Path: FAQs Welcome: Guest
    Arizona's landscape Oak Creek and Red Rock,
Reflections of the Red Rocks at sunset


Our forms are in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view and print these forms. Click the Adobe logo to download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Some forms allow you to fill them out on-screen and print them, however, you cannot save them. It will be necessary to fill the form out each time it is opened.

get Acrobat Reader
These are frequently asked questions about CPA Firms:  
  What is the definition of the Practice of Accounting?
Do I need to be registered as a firm?
What are the requirements to operate as a CPA firm in Arizona?
After I’m registered, are there any ongoing notification requirements?
How are Arizona CPA firms impacted by peer review?
What is Facilitated State Board Access?
What should be considered when naming my firm?
How do I change the name of my firm?
What happens if a partner leaves? Do we have to change the firm name?
How often does my firm's registration renew?
How much does it cost to renew my firm's registration?
How do I cancel my firm’s registration?
Do I have the option to relinquish my firm registration?
Can I reinstate my firm’s registration if it has been cancelled, expired, or relinquished?
 
   
 What is the definition of the Practice of Accounting?  
  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-701, the "Practice of Accounting" means providing accounting services for a client or employer. "Client" means a person or entity, other than one’s employer, for whom accounting services are provided. "Employer" means a person or entity that hires an individual to perform a service and that directs and controls the manner in which the service is performed.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints - "Accounting services" means services that are commonly and historically performed by accountants, and which include both attest and non-attest services, as follows:

Attest Services:

  a)   Audits or other engagements to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Auditing Standards adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  b)   Reviews of financial statements to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  c)   Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  d)   Any engagement to be performed in accordance with the Standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or its successor.
  e)   Any examination, review or agreed on procedure engagement to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, other than an examination described in subdivision (c) of this paragraph.

Non-attest Services:

  a)   Recording or summarizing financial transactions
  b)   Bookkeeping
  c)   Analyzing or verifying financial information
  d)   Compiling financial statements (compilation services)
  e)   Reporting financial results
  f)   Financial planning
  g)   Tax services
  h)   Consulting services (See Helpful Hints below)
a helpful hint Helpful Hint – R4-1-101 defines "compilation services" as services, the objective of which is defined in Section 80.04 of the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services No. 21, issued October 2014.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints - "Consulting services" includes management advisory services, litigation support services, valuation services and other services that require the use of technical skills, education, observation, experience and knowledge to develop an analytical approach to process and to present findings, conclusions or recommendations.
top
   
 Do I need to be registered as a firm?  
  A.R.S. §32-731 regarding firm qualifications requires a partnership, professional corporation (PC), professional limited liability company (PLLC), limited liability company (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP) engaged in Arizona in the practice of accounting to register as a firm.

Additionally, A.R.S. §32-747.01 states that an individual who holds a certificate issued by the Board to practice as a Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant may provide attest services only if the individual provides attest services through a registered firm.

  To determine whether you need to register as a firm, please see the table below. Also, please see the What is the definition of the Practice of Accounting to fully understand what accounting services are considered non-attest versus attest.

 
 Capacity under which
 you practice
 Do you provide
 attest services?
 Do you provide non-
 attest services?
 Firm Registration
 Required?
 Individual 1/  Yes  Yes  Yes
     No  
   No  Yes  No
     No  
 Partnership, PC,  Yes  Yes  Yes
 PLLC, LLC, or LLP    No  
   No  Yes  Yes
     No  No

  1/Individual means either:
  1. A sole proprietor*, which means an owner of a sole proprietorship, which is a business owned by one individual that has no legal distinction between the owner and the business; or
  2. Someone other than an owner or employee of a sole proprietorship or a partnership, PC, PLLC LLC, or LLP required to register as an Arizona CPA firm, or an employee of a governmental entity.

