ASSEMBLY, No. 2561







By Assemblyman DiGAETANO



An Act concerning public accounting, amending P.L.1987, c.392 and amending and supplementing P.L.1977, c.144.


    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


    1. (New section) In order to provide business and industry with access to affordable accounting services, on and after the effective date of this act, the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy shall provide for licensure of accountant practitioners in accordance with the provisions of this act. A licensed accountant practitioner shall be authorized to perform, or offer to perform, for a client or a potential client, compilation services as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, but shall be prohibited from performing, or offering to perform, review or audit services for a client or potential client.


    2. (New section) a. Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, no person shall be issued a license by the board to practice as an accountant practitioner unless he shall have passed all sections of a written examination, as the board shall determine, which shall include sections in accounting, taxation and law, with a passing grade of 75 on each section.

    b. A person who does not attain a passing grade in each section of the written examination approved by the board the first time he sits for the examination shall be issued a license as an accountant practitioner if: (1) the applicant passes the remaining sections of the examination within six consecutive examinations given after the one at which the first section or sections were passed; and (2) at each subsequent sitting at which the applicant seeks to pass any additional sections, the applicant writes all sections not yet passed and attains an average grade of 50 on all sections written but not yet passed. The board may by regulation prescribe the terms and conditions under which an applicant who has passed any parts of the examination may be reexamined in only the remaining parts.

    c. Examinations shall be given by the board at least twice a year, and any person who wishes to sit for an examination shall apply to the board at least 60 days prior to the date of examination. The board may make use of the applicable sections of the National Society of Public Accountants Uniform Registered Accountants Examination and Grading, or any other examination offered by an organization recognized by the board, which the board deems appropriate.


    3. (New section) Every applicant for examination as an accountant practitioner shall present to the board a written application on a form to be provided by the board, together with the required fee, and satisfactory proof that the applicant:

    a. is at least 18 years of age;

    b. is of good moral character; and

    c. has a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent as determined by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, including courses in accounting and related professional courses as the board may require.


    4. (New section) Every applicant for licensure as an accountant practitioner, having passed the examination required pursuant to section 2 of this act, shall demonstrate that he has had one year of experience in the practice of public accountancy, or its equivalent as determined by the board, under the direction of a licensee meeting requirements prescribed by the board.


    5. Section 17 of P.L.1977, c.144 (C.45:2B-17) is amended to read as follows:

    17. [Biennial] Triennial registration. Every person or firm certified or registered to practice certified public accounting or public accounting within this State shall [biennially] triennially register with and pay to the board a [biennial] triennial registration fee.

    Notice of the failure to pay such [biennial] triennial registration fee shall be given to the person or firm so failing, which notice shall state that, upon the continued failure to pay such fee, the certificate or registration issued to such person or firm will be declared forfeited by the board at the time and place stated therein unless such fee is sooner paid. The board may make rules and regulations regarding the reissuance of a certificate or registration to any person or firm whose certificate or registration has been forfeited under this section and fixing the fee to be paid for same.

    Unless he has given notice thereof in some previous application to the board, an individual paying his [biennial] triennial registration fee, in addition to any other information which the board may require, shall state in his application whether any certificate as a certified public accountant or any charter as a chartered accountant or any license to practice or registration or enrollment as a public accountant ever issued to or made for him by any state or political subdivision of the United States or by any foreign country or political subdivision of the United States or by an accounting society of a foreign country has been revoked or suspended, and, if so, such facts relating to such revocation or suspension as the board may require.

    No certified public accountant or public accountant of this State, who has not registered pursuant to the requirements of this section for a particular [biennial] triennial registration period, shall, during such period, hold himself out to be engaged in practice as a certified public accountant or public accountant within this State, or use in connection with his name any title or designation tending to imply that he is engaged in practice as a certified public accountant or public accountant within this State.

(cf: P.L.1994, c.43, s.5)


    6. Section 1 of P.L.1987, c.392 (C.45:2B-17.1) is amended to read as follows:

    1. a. The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy shall require any person certified or registered as a public accountant, as a condition for [biennial] triennial registration pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1977, c.144 (C.5:2B-17), to complete [48] 120 credits of continuing professional education during each [biennial] triennial period of certification or registration, with no less than 24 credits during any one year, pursuant to section 3 of this act. Persons who are engaged in the practice of public accounting or are involved with the attest function in issuing audit, review or compilation reports, shall have at least 16 of the required credits in the areas of auditing, review or compilation.

    b. Each credit of continuing professional education required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall represent or be equivalent to one hour of verified course attendance at a board approved course or seminar.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.392, s.1)


    7. This act shall take effect immediately.





    This bill increases the registration period for certified public accountants and public accountants from two years to three years; increases the number of continuing education credits from 24 credits to 40 credits per year; and provides for the licensure of accountant practitioners to perform certain accounting functions. The new category of accountant practitioners established by the bill will permit individuals who graduate from college with an accounting degree, but do not choose to attend a fifth year of college to become a certified public accountant, to perform compilation services as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.





Increases registration period of licensed accountants from two to three years and provides for the licensure of accountant practitioners.