CHAPTER 167

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 287

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (three- fifths of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said Chapter in its entirety and substituting ht lieu thereof the following:

"CHAPTER I. ACCOUNTANTS, CERTIFIED PUBLIC AND PUBLIC. 1101. Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter, unless the context indicates differently: 'Board' means the State Board of Accountancy.

'Certificate' means a certificate of certified public accountant.

'Certified public accountant' means the holder of a certificate of certified public accountant issued by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter or prior law of this State,

'Certified public accounting' or 'the practice of certified public accountancy' shall mean

public accounting that is being practiced by a certified public accountant.

'Firm' meant a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation under Title 8, Chapter 6 of the Delaware Code or under a similar statute of another jurisdiction.

'Nonpublic entity' shall mean an entity other than one whose securities trade in a public market either on a stock exchange (domestic or foreign) or in the over-the-counter market including securities quoted only locally or regionally; or that makes a filing with a regulatory agency in preparation for the sale of any class of its securities in a public market.

'Permit to practice' or 'permit' shall mean a permit to practice public accountancy or a

permit to practice certified public accountancy pursuant to this Chapter.

'Public accountant' mesas the holder of a permit to practice public accountancy issued by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

'Public accounting' or 'the practice of public accountancy' shall mean performing or offering to perform by a- person or firm, for a client or potential client, audit, review, or compilation services u defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

"State" means the State of Delaware.

5102. Board of Accountancy: Appointment; term; qualifications; vacancies; removal of member.

The State Board of Accountancy shall consist of nine members who are State residents, u follows:

(a) four certified public accountants three of whom must hold valid permits to practice issued pursuant to this Act;

(b) two public accountants who hold valid permits to practice issued pursuant to this Act;

(c) two members from the public at large who are neither certified public accountants nor public accountants; and

(d) one practicing attorney who is neither a certified public accountant nor a public accountant.

The five persons constituting the State Board of Accountancy on the effective date of this Chapter shall continue in office u members of the Board until the expiration of the terms for which they were appointed. Upon the enactment of this Chapter, the governor shall appoint one public

accountant and one member from the public at large for a term of one year (not to be considered a full term); and one public accountant and one member from the public at large to serve for a term of three years. Both public accountants so appointed by the governor shall be qualified to obtain permits to practice public accountancy as soon as such permits become available. Upon the expiration of the term of any member, a successor shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of three years. No person who has served two successive complete terms shall be eligible for reappointment until after the lapse of one year. Appointment to fill an unexpired term is not to be considered a complete term. Each member shall hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified. Any vacancy in the membership of the Board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the three year term. The Governor shall remove from the Board any member whose certificate of certified public accountant or permit to practice has been revoked or suspended and may, after hearing, remove any member of the Board for neglect of duty or other just cause.

§103. Election of officers; bylaws; quorum.

The Board shall elect annually from its members a president and a secretary. The Board may adopt and promulgate such by laws as may be necessary to govern its proceedings, to define the duties of its officers and to effectuate the intent and purpose of this Chapter. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business.

§104. Compensation of Board members.

Each member of the Board shall be paid not more than ;50 per day for the time actually expended and incurred in the performance of his or her duties under this Chapter. not to exceed $500 per year.

§105. General powers of the Board.

The Board shall have the following powers:

(a) To provide for and to regulate the issuance of certificates pursuant to this Chapter;

(b) To provide for and to regulate the issuance of all permits to practice pursuant to this Chapter;

(c) To prescribe the place of examination for all examinations provided for in this Chapter. The Board shall use the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and the advisory grading service of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or its successor organization, the National Society of Public Accountants Uniform State Examination and the advisory grading service of the National Society of Public Accountants, and in addition shall use such other examinations provided for in this Chapter;

(d) To suspend for a fixed term or revoke the certificate or permit to practice of any individual or firm, or to censure, reprimand, or warn the holder of any such certificate or permit as provided for in this Chapter;

(e) To arrange for assistance in the performance of its duties, and to administer and enforce the laws of the State relating to the practice of certified public accountants and public accountants. and to request the Attorney General to bring a prosecution for a violation of this Chapter;

(f) To keep minutes and records of all its transactions and proceedings. Copies thereof, duly certified by the Secretary of the Board, shall be received as evidence in all courts of this State;

(g) To become a member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy or its successor organization, and to pay such dues as said association shall establish, to send delegates to the annual meeting of the Association and to defray their expenses;

(h) To adopt, promulgate and enforce such administrative rules and regulations not inconsistent with this Chapter, or other laws of the State, as it deems necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Chapter; and

(1) To promulgate, amend, and enforce rules of professional conduct appropriate to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity and dignity in the profession of accounting.

