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Letter to the Virginia State Bar on UPL Opinion 219

March 1, 2023 

Cameron M. Rountree 
Executive Director 
Virginia State Bar 
111 East Main St., Ste. 700 
Richmond, VA 23219  

RE: Proposed | UPL Opinion 219: Non-Lawyer Entity Representation in Practice Before State Agency 

Dear Mr. Rountree:  

On behalf of the more than 13,000 members of the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA), the VSCPA has reviewed proposed Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Opinion 219. Our review focused on ensuring the opinion would not prevent CPAs from continuing to assist clients in preparing financial information needed to support ABC license applications.  

After reviewing the UPL, we are concerned the answer to the second question about whether licensees or licensee applicants may hire a lay consulting firm to provide advice, for a fee, regarding the legal requirements and procedure for obtaining an ABC license and prepare and file the applications for the applicants may be overly broad. Specifically, because CPAs prepare and compile financial information on behalf of clients, we want to ensure nothing in this opinion would prohibit CPAs from continuing to provide financial services they are permitted to by holding a CPA license. In the course of our review, we spoke with Virginia ABC Government Affairs Officer and General Counsel John Daniel. Mr. Daniel indicated that ABC was in no way seeking limit “certified professionals” with licenses in their respective field from providing guidance and assistance within that area of expertise to ABC applicants and licensees. In addition, Virginia ABC often requires license applicants to utilize the services of a CPA on financial matters. We respectfully request this be clarified in the final opinion. 

We sincerely thank you for the opportunity to comment, and we appreciate your consideration of our input as you finalize this opinion. Please feel free to contact me or VSCPA Vice President, Advocacy Emily Walker, CAE, at (804) 612-9428 or [email protected] if we can be of further assistance. 



Stephanie R. Peters, CAE 
President & CEO 
Virginia Society of CPAs  

CC:  Patrick Cushing, Williams Mullen — VSCPA Legislative Counsel 
John Daniel