The Accountancy Licensing Library

Arizona


Arizona 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

Initial Certificate by Exam or Grade Transfer. An Applicant who has passed the Uniform CPA Examination for the state of Arizona or any other jurisdiction and is not licensed to practice public accounting in any jurisdiction may apply for a CPA certificate in Arizona.


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

Certificate by Reciprocity


Reciprocal License

Reciprocity by Substantial Equivalency. An Applicant having an active certification, license, or registration to practice as a CPA issued under the laws of a substantially equivalent jurisdiction or in a country with which the Board has adopted a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) may apply for a CPA certificate by reciprocity by substantial equivalency.


Reciprocity. An Applicant having an active certification, license, or registration to practice as a CPA issued under the laws of a non-substantially equivalent state or a country with which the Board has not adopted an MRA must apply for a CPA certificate by reciprocity.


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

Limited Reciprocity Privilege


Practice Privilege / Mobility / Interstate Practice

Limited Reciprocity Privilege. To qualify to exercise the limited reciprocity privilege, an individual must:

  • Not be a resident of Arizona, not have a principal place of business that is in Arizona or not have or represent to have an office in Arizona;
  • Not be the subject of suspension or revocation of a certificate as provided by Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-741 or relinquishment of a certificate as provided by Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-730.06; and
  • Hold a valid registration, certificate or license as a certified public accountant issued by another jurisdiction.


In addition, either of the following two (2) options must apply:

Option 1: The other jurisdiction requires as a condition of licensure that an individual has all of the following as prescribed in Ariz Rev. Stat. §32-725(B)(4)(a):

    • At least 150 semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate degree or a higher degree that is conferred by an accredited institution or a college or university that maintains standards that are comparable to those of an accredited institution;
    • A passing grade on the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination; and
    • At least one (1) year of experience in the practice of accounting that has been verified.

- - - or - - -

Option 2: The applicant meets at least one (1) of the following requirements (2a, 2b, or 2c) as prescribed in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-721.C.

  • Option 2a - Their certificate, registration or license was issued by a jurisdiction whose requirements are determined by the board to be substantially equivalent to the following:
    • At least 2,000 hours of paid or unpaid experience, either before or after passing all sections of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination, that has exposed the applicant to and provided the applicant with experience in the practice of accounting. The applicant's experience must be sufficient to demonstrate the applicant's ability for critical inquiry and analysis of financial accounting information, including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements or tax returns and the applicant's ability to communicate, either orally or in writing, on the results of an inquiry or analysis of that information to an employer, client or third party; and
    • A baccalaureate degree or higher degree from an accredited institution or a college or university that maintains standards comparable to those of an accredited institution and that the applicant has completed at least 150 semester hours of education of which: (a) At least 36 semester hours are nonduplicative accounting courses of which at least 30 semester hours are upper-level courses; and (b) at least 30 semester hours are related courses.
  • Option 2b - The applicant has a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent or a higher degree from an accredited institution or a college or university that maintains standards comparable to those of an accredited institution and either:
    • The applicant has been employed as a certified public accountant in the practice of accounting for at least three (3) years and has completed at least 150 semester hours of education that includes both of the following: (i) At least 24 semester hours of nonduplicative accounting courses, of which 12 semester hours are upper-level courses. (ii) At least 18 semester hours in related courses; or
    • The applicant has been employed as a certified public accountant in the practice of accounting for at least five (5) of the ten (10) preceding years and has completed both of the following: (i) At least 24 semester hours of nonduplicative accounting courses, of which 12 semester hours are upper-level courses. (ii) At least 18 semester hours in related courses.
  • Option 2c - The applicant has been employed as a certified public accountant in the practice of accounting for at least ten (10) of the 15 preceding years.


Relevant Links:

  • Limited reciprocity privilege Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-725 (Arizona's mobility law)
  • List of substantially equivalent jurisdictions (If you are currently licensed and your principal place of business is in a jurisdiction that is either non-substantially equivalent or marked with **, please contact the Arizona Board directly at (602) 364-0804 before exercising practice privileges in Arizona.)


