although nano-learning has been approved in the National CPE standards, it currently will not count toward the fulfillment of your SC CPE requirements. The statute would have to change in order for the Board to accept nano-learning.

How many hours of CPE do I need in Ethics?

Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(e) states that “of the required hours over a three (3) year period, six (6) of the hours must be in ethics.”
Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(e) also requires that “two (2) of these hours must be in South Carolina Rules and Regulations.”
The 2-hour SC ethics course can only be counted once toward the 6-hour ethics requirement during each 3-year period. The remaining 4 hours of the 6-hour ethics requirement must be in other ethics topics.

How much CPE can I carry over each year?

You can carry over up to 20 hours of CPE each year.

Which CPE categories have limits on the number of hours that count toward my yearly requirement and cannot be carried over?

CPE credits for Personal Development subjects are limited to 8 hours per year.
CPE credits earned through Self-Study are limited to 20 hours per year.
CPE credits earned for teaching college courses are limited to 10 hours per year.
CPE credits earned for published articles or books that contribute to the professional competence of the licensee are limited to 10 hours per year.
CPE credits earned in excess of the 10-hour daily limit.

How do I calculate the number of hours of CPE I will earn for teaching college courses?

Regulation 1-08(B)(5) states that “teachers of university and college undergraduate and graduate credit courses shall be granted credit at the rate of ten (10) hours for each three (3) semester hour (or prorated equivalent) course taught. Credit shall not be granted for accounting principles, basic financial accounting, basic managerial accounting or any other introductory accounting course, either undergraduate or graduate. Credit shall not be granted for repetitious presentations within a two (2) year period.”

How do I calculate the number of hours of CPE earned for a college course I took?

Regulation 1-08(B)(6) states that “for university or college courses that have been successfully completed for credit, a copy of the grade report is to be submitted. Each semester hour credit shall equal fifteen (15) hours. In the case of universities or colleges on the quarter system, each quarter hour credit shall equal ten (10) hours. For non-credit courses, a certificate of attendance issued by the university or college is to be submitted. Each classroom hour attended shall equal one (1) fifty (50) minute CPE hour.”

Is there a limit on the number of hours of CPE that can be earned in a day?

Yes – Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(c) states that “no more than ten (10) hours of CPE can be earned in a calendar day.”

How does the Board measure or define an hour of CPE?

Regulation 1-08(B)(3) states that “one (1) hour of credit shall be granted for each fifty (50) minutes of actual instructional contact time. One-half CPE credit increments (equal to 25 minutes) are permitted after the first one (1) hour credit has been earned in a given learning activity. Partial hours will be rounded down to the nearest half (1/2) hour. Only class hours, actual hours of attendance and not hours devoted to preparation, shall be counted.”
Regulation 1-08(A)(2)(d) states that “when a meal is scheduled during the educational period, no credit will be allowed unless the schedule provides for fifty (50) minutes of instruction after completion of the meal.”

When do I need to send my certificates of completion to the Board?

Regulation 1-08(B)(4) states that “in order for self-study hours to qualify, a licensee must submit a certificate of completion supplied by the program sponsor after completion of an examination.”

How long should I keep my CPE records?

Regulation 1-08(B)(2) states that “licensees are responsible for accurate reporting of the appropriate number of CPE hours earned and should retain appropriate documentation in their files for five (5) years.”

What are the requirements for my firm to do in-house CPE?

Firms may do in-house CPE, but must follow the same guidelines as other CPE Sponsors, which include the requirements outlined in Regulation 1-08(C) and Regulation 1-08(E).
Regulation 1-08(C) requires sponsors to:
  • “Present learning activities that comply with course descriptions and objectives.”
  • “Employ an effective means for evaluating learning activity quality with respect to content and presentation, as well as provide a mechanism for participants to assess whether learning objectives were met.”
  • At the beginning of the CPE course, “read the following statement or a statement very similar, ’It is the responsibility of the licensee to be accountable for the hours earned during the CPE course. The licensee should not engage in any other activities that would denigrate the learning objective of the course to the licensee or others. If the other activity is unavoidable, then that time should be subtracted from the overall CPE credit.’“
Regulation 1-08(E) states that courses:
  • “Must contribute directly to the professional competence of a licensee, and the sponsor must provide the participant with a certificate of attendance at the end of the session with the information as stated in Regulation 1–08(B)(4).”
  • “Will qualify if:
    • (a) The program is conducted by persons whose background training, education and experience qualify them as appropriate instructors, discussion leaders or lecturers in the subject matter of the particular program;
    • (b) An outline of the program presented is prepared in advance and shall be maintained by the sponsor;
    • (c) The program is at least one (1) hour (fifty minutes) in length. One-half CPE increments (equal to 25 minutes) are permitted after the first credit has been earned in a given program. Sponsors are to calculate credit hours;
    • (d) A certificate of attendance described in the previous paragraph is given to each participant at the end of the session;
    • (e) Records showing compliance with this section are preserved and maintained by the sponsor for a period of at least five (5) years from the date of presentation of the program.”