§106. Certified public accountant and public accountant; who may use title; status of.

(a) Only a person who holds a valid certificate of certified public accountant granted by the Board pursuant to this Chapter or issued under the laws of another jurisdiction may assume or use the title or designation certified public accountant or the abbreviation CPA or any other title, designation, words. letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that such a person is a certified public accountant; however, any certificate holder who is engaged in the practice of public accounting without a valid permit to practice certified public accountancy issued by the Board shall be precluded from assuming or using the title or designation certified public accountant or the abbreviation CPA or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that such person is a certified public accountant.

(b) Only a person who holds a valid permit to practice public accountancy issued by the Board pursuant to this Chapter may assume or use the title or designation public accountant or the abbreviation P.A. or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that such person is a public accountant.

§107. Status of existing certificates preserved.

(a) Any person legally authorized to practice as a certified public accountant in this State at the time this Chapter takes effect shall thereafter possess the same rights and privileges as persons whom certificates of certified public accountant shall be issued pursuant to this Chapter, subject however, to the power of the Board, as provided in tills Chapter, to suspend or revoke the certificate of such person or censure or reprimand such person for any of the causes set forth in this Chapter.

(b) Any person who has successfully passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, under this Chapter and regulations of the Board in effect on or before June 30, 1985, who has not been issued a certificate because of not having met the experience requirements of such prior law and regulations, shall be granted such certificate upon submitting an appropriate application to the Board and the Board having approved such application as meeting the applicable requirements.

(c) Any person who holds a valid certificate issued under this Chapter and regulations of the Board in effect on or before June 30, 1985, shall be deemed to have sufficient education and experience to satisfy the experience requirement of subsection (c) (2) of Section 109.

§108. Certificate, requirements for obtaining.

(a) The certificate of certified public accountant shall be granted by the Board to any person who:

(I) has attained the age of eighteen years;

(2) is of good character. (Good character for purposes of this Section means lack of a history of dishonest or criminal acts.) The Board may refuse to grant a certificate on the ground of failure to satisfy this requirement only if there is substantial connection between the lack of good character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a certificate holder and if the finding by the Board of lack of good character is supported by clear and convincing evidence. When an applicant Is found to be unqualified for a certificate because of lack of good character, the Board shall furnish the applicant a statement containing the findings of the Board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination WAS based, and a notice of the applicant's right of appeal;

(3) meets one of the following education requirements:

(A) holds a Master's Degree, conferred by a college or university recognized by the Board at the time of graduation, with a concentration in accounting, or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration;

(B) holds a Baccalaureate Degree, conferred by a college or university recognized by the Board at the time of graduation, with a concentration in accounting or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration;

(C) holds an Associate Degree, conferred by a college or university recognized by the Board at the time of graduation, or a degree from a two-year college, accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Accrediting Commission of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools, or a similar accrediting association recognized by the Board at the time of graduation, with a concentration in accounting, or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration: and

(4) Except as otherwise provided in Section 114 of this title, after meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a) of this Section, shall have successfully passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and such other examinations as the Board may determine to be appropriate.

(b) A candidate who expects to meet the requirement within 120 days following the examination, shall be eligible to take the examination provided he or she also meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Section. In the case of any candidate admitted to the examination on the expectation that he or she will complete the education requirement within 120 days, no certificate shall be issued, nor shall credit for the examination or any part of it be given, unless such education requirement is in fact completed within that time or within such time as the Board in Its discretion may determine upon application.