    *A Sole Proprietor does not mean a sole-member partnership, PC, PLLC, LLC, or LLP.
top
   
 What are the requirements to operate as a CPA firm in Arizona?  
  Pursuant to A.R.S. §32-731, in order to qualify as a CPA firm in Arizona:
  • At least one partner shall be a resident and a full-time practicing CPA in good standing in Arizona; and
  • At least 51% of the ownership, in terms of direct and indirect financial interests and voting rights, must belong to holders in good standing of CPA certificates or licenses to practice accounting as CPAs in any jurisdiction. Only CPA's whose qualifications are considered to be substantially- equivalent may be considered.
top

 After I’m registered, are there any ongoing notification requirements?  
  Yes, pursuant to A.R.S. §32-731(E), you are required to notify the Board in writing within one month of any of the following: Please note that the term “partner” includes any shareholder of a professional corporation (PC) and any member of a limited liability company (LLC) or professional limited liability company (PLLC). Also, the term “partnership” includes a PC, a LLC and a PLLC.
  1. The termination of any partnership.
  2. The admission of a partner to a partnership that is registered with the Board if the partner is a CPA or PA.
  3. The withdrawal of a partner from a partnership that is registered with the Board if the partner is a CPA or PA.
  4. A change of a partner’s residence from this state to another jurisdiction, or from another jurisdiction to Arizona, if the partner is in a partnership that is registered and the partner was a CPA or PA.
  5. The death of a person who is a partner in a partnership that is registered and who was a CPA or PA.
  6. Any change by any jurisdiction in the certificate or license status of a CPA or PA owner of the partnership that prevents the certificate or license from being in good standing, or that prevents the right of the CPA or PA to practice accounting as a CPA or PA in that jurisdiction. Any change in the number or location of offices of the partnership in this state and any change in the identity of the individuals in charge of the partnership’s offices in this state.
top

 How are Arizona CPA firms impacted by peer review?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454, each firm that performs attest services or compilation services  will need to complete a peer review within the three years immediately preceding the firm's registration date. For a further review of the regulation governing peer review, please see the Peer Review page under the Firms tab on this website.

If the firm accepts an engagement, which for the first time will require the firm to complete a peer review, pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-454(H)(2)(b):

The firm agrees to notify the Board within 90 days after accepting an attest services or compilation service engagement and shall enroll in a Board-approved peer review program with a due date, in compliance with the Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews 18 months from the year-end of the initial engagement accepted. For example, if the engagement's year end is 12/31/17, the firm must complete a peer review by 6/30/19.

NOTE! The Peer Review process is often more extensive and expensive to complete than a registrant may realize. It is advised that a registrant not perform attest or compilation services that would subject the firm to peer review without first inquiring with the California Society of CPAs (CSCPA) Peer Review program to better understand the full process.

  1/Firms that performed non-disclosure compilations for financial statements with a period ending before January 1, 2018 are not subject to peer review.

top
 What is Facilitated State Board Access?  
  The Facilitated State Board Access (FSBA) is a process that addresses the demand for greater peer review transparency. This is a program that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) created to help the profession keep up with the evolving changes in the business and regulatory environments.

For firms whose peer reviews are scheduled before January 1, 2018, the firm shall submit peer review documents directly to the Board. For firms whose peer reviews are scheduled after January 1, 2018, the firm must allow the sponsoring organization (California Society of CPAs) to make the peer review documents accessible to the Board via the FSBA process.

top
 What should be considered when naming my firm?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C R4-1-455.03(C), a registrant, which means any CPA or CPA firm registered with the Board, shall not use a professional or firm name or designation that is misleading about the legal form of the firm, or about the persons who are partners, officers, members, managers, or shareholders of the firm, or about any other matter. A firm name or designation shall not include words such as “& Company,” “& Associates,” or “& Consultants” unless the terms refer to additional full‐time CPAs that are not otherwise mentioned in the firm name. (See examples of possible misleading firm names below.)

Please see the following statute to learn more about the naming requirements for a domestic professional corporation or a foreign professional corporation:
 
      Corporation Name
  Please see the following statutes to learn more about the naming requirements for limited liability companies, professional limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships composed of certified public accountants:
 
      Limited Liability Company Name
      Professional Limited Liability Company Name
      Limited Liability Partnership Name
  Examples of firm names that would be considered misleading include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The CPA firm name includes the plural form of the CPA designation, when only one owner in the firm is a CPA.
  • The CPA firm name includes the name of a non-CPA owner of the firm.
  • The firm name includes the use of “& Company,” “& Associates,” “& Consultants,” “Group,” or other similar descriptor, when the firm does not have at least two CPA owners not already named in the firm name, or two additional CPA employees with the firm, in addition all named owners.
  • The CPA firm name implies the existence of a legal business entity when the firm is not organized or incorporated with the Arizona Corporation Commission as such (e.g., the use of P.C., PLLC, LLC, or LLP).
  • The CPA firm name implies certain favorable results can be achieved or creates unjustified expectations (e.g., Arizona’s Best Accounting Firm Ever, PLLC).
top

