The Accountancy Licensing Library

Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania 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 License


Initial License

Initial License. Applicants who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination for the state of Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction and are not licensed to practice public accounting in any jurisdiction may apply for an Initial License in Pennsylvania.

Licensing services/military benefits are now being offered to Military Applicants defined as a Service Member, Veteran or Military Spouse who submits documentation demonstrating status.

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

Reciprocal License, Foreign Reciprocity, License by Endorsement


Reciprocal License

Reciprocal License. An applicant having a valid unrevoked license to practice as a CPA from any jurisdiction who is planning to relocate to Pennsylvania may apply for a Reciprocal License.

Foreign Reciprocity. An applicant who is a holder of a valid, unrevoked foreign designation which was granted under requirements determined to be equivalent to those of Pennsylvania may apply for a Reciprocal License.

License by Endorsement. An applicant having a valid unrevoked CPA license from another U.S. jurisdiction whose principal place of business is in Pennsylvania; an applicant who wants a license from Pennsylvania even though he/she can practice in Pennsylvania via substantial equivalency; and an applicant who has a CPA certification from a foreign country may apply for a License by Endorsement.

Licensing services/military benefits are now being offered to Military Applicants defined as a Service Member, Veteran or Military Spouse who submits documentation demonstrating status.

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

Temporary Practice Permit


Practice Privilege / Mobility / Interstate Practice

Practice Privilege.

Effective September 8, 2008, an individual whose principal place of business is outside of Pennsylvania may exercise all the privileges of Pennsylvania CPAs without the need to obtain a license or pay a fee if the individual:

  • Holds an active license in good standing in a substantially equivalent jurisdiction; OR
  • Has individual qualifications that are substantially equivalent to Pennsylvania's requirements. A CPA who holds a license in a jurisdiction not deemed substantially equivalent may obtain an individual substantial equivalency evaluation from NASBA's CredentialNet Service.

  • An individual who passed the Uniform CPA Exam and holds a valid license to practice public accounting issued by any other state on or before December 31, 2011, may be exempt from the education requirement of 150 semester credit hours for purposes of practice privileges.

    Practice privileges extend to the provision of professional services in Pennsylvania including, without limitation, in person or by mail, telephone or electronic means.

    Consent to Jurisdiction

    Licensees of other states or a qualified unlicensed entity exercising the privilege afforded hereby consent, as a condition to the grant of this privilege:

  • That the exercise of practice privileges constitutes sufficient contact with Pennsylvania for the exercise of personal jurisdiction by the Pennsylvania board and the courts of Pennsylvania over the individual in any action or proceeding arising out of acts or omissions by the individual;
  • To the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Pennsylvania Board;
  • To comply with the law and board rules; and
  • To the appointment of the state boards or other regulatory authority of the state in which the principal place of business of the individual is located as their agents upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by Pennsylvania Board's against such licensees.

  • Firm Registration Requirements May Apply

    A non-resident firm may operate in Pennsylvania without obtaining a Pennsylvania firm permit so long as the firm does not establish an office in Pennsylvania and provides mobility services through an individual who qualifies for practice privileges in Pennsylvania and is identified to the Board.

    The exercise by a firm of the right to practice through such individuals constitutes an agreement by the firm:

  • To be subject to the jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Pennsylvania Board with respect to acts and omissions of the individuals through whom it practices;
  • To accept service of process from the Pennsylvania Board on behalf of the individuals through whom it practices; and
  • To cooperate in any investigation by the Pennsylvania Board involving an individual through which the firm has exercised practice privileges even if the individual is no longer an owner of or employed by the firm.

  • Temporary Practice Permit.

    A CPA who is not eligible for practice privileges based on substantial equivalency as described above may apply for an Individual Temporary Practice Permit.

    General Requirements for Temporary Practice Permit

    A non-resident CPA may qualify for a Temporary Practice Permit if the individual:

  • Holds a valid license or registration to practice public accountancy in another state or jurisdiction;
  • Concurrently practices public accountancy in the other state or jurisdiction; and
  • Obtains a temporary practice permit from the Pennsylvania State Board prior to performing the temporary work.

  • Temporary Practice Permit

  • Allows a certified public accountant, or partnership or corporation, who meets the requirements above to work for not more than 500 hours in Pennsylvania during a 12-month period, except that this 500-hour limitation does not apply if the holder of the temporary practice permit is working only on a single, nonrecurring engagement;
  • Is valid for not more than 12 months beginning on the date of issuance; and
  • Is renewable if the permit was not granted for a single, nonrecurring engagement in excess of 500 hours.
  • 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.

    Firm Registration


    Firm Registration

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

    Non-Licensee Owner Firm Registration. Any firm or office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accounting in the state of Pennsylvania whose owner is a Non-Licensee may apply for a Non-Licensee Owner Permit, as long as 51% of the firm is owned by a CPA licensed in Pennsylvania.

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

    Relinquish a License


    Relinquish a License

    License Relinquishment: Any individual CPA licensed in Pennsylvania who no longer wishes to hold their license/permit to practice may place their CPA license on inactive status or may voluntarily relinquish their CPA license to the Pennsylvania Board.

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