Relevant Definitions See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-1-701

  • "Accounting services" means services that are commonly and historically performed by accountants, including recording or summarizing financial transactions, bookkeeping, analyzing or verifying financial information, auditing, reviewing or compiling financial statements, reporting financial results, financial planning, providing attestation or tax or consulting services.
  • "Attest services" means the following services that are rendered by the holder of a certificate issued by the board:
    • Audits or other engagements to be performed in accordance with the statements on auditing standards adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    • Reviews of financial statements to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for accounting and review services adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    • Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for attestation engagements adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
    • Any engagement to be performed in accordance with the standards of the public company accounting oversight board or its successor.
    • Any examination, review or agreed on procedure engagement to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for attestation engagements adopted by the American institute of certified public accountants, other than an examination as described above.
  • "Compilation services" means providing a service of any compilation engagement to be performed in accordance with the statements on standards for accounting and review services adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • "Limited reciprocity privilege" means the permission to practice as a certified public accountant in this state pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-725 for an individual whose principal place of business is outside of this state.
  • "Practice of accounting" means providing accounting services for a client or an employer.


Pursuant to Ariz Rev. Stat. §32-725(F) if you do not qualify for the limited reciprocal privilege...

An out-of-state CPA who does not qualify for the limited reciprocal privilege may enter Arizona and provide services limited to the following;


  • Expert witness services;
  • Teaching or lecturing; and
  • Other services as determined by the Arizona Board.

A CPA who does not qualify for limited reciprocal privileges and who wishes to provide services other than those listed above must apply for an Arizona reciprocal license. Click Reciprocal Licensure above for additional information.


An individual qualifying for limited reciprocity privileges is considered to have qualifications that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of Arizona and has all the privileges of Arizona licensees without the need to obtain an Arizona CPA license. Such individuals may use the title "CPA" or "Certified Public Accountant" and may offer or practice accounting in person or by mail, telephone or electronic means. No notice, fee or other submission is required.


Consent to Jurisdiction

Each individual exercising the limited reciprocity privilege and each partnership, corporation or other entity engaging in the practice of accounting, shall consent to:

  • Comply with with Arizona's laws and the Arizona State Board of Accountancy's rules, and bears the burden of demonstrating his/her eligibility to exercise the privilege in any investigation or other proceeding;
  • Cease offering or practicing accounting in person or by mail, telephone or electronic means in Arizona if the individual or entity no longer satisfies the requirements for eligibility;
  • Be subject to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction of the Arizona Board and its power to investigate complaints and take disciplinary action; and
  • Be subject to service by (1) the appointment of the state board that issued the registration, certificate or license to the individual as agent, on whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Board, or (2) directly on the person.


Firm Registration Requirements May Apply

Firm mobility is governed by Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-725(G).

A partnership, corporation or other entity formed under the laws of another jurisdiction relating to the practice of accounting in that jurisdiction may use the title "certified public accountant" or "CPA" in this state and may engage in the practice of accounting in this state, including the provision of attest services, without having to register as a firm, if all of the following apply:

  • The partnership, corporation or other entity is owned by or employs an individual who is a limited reciprocity privilege holder.
  • The partnership, corporation or other entity is in good standing in its principal place of business under the laws of that jurisdiction relating to the practice of accounting.
  • The principal place of business of the limited reciprocity privilege holder is a recognized place of business for the practice of accounting by the partnership, corporation or other entity.
  • The partnership, corporation or other entity does not have an office in Arizona and does not represent that it has an office in this state.
  • The partnership, corporation or other entity holds an active permit or registration as a certified public accountant firm in another jurisdiction.
  • The practice of accounting is performed by or under the direct supervision of an individual who is qualified for the limited reciprocity privilege.


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 or Sole Proprietorship


Firm Registration

CPA Firm Registration or CPA Firm Office - Sole Practitioner. Any firm or office thereof established or maintained in the state of Arizona for the practice of public accounting in the state of Arizona must register with the Arizona Board. The Arizona Board shall not charge a fee for registration of additional offices of the same firm or for sole practitioners who do not practice underneath the umbrella of a corporation or firm.

CPAs in Arizona may provide attest services only if it is provided through a firm registered with the Arizona State Board.

In order to qualify as a CPA firm in Arizona, at least one (1) partner shall be a resident and a full-time practicing CPA in good standing in Arizona and at least 51% of the ownership, in terms of direct and indirect financial interests and voting rights, must belong to holders in good standing of CPA certificates or licenses to practice accounting as CPAs in any jurisdiction.

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

Cancellation of a License


Relinquish a License

Cancellation of a License: Pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-730.02, a CPA or public accountant who is not actively engaged in the practice of accounting and who does not want to renew or place the certificate on inactive status may voluntarily request cancellation of the license by the board. This option is not available if a complaint has been filed with the board or disciplinary proceedings are pending against the certified public accountant or public accountant.

Please Note: The Accountancy Licensing Library (ALL) refers to this process generally as "relinquishing a license." However, in Arizona, relinquishment is the result of disciplinary action. The correct terminology for releasing a license in good standing in Arizona is "cancellation of a license."

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