The Accountancy Licensing Library

Georgia


Georgia offers the following types of accounting licenses and privileges. Click on the tabs above to learn more about the requirements and procedures for each type of license.

Initial Certificate


Initial License
Many State Boards of Accountancy have issued responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which impact CPA licensing. Please click here to see a state-by-state list of these responses. We will update this list as we have more information. NOTE: You may need to clear your cache to access the most recent version of this document after first viewing.

Initial Certificate. Applicants who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and are not licensed to practice public accounting in any jurisdiction may apply for an Initial Certificate in Georgia.

Click Initial Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Registration by Reciprocity


Reciprocal License
Registration by Reciprocity. An applicant having a valid unrevoked license to practice as a CPA from any jurisdiction and who becomes a resident of Georgia, establishes an office in Georgia, or whose principal place of business is the office of a firm in Georgia may apply for a Reciprocal Certificate.

Click Reciprocal Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Practice Privilege


Practice Privilege / Mobility / Interstate Practice
NOTE: Effective July 1, 2009, Georgia provides practice privileges. An individual may not engage in the practice of public accountancy in Georgia based on substantial equivalency privilege unless such individual holds a valid license as a CPA in a state which grants similar reciprocity to license holders of Georgia.

A CPA whose office location designation by such individual for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity is in any other state may temporarily provide services in Georgia without providing notice or paying a fee if the individual:
Holds a valid active license as a CPA from any state which requires as a condition of licensure, that an individual:
Has at least 150 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university;
Achieves a passing grade on the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination; and
Possesses at least one (1) year of experience, including providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, which may be obtained through government, industry, academic, or public practice all of which was verified by a licensee; OR
Holds a valid license as a CPA from any state which does not meet the requirements above but such individual's CPA qualifications are substantially equivalent to those requirements.

Any individual who passed the Uniform CPA Exam and holds a valid license issued by any other state prior to January 1, 2012, may be exempt from the education requirement of 150 semester hours for purposes of practice privileges in Georgia.

Temporary permits are no longer available in Georgia. An individual who does not qualify for practice privileges must apply for a Reciprocal License and Firm Permit.

Practice privileges extend to any individual who offers or renders professional services, whether in person, by mail, telephone or electronic means, in Georgia, and no notice or other submission shall be provided by the individual.

Consent to Jurisdiction
A CPA of another state exercising practice privileges in Georgia and the firm which employs the CPA simultaneously consent, as a condition to the exercising of this privilege, to the following:
The personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Georgia Board.
Compliance with the provisions of the Georgia Accountancy Law and the rules and regulations adopted by the Board.
In the event the individual's license issued by any other state designated by such individual for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity is not current, the individual shall cease offering or rendering professional services in Georgia individually and on behalf of the CPA firm.
The appointment of the board of accountancy which issued the individual or firm license as his agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Georgia Board against the licensee.

Firm Registration Requirements May Apply
An individual exercising practice privileges in the performance of the following services for any entity that specifies a location in Georgia to which such service is directed must perform such services through a firm which has registered with the Georgia Board:
An audit to be performed according to standards adopted by board's rules or regulations;
An examination of prospective financial information to be performed according to standards adopted by board's rules or regulation; or
An engagement to be performed in accordance with standards related to public companies adopted by board's rules or regulations.

An individual qualifying for practice privileges in Georgia may provide expert witness services in Georgia.

An out-of-state firm (those firms with no office in this state) may provide review of financial statements in accordance with SSARS for a client having its home office in Georgia and may use the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" without obtaining a Georgia firm permit if the firm:
Meets requirements for firm ownership and peer review in Georgia; and
Performs services through an individual with practice privileges. Privileges are not permitted for an individual unless that individual holds a valid license as a CPA in a state which grants similar practice privileges to license holders in Georgia.

An out-of-state firm that does not perform any of the services described above may perform other professional services while using the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" without a Georgia firm permit if the firm:
Performs the services through an individual with practice privileges in Georgia; and
May lawfully perform the services in the state where the individuals with practice privileges have their office location designated by such individuals for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity.

Click Firm Registration in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information about firm registration requirements.

For mobility purposes, "CPA license" means a CPA license granted by the state board after all education, exam and experience requirements have been met. A CPA performing services through mobility may only perform the same level of services (attest or non-attest) in the mobility jurisdiction as he or she is permitted to perform in the home jurisdiction. Please note the following if you are coming from one (1) of the jurisdictions listed:
An Alabama certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
A Connecticut certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
An Illinois certificate or registered certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
Both a Hawaii CPA license and permit are required in order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
A Kansas certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
Both a Nebraska CPA certificate and permit are required in order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
An Oklahoma registrant must hold an active permit In order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.

Click Practice Privilege in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Registration of Firms and Offices


Firm Registration
Firm and Office Registration. Any firm or office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accounting in the state of Georgia must register with the Georgia State Board of Accountancy.

The following firms must register with the Georgia State Board of Accountancy:
Any firm with an office in Georgia practicing public accountancy;
Any firm with an office in Georgia that uses the title "CPA" or "CPA firm"; and
Any firm that does not have an office in Georgia but performs the following services for a client having its home office in Georgia:
Any audit or other engagement performed in accordance with SAS;
Any examination of prospective financial information in accordance with SSAE; and
Any engagement performed in accordance with the auditing standards of the PCAOB.

The following firms are not required to be registered with the Georgia State Board of Accountancy:
A firm that does not have an office in Georgia may perform compilation or review services in accordance with SSARS for a client having its office in Georgia without registering with the Georgia Board if:
Such firm complied with Georgia's firm ownership requirements;
Such firm participates in a peer review program whose standards at a minimum comply with the "Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Review" by the AICPA in a manner consistent with the timing and completion requirements set by the Georgia Board; and
Such firm provides services through an individual with practice privileges in Georgia through substantial equivalency. Practice privileges are not permitted for an individual in Georgia unless that individual holds a valid license as a CPA in a state that grants similar practice privileges to Georgia license holders.
A firm that does not have an office in Georgia and is not performing services described above may perform other professional services while using the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" in Georgia without registering with the Georgia Board if:
Such firm provides services through an individual eligible for quid pro quo practice privileges in Georgia, and
That firm can lawfully perform such services in the state where said individuals with practice privileges have their principal place of business.

Click Firm Registration in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Relinquish a License


Relinquish a License
License Relinquishment: Although the Georgia State Board of Accountancy rules are silent regarding license relinquishment, any individual CPA licensed in Georgia who no longer wishes to hold said license/permit to practice may voluntarily surrender such to the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-1-19(l) allows for “the voluntary surrender of a license.”

Click Relinquish a License in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.