Final approval for a bill that amends some key operating procedures for the South Carolina Board of Accountancy was given by the Senate on Thursday, May 9, the final day of the 2019 legislative session 

UPDATE: Gov. Henry McMaster signed this bill into law on Thursday, May 16. 

Of particular note, bill H.3785 (Reps. Sandifer, Howard, Thayer, West and Weeks) revises criteria for reciprocity. It expands application eligibility to those who hold a valid out-of-state CPA license issued before Jan. 1, 2012, and have engaged in four years of out-of-state professional practice as a CPA within the 10 years immediately preceding the South Carolina application.  

On April 24, SCACPA CEO Chris Jenkins spoke to legislators in support of the BOA bill. Jenkins’ presentation included a point-by-point summation of what the amended proposals mean, and their importance in terms of transparency, consistency and clarity. This was the second time he talked to legislators about the bill. 

“From a high-level perspective, this is an overdue update to the practice act,” Jenkins said. 

Also among the Board of Accountancy bill’s amendments: 

  • Disciplinary hearings by the Board must be open to the public, except in certain circumstances 
  • It allows that BOA meetings may be closed in instances relating to federal law 
  • Relating to the confidential treatment of evidence obtained during Board investigations, it provides that all proceedings and inquiries related to investigations are confidential except as otherwise provided 
  • Aligns the definition of Compilations with SSARS to read as follows: 

Compilation’ means providing a service to be performed in accordance with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) in which the objective of the accountant is to apply accounting and financial reporting expertise to assist management in the presentation of financial statements and reports in accordance with this section without undertaking to obtain or provide any assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements in order for them to be in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.” 

  • Removes unnecessary reference to the future of computer-based exams 
  • Disclaimers that accounting practitioners and firms must use when associating their names with certain compiled financial statements must comply with certain national standards 
  • Noncertified public accountant owners must complete the same number of hours of continuing professional education as licensed CPAs. In each three-year period, as established by the board, six of the hours must be in ethics, and at least two of these hours must be a board-approved South Carolina Accountancy Rules and Regulations course.” 

You can track the progress of H.3785 here and read the bill and its revisions here.