During the 2017 Virginia General Assembly Session, the Virginia Board of Accountancy (VBOA) put forth SB 1019 to make several changes to the Virginia accounting statutes. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 13. Three changes are detailed below.
Changes to license renewal
Currently, Virginia individual and firm CPA license renewals are staggered throughout the year, often due at the end fo the same month they were initially issued. The VBOA is moving toward a single renewal date for all Virginia CPAs, and as part of that effort, SB 1019 removed the statutory requirement for a period of late renewal before licenses officially expire. As a result, the Active — Renewal Fee Delinquent status has been eliminated.
This means that effective July 1, 2017, individual and firm CPA licenses will need to be renewed no later than the license renewal date listed on the VBOA website. If a license is not renewed by that date, it will expire and the licensee will be required to go through reinstatement. However, if an expired license is reinstated within 12 months of expiration, the reinstatement will be retroactive and the licensee will be considered to have been continually licensed. The window to renew a license will now open 90 days before the license expires.
Moving forward, the VSCPA will send courtesy reminders to members and nonmembers whose Virginia CPA licenses are up for renewal each month. Those reminders will be sent via email, so keep an eye on your inbox for information about when you need to renew. Contact the VBOA with any further questions at (804) 367-8505 or [email protected].
Experience requirement for licensure
According to the current statute, a candidate for a Virginia CPA license “must have been employed in academia, a firm, government or industry in any capacity involving the substantial use of accounting, financial, tax or other skills that are relevant” for the full-time equivalent of one year.
Language in SB 1019 changes the requirement for who can verify that experience. Since 2007, the experience hasn’t had to be verified by a CPA, only by a supervisor. Now, the person verifying the experience must be a licensed active CPA (although it doesn’t have to be a Virginia license).
Peer review requirements
The bill also made changes to Virginia’s peer review requirements based on a change to the interpretation of peer review standards. Effective July 1, 2017, the only firms required to continue to be enrolled in peer review are those that perform services subject to peer review — audit, review, compilation and attest. Peer review enrollment is no longer tied to firm licensure. The relevant language in the revised Virginia accounting statutes is:
6. If the services provided by the firm are within the scope of the practice-monitoring program of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or its successor, the firm shall enroll in the program or in another practice-monitoring program for attest services, compilation services, and financial statement preparation services that is approved by the Board. In addition, if enrolled the firm shall:
a. Comply with any requirements prescribed by the Board in response to the results of peer reviews; and
b. Participate in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants', or sponsoring organizations', Facilitated State Board Access process, or its successor process, for peer reviews.
Firms that don’t perform audit, review, compilation or attest services will have the option to resign from peer review effective July 1. This includes firms that perform Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) 21 financial statement preparation as the highest level of service. Firms that perform financial statement preparation services and do not resign will no longer qualify for an exemption from having a peer review. However, firms that only do tax or consulting work that choose to remain enrolled will not be subject to peer review.