CPA Mobility Implementation FAQs

May 20, 2015


This FAQ is intended to provide general information about CPA mobility. Individuals and firms should contact the board of accountancy of the state in which they intend to practice to determine the mobility requirements for the state.

Enactment - Implementation - Navigation

While reading about CPA mobility on your website there was a reference to “UAA Mobility” provisions. What is meant by “UAA Mobility”?

CPA mobility is a uniform approach endorsed by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the national organization representing state boards of accountancy, through a provision in the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA). The provision specifically allows for no-notification interstate practice by CPAs whose home jurisdiction or who individually are substantially equivalent where they meet the UAA licensure standard. The individual and firm automatically consent to the jurisdiction of the state Board of Accountancy.

This provision provides the right balance of trust and public protection because removing notification is coupled with automatic jurisdiction. By removing boundaries to practice in the U.S., CPAs will be able to more readily serve individuals and businesses in need of their expertise. At the same time, the state board of accountancy’s ability to discipline under the provision is enhanced and is based on the CPA and the CPA firm’s performance of public accounting services, either physically, electronically or otherwise within a state, rather than restricting the board’s authority to only those holding a state’s license.

I have a CPA license in my home state and have clients in other states that currently have new mobility laws. Must I have a CPA license in each state?

Under the UAA mobility provision, as long as you have a license in good standing from your home state, you do not need to obtain a license in the state in which clients reside or do business.. However, depending on the service that you are performing for the client, you may have to register your firm.

I have recently moved and have been trying to get a reciprocal license in my new home state. I have an active license in the state that I moved from. Under UAA mobility do I need a new license in the state in which I am now residing and working?

Yes, under UAA mobility you need a reciprocal license for your new home state. Mobility only applies if you do not move your principal place of business to another state.

We are a CPA firm and would like more details about the new mobility laws. Will we still need to register our firm in all the states in which we provide client services?

Depending on the services that your firm provides, you may not have to register your firm in every state where you provide services. You can obtain more information on the CPA Mobility web page.

I am a full time telecommuter, and I recently moved to a different state. My office and license are both in the state where I previously lived. All my work is done through the office in the state where I previously resided. Under the new mobility laws in which state do I need to hold a license?

Under most state laws you must declare a principal place of business and hold a valid license in that state to practice.

Where can I go for more information on mobility legislation both passed and pending?

You can obtain information on Mobility Implementation legislation go to the CPA Mobility web page.

How do I find out if my state is considered substantially equivalent?

As of 2012, a total of 49 states and the District of Columbia have passed mobility laws and are now in the implementation and navigation phases. The AICPA and NASBA have developed, a free online tool to help CPAs and accounting firms around the country understand the implications of CPA Mobility and answer the common question “Does Mobility apply to me?” In just four clicks, CPAs can determine whether their state license will allow them to work in another state without additional notice or fees, or whether they need to obtain a reciprocal license.  

I currently live in a state that passed mobility but the state is not substantially equivalent. Does this affect my ability to practice under the no-notice practice privilege?

Generally, if your state is not substantially equivalent you must be deemed individually substantially equivalent to practice under a no-notice mobility provision. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) National Qualifications Appraisal Service will review your credentials to determine your individual substantial equivalence. Some state boards of accountancy also provide this service.

My firm has clients across the country. How does mobility affect us serving our clients?

Generally, if the state in which you wish to practice has enacted a UAA mobility provision, individually licensed CPAs representing your firm will not need to be licensed: in each state however, depending on the service that your firm provides, the firm may need to be licensed. Because state requirements for firm licensure vary, individuals and/or firms must contact the board of accountancy in the in which they intend to practice to determine the applicability of the state’s practice privilege and firm registration requirements.

For More Information on Mobility Implementation go to the CPA Mobility web page.