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17-Are You Really Able to Use the Term CPA?

from By Beth A. Berk, CPA, CGMA

From April 17: This article originally appeared in CPA Insider. ©2019 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Warning: If your CPA license is inactive, expired or was issued in a state other than the one where you live or work, you may not be able to use the term “CPA” alongside your name. Boards of accountancy use different terms for various CPA license statuses. Besides “active,” they include “active certificate” (Kansas), “registered” (Louisiana and New York), “inactive” (several states), “inactive with experience” (Alabama), “expired” (Indiana), “lapsed” (Georgia) and more! States also have different laws and regulations regarding how CPAs should represent themselves. For instance, some states stipulate that CPAs with inactive status not use the term CPA.

Accountants often aren’t aware of these regulations. Thus, they may inadvertently violate their state board’s rules when describing their credentials on their resume, LinkedIn profile, business card, email signature, in an engagement letter or business proposal or elsewhere. more

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