Do webinars count as live CPE?

Webinars can count as CPE if they meet the requirements of Regulation 1-08(C) and Regulation 1-08(E), in addition to meeting the following requirements:
  • The webinar must be interactive. A good example of this is that the participants can ask the presenter questions and the presenter responds to the participants questions.
  • Presenters must require participants to respond periodically to confirm that the participant is still viewing the webinar.
Rebroadcasts of webinars do not count.

Are there any additional CPE requirements for licensees who are applying for reinstatement?

Yes – Regulation 1-06(A) states that “in order to qualify for reinstatement, an applicant whose license has been inactive or lapsed for three (3) years or more must demonstrate at least six months of additional experience and one hundred and twenty hours of continuing education, which must be completed within the previous twelve (12) months of the reinstatement application.”

Education

Does the Board of Accountancy accept college credits from any school?

The Board of Accountancy will accept traditional classroom courses and online courses that are for a set semester, led by an instructor, have required coursework and exams. Section 40-2-35(C) specifically requires at least 24 semester hours in accounting taught at the junior level or above.
The Board of Accountancy does not accept duplicate courses and does not accept courses from schools that do not issue degrees.
The Board of Accountancy does not accept nontraditional college credits. Some examples of credits that will not be accepted are course credits that are obtained through nontraditional methods such as life experiences, competency exams, and competency credits, with the exception of CLEP and AP Exams. Non-accredited university credits will not be accepted, and the Board will not accept credits from non-accredited universities that have been transferred to an accredited university.
Section 40-2-35(D) states that “the Board shall accept a transcript from a college or university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or another regional accrediting association having the equivalent standards or an independent senior college in South Carolina certified by the State Department of Education for teacher training, and accounting and business programs accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or any other accrediting agency having equivalent standards. Official transcripts signed by the college or university registrar and bearing the college or university seal must be submitted to demonstrate education and degree requirements. Photocopies of transcripts must not be accepted.”

Exam

How long does it take for my application to sit for the exam to be processed?

Your application to sit for the exam is not complete until all items have been received.
Once all required documentation has been received, and the application is complete, it usually takes about 4 weeks to process the application. The Board is actively working to reduce the amount of time it takes to process applications to sit for the exam.

Has the Board granted an extension of the 18 month testing window due to the delay in reporting scores for the 2nd quarter of 2017?

Changes to the exam which took effect 4/1/2017 caused a delay in reporting scores for the 2nd quarter of 2017, and scores were held until approximately 8/17/2017.
This delay caused some people to lose credit for a section previously passed because they did not get the grades for sections taken in the 2nd quarter of 2017 in time to reschedule during the 3rd quarter of 2017.
During the Board’s 8/24/2017 meeting, the Board granted an extension for all credits that would have expired during the 2nd quarter of 2017. Credits that would have expired during the 2nd quarter of 2017 will now expire on 12/10/2017.
Candidates who believe that they qualify under this extension should submit their request for an extension to the Board in writing.

Peer Review

Do I need to sign up for peer review?

If you provide any of the services described in Regulation 1-09(A), then you will need to sign up for peer review. Regulation 1-09(A) states that “a licensed firm providing any of the following services to the public shall enroll in a qualified peer review program.
  1.   Audits;
  2.   Reviews of financial statements;
  3.   Compilations of financial statements;
  4.   Examinations of prospective financial statements;
  5.   Compilations of prospective financial statements;
  6.   Agreed-upon procedures of prospective financial statements;
  7.   Examination of written assertions; and
  8.   Agreed-upon procedures of written assertions.”

When do I need to sign up for peer review?

Regulation 1-09(B) states that “upon the issuance of the first report provided to a client, the firm must enroll in a qualified peer review program. As long as these services are provided, continued participation in a qualified peer review program is required.”

Do I need to send my peer review report to the Board?

Yes. As part of the renewal process, you are required to show that, within the preceding three years, you have undergone a peer review that meets the requirements as described in Section 40-2-255 and Regulation 1-09.
  • Whenever a firm receives a final peer review report, it must be provided to the Board within 30 days of the date of receipt.

Are there any other situations where I am required to notify the Board in regards to peer review?

Yes, if a firm receives a Pass with Deficiencies or Fail peer review report, the firm is required to notify the Board and must send a copy of the peer review report to the Board, including a copy of the Letter of Corrective Action.

Synergy Business Park; Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, S.C. 29210
(803) 896-4300 | Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
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