2005 Regular Session

To: Judiciary B

By: Representative Gunn

House Bill 1108



     SECTION 1.  Section 73-33-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-33-2.  For the purposes of this chapter, unless context requires otherwise:

          (a)  "Certified public accountant," "CPA," or "licensee" means an individual who holds an active license issued by the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy to practice public accounting, and the term "license" is used synonymously for the terms "certificate" or "certification."

          (b)  "Certified public accountant firm" or "CPA firm" means any professional corporation, partnership, joint venture, professional association, sole proprietor acting as a practice unit, or other business organization or office thereof allowable under state law and under the qualifications as set in the rules and regulations of the board maintained for the purpose of performing or offering to perform public accounting.  "Sole proprietor acting as a practice unit" means a sole proprietor CPA who maintains an office full-time with professional accounting staff and holds himself out for the practice of accounting as a CPA.

          (c)  "Practice of, or practicing, CPA public accounting or CPA public accountancy" means the performance, the offering to perform, or maintaining an office by a person, persons or firm holding itself out to the public as certified public accountant(s) or CPA firm, for a client or potential client, or certified public accountant(s) or CPA firm performing one or more kinds of services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, including, but not limited to, the 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.

          (d)  "Firm permit to practice public accounting" means a permit issued by the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy permitting a certified public accountant firm to practice CPA public accounting, and "permit holder" means a certified public accountant firm holding such permit.

          (e)  "Inactive certified public accountant" means a certified public accountant, in good standing, who is not engaged in the practice of public accounting in this state.  A person may, upon written request to the Mississippi Board of Public Accountancy, be certified as an inactive certified public accountant.  An inactive certified public accountant shall not be required to complete any continuing education requirements.  If an inactive certified public accountant becomes active, he shall comply with all requirements regarding active status.

     SECTION 2.  Section 73-33-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-33-5.  The Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy is hereby authorized with the following powers and duties:

          (a)  To adopt a seal;

          (b)  To govern its proceedings;

          (c)  To set the fees and to regulate the time, manner and place of conducting examinations to be held under this chapter.  Beginning February 1, 1995, a total of one hundred fifty (150) collegiate-level semester hours of education including a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent at a college or university acceptable to the board shall be required in order to sit for the examination by candidates who have not previously sat for the examination.  The education program shall include an accounting concentration or the equivalent as determined by the board to be appropriate by rules and regulations.  The examination shall cover branches of knowledge pertaining to accountancy as the board may deem proper;

          (d)  To initiate investigations of certified public accountant and certified public accountant firm practices;

          (e)  To notify applicants who have failed an examination of such failure and in what branch or branches deficiency was found;

          (f)  To adopt and enforce such rules and regulations concerning certified public accountant examinee and licensee qualifications and practices and certified public accountant firm permits and practices as the board considers necessary to maintain the highest standard of proficiency in the profession of certified public accounting and for the protection of the public interest.  The standards of practice by certified public accountants and certified public accountant firms shall include generally accepted auditing and accounting standards as recognized by the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy;

          (g)  To issue certified public accountant licenses under the signature and the official seal of the board as provided in this chapter; and to issue permits to practice public accounting to certified public accountant firms pursuant to such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the board;

          (h)  To adopt rules and regulations related to active and inactive status for certified public accountants.

          (i)  To employ personnel;

          (j)  To contract for services and rent; and

          (k)  To adopt and enforce all such rules and regulations as shall be necessary for the administration of this chapter; provided, however, no adoption or modification of any rules or regulations of the board shall become effective unless any final action of the board approving such adoption or modification shall occur at a time and place which is open to the public and for which notice by mail of such time and place and the rules and regulations proposed to be adopted or modified has been given at least thirty (30) days prior thereto to every person who is licensed and registered with the board.

     Each application or filing made under this section shall include the social security number(s) of the applicant in accordance with Section 93-11-64, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.