 How do I change the name of my firm?  
  If you own a firm, changes to the firm’s name require Board approval and can be submitted for Board review using the Firm Name Change Application Form . Please see A.A.C. R4-1-455.03(C) for more information about form of practice and name changes.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints - A.A.C R4-1-455.03(C) - A registrant, which means any CPA or CPA firm registered with the Board, shall not use a professional or firm name or designation that is misleading about the legal form of the firm, or about the persons who are partners, officers, members, managers, or shareholders of the firm, or about any other matter. A firm name or designation shall not include words such as “& Company,” “& Associates,” or “& Consultants” unless the terms refer to additional full‐time CPAs that are not otherwise mentioned in the firm name.

top
 What happens if a partner leaves? Do we have to change the firm name?  
  Should the firm lose a partner, the firm is not required to change the firm name, pursuant to A.R.S. § 32- 747(C). The law provides the right to the continuous use of a partnership name, or a modification of the name, by successor firms formed by the remaining partner(s) or added partner(s) even though the individuals whose names are included in the firm name are not partners.

top
 How often does my firm's registration renew?  
  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-730, the Board requires every CPA firm to renew its registration on a biennial basis. However, the timing of the registration depends on whether the firm is:
 
  1)   An individual sole practitioner
  2)   An individual sole proprietor - owner of a sole proprietorship, which means a business owned by one individual that has no legal distinction between the owner and the business. This does not mean a sole member partnership, professional corporation (PC), professional limited liability company (PLLC), limited liability company (LLC), or limited liability partnership (LLP).
  3)   A PC, PLLC, LLC, or LLP.
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-345(B), individual registrants (i.e., sole practitioners/sole proprietors) shall renew during his/her birth month in either an even or odd numbered year, depending on whether the year of their birth is an even or odd numbered year.

A partnership, PC, PLLC, LLC, or LLP shall renew during the board-approved month in either an even or odd numbered year, depending on whether the firm registration was initially board-approved in an even- numbered or an odd-numbered year.

top
 How much does it cost to renew my firm's registration?  
  Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-345(C)(2), the biennial registration fee for each CPA firm is $300 per registration period. A late fee of $50 will be assessed if the firm's renewal is not received on time. However, pursuant to A.R.S. §32-729, a registration fee is not charged for the registration of additional offices of the same firm or for the registration of an individual, which means either:
 
  1. A sole proprietor*, which means an owner of a sole proprietorship, which is a business owned by one individual that has no legal distinction between the owner and the business; or
  2. Individual, which means someone other than an owner or employee of a sole proprietorship or a partnership, PC, PLLC LLC, or LLP required to register as an Arizona CPA firm, or an employee of a governmental entity.

    *A Sole Proprietor does not mean a sole-member partnership, PC, PLLC, LLC, or LLP.
top
     
 How do I cancel my firm’s registration?  
  Please select this link to learn more
top
   
 Do I have the option to relinquish my firm registration?  
  A.R.S. § 32-742(C) allows a firm to relinquish its registration pending or in lieu of an investigation or a disciplinary proceeding or while under a disciplinary order. The Board shall consider a relinquishment and may determine whether to accept the relinquishment and if accepted shall issue an order documenting its decision. top
   
 Can I reinstate my firm’s registration if it has been cancelled, expired,  or relinquished?  
  Cancelled or Expired Firms: Pursuant to A.R.S. §32-730.02(D) and §32-730.03(D), respectively, the process to reinstate from cancelled or expired status is essentially the same as an initial registration, in that you must file an application to register and pay a registration fee and meet all the requisite requirements of A.R.S. §32-731 relating to firm registration. If the Board approves, the effective date of the firm’s formation will reflect the most recent date of reinstatement.

Relinquished Firms: Pursuant to A.R.S. §32-742(E), the process to reinstate from relinquished status is more rigorous. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, the firm must demonstrate through substantial evidence to the Board that it is completely rehabilitated with respect to the conduct that led to relinquishment. Demonstration of rehabilitation includes evidence of the following:
 
  1. The firm or any partner of the firm has not engaged in any conduct during the relinquishment period that, if the firm or partner of the firm had been registered during that period, would have constituted a basis for revocation or suspension pursuant to section 32-741.
  2. The firm has addressed or remedied any complaints, investigations or board-ordered requirements that are pending or outstanding at the time of relinquishment.
  3. Other evidence of rehabilitation that the board deems appropriate.
top
   
 

About SSL Certificates