The South Carolina Board of Accountancy released its third quarter newsletter, and here are some items of interest:
Tips for License Renewals
The BOA staff has prepared a wide range of license renewal tips for when the annual process opens in mid-November.
Among these is a six-page “Renewal Survival Kit” of troubleshooting advice that can be found here. It begins with UserID login and password guidance and suggests what reports and certificates you should have prepared in advance. There is also a rundown of typical error messages for submission problems that can be encountered, such as incomplete reports, files that can’t be opened, confirmation receipts for CPE reporting, undeliverable messages, and what to do if you find mistakes after your submission.
The BOA strongly encourages all renewals to be processed online. A renewal must have a completed renewal form (either online or on paper), a renewal fee and a completed CPE reporting form. These forms will only be available on https://www.llr.sc.gov/pol/accountancy/.
The renewal process will begin with a mailed renewal notice. Your UserID – which can never be your email address and is case sensitive – will be printed in the top right corner of the notice. Firm registrations will require a separate UserID.
If you require your email on file to be changed to access your account, that request must be submitted to email@example.com. Also remember that BOA staff cannot process any payment over the phone.
TO FILE CPE REPORTING: The CPE reporting inbox destination is firstname.lastname@example.org. The BOA requests that you consolidate your CPE report into a single PDF file. Reports sent through encrypted or secure systems (Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.) or password-protected PDFs cannot be accessed by the BOA. Do not send CPE reports via mail or fax.
BOA staff cannot send individualized receipt confirmations for CPE reports. IMPORTANT: The BOA does not monitor the CPE reporting email inbox until after the Feb. 15 renewal season deadline. DO NOT send any other requests or correspondence of a timely nature (e.g., address or employer changes) to this address.
The BOA is in the testing stage of a new feature that would allow licensees to upload their CPE report online, but it is not expected to be available until January 2019.
TO ENSURE YOUR LICENSE RENWAL IS SUCCESSFUL: Use the Licensee Lookup feature on the LLR website. If your status is “active,” your renewal is successful. If you continue to receive BOA emails about renewing, you should confirm that your firm registration renewal is in order.
SUCCESSION PLANNING: SCACPA reminds you that your firm renewal process cannot be completed without naming a designated successor. As per Regulation 1-12(A), adopted in 2007, all South Carolina firm licensees must have a designated successor who will assume responsibility for client files in the case of a licensee’s incapacity or death. The successor must be an active licensee who has agreed to assume the responsibility. For details on succession planning, consult this guidance from NASBA and AICPA.
Ethics Course Changes are Set for Jan. 1
The NASBA Center for Public Trust will be the sole author of the SC Rules and Regulations/SC Ethics course beginning Jan. 1, 2019, and all previous approved courses will expire Dec. 31, 2018, as per the BOA’s vote on Sept. 20.
The NASBA Center for Public Trust will not offer the course directly to licensees. Providers of the SC-specific course will purchase course content after the BOA contacts the SC providers with the NASBA Center for Public Trust’s contact information.
The NASBA Center for Public Trust will then inform the BOA of who has purchased the course, and the BOA will post that list on its website. Licenses will then be able to choose their preferred provider of SC-specific ethics courses.
New CPA Oath Ceremony is Nov. 13
USC’s Darla Moore School of Business will be the site for the Oath Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in W.W. Hootie Johnson Hall (Room 101). New licensees who do not attend will receive their wall certificates by mail approximately 30 days afterward.
As of Sept. 30, there are 6,054 CPAs in South Carolina and 1,304 licensed in-state accounting firms.
South Carolina Ranks 7th in CPA Exam Pass Rates
South Carolina had a CPA Exam pass rate of 54.77% in 2017, which ranks seventh-best among jurisdictions, according to a NASBA report. Utah topped the list at 61.79%, and South Carolina trailed North Carolina’s 54.79%. For last year, 25,834 candidates passed the fourth part of the CPA Exam. The 95,650 candidates who attempted the Exam in 2017 represented a drop from 2016’s total of 102,320, but still surpassed each year’s numbers from 2012-2015.
Licensure Musts: Education, Exam and Experience
When it comes to SC licensure applicants who are licensed in other states and are seeking a reciprocal license or to practice under mobility, the baseline standards for equivalency are Education, Exam and Experience. “Applicants for reciprocal licenses must either meet the current requirements or demonstrate that they would have met the requirements that were in place at the time that their original license was issued.”
What counts as experience: The vast majority of new licensees earn their experience by working one year under the direct supervision of a CPA, and 2,000 hours of part-time employment under the direct supervision of a CPA is equivalent to one year. Experience accrual is capped at 40 hours per week, which means overtime hours are not eligible.
Section 40-2-35(G)(2)(i) of the South Carolina Code of Laws states: “Experience other than public accounting experience counts only in proportion to duties which, in the opinion of the board, contribute to competence in public accounting.” Bookkeeping, payroll processing, reconciling the bank statement, and basic data entry do not count toward the experience requirement.
Know Your Education Evaluation Tools
Candidates who want to apply to sit for the CPA Exam can go to https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/southcarolina/.
A candidate can find self-assessment tools with these links to the SC Board of Accountancy Education Policy, a Transcript Evaluation Form, the Education Requirements and Transcript Evaluation Guide and a list of Regional Accrediting Associations.
New BOA Officers
Todd Dailey, CPA, was elected BOA Chairman, Charles E. Alvis, CPA, was elected Vice Chairman, and Michael R. Putich, CPA, was elected Secretary at the BOA’s June 26 meeting.
As a reminder, those who need to appear before the Board for a hearing or other issue are instructed not to contact individual Board members. All questions and inquiries should be directed to Board staff at 803.896.4770 or email@example.com.
The next BOA meeting will be Oct. 23-24, with a final 2018 meeting on Dec. 18.
Testing will be open from Dec. 1-10 and closed from Dec. 11-30.
Office of the State Treasurer
The newsletter also contains a message from the State Treasurer’s Office that provides details of its South Carolina ABLE Savings Program, an investment account designed for qualified individuals with disabilities to channel funds for their disability needs without losing eligibility for benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.