(c) The Board may require an applicant to appear in person before the Board in connection with his or her application for a certificate as a certified public accountant.

§109. Permits to practice certified public accountancy: requirements for obtaining - individual

(a) Each certificate holder who has met the experience requirements of this section and who intends to be or is engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy in the State, whether as a principal of a firm or as an employee of a firm, shall be required to obtain and maintain a valid permit to practice certified public accountancy. The Board shall grant or renew permits to persons who make application and demonstrate their qualifications therefor in accordance with the following subsections of this section.

(b) Permits shall initially be issued, and renewed, for periods of two years but in any event shall expire on June 30, 1987, and each biennial period thereafter following Issuance or renewal. Applications for such permits or renewals shall be made in such form as the Board shall by regulation specify, and the Board shall grant or deny any such application no later than 120 days after the application is filed in proper form. In any case where the applicant seeks the opportunity to show that issuance or renewal of a permit was mistakenly denied, or where the Board is not able to determine whether it should be granted or denied, the Board may issue to the applicant a provisional permit, which shall expire ninety days after its issuance or when the Board determines whether or not to issue or renew the permit for which application was made, whichever shall first occur.

(c) An applicant for initial Issuance of a permit under this Section shall show: (I) that the applicant holds a valid certificate;

(2) that the applicant meets one of the following experience requirements:

(A) has at least the equivalent of one year's accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than one year's experience as an accountant in government, commerce, industry, or other field of endeavor, which in the opinion of the Board Is substantially equivalent to one year's experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or two years' full-time experience as an owner, principal, or employee of a firm engaged in the practice of public accountancy which is the principal source of the firm's earned income; when such experience has occurred after the individual has obtained the education requirement described in Section 108 (a) (3) (A); or

(B) has at least the equivalent of two years' accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than two years' experience as an accountant in government, commerce, Industry, or other field of endeavor, which in the opinion of the Board is substantially equivalent to two years' experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice or certified public accountancy; or four years' hill- time experience as an owner, principal, or employee of a firm engaged in the practice of public accountancy which is the principal source of the firm's earned income; when such experience has occurred after the Individual has obtained the education requirement described in Section 108 (a) (3) (B). or

(C) has at least the equivalent of four years' accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than four years' experience as an accountant in government, commerce, industry, or other field of endeavor, which in the opinion of the Board is substantially equivalent to four years' experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or eight years' full-time experience as an owner, principal, or employee of a firm engaged In the practice of public accountancy which is the principal source of the firm's earned income; when such experience has occurred after the Individual has obtained the education requirement described in Section 108 (a) (3) (C); and

(3) If the applicant's certificate was Issued more than four years prior to his or her application for issuance of an initial permit under this Section, that the applicant has, in the two years immediately preceding such application, fulfilled no less than the 80 hours of continuing professional education that would have been applicable under subsection (e) of this Section for renewal of such permit.

(d) the Board shall issue a permit to a holder of a certificate issued by another state upon a showing that the applicant:

(1) meets all current requirements in this State for issuance of a certificate at the time the application is made; or

(2) at the time of the issuance of the applicant's certificate in the other state, met all such requirements then applicable in this State; or

(3) had four years experience in the practice of certified public accountancy or equivalent meeting requirements prescribed by the Board by regulation, with such experience having been obtained after passing the examination upon which his or her certificate was based and within the ten years Immediately preceding his or her application; and

(4) The applicant meets the requirements of subsection (c) (2) of this Section; and the requirements of subsection (c) (3) of this Section, if applicable.

(e) An applicant for renewal of a permit under this Section shall show that he or she has fulfilled requirements of continuing professional education consisting of no less than 80 hours in the two-year renewal period that has elapsed since the last biennial renewal date of such general kinds and in such subjects as shall have been specified by the Board by regulation. Prorated continuing professional education requirements consisting of no less than 40 hours are to be met by an applicant whose initial permit was issued less than two years and at least one year prior to the renewal date. No continuing professional education is required of an applicant whose initial permit was issued less than one year prior to the renewal date. The Board may also provide by regulation that fulfillment of continuing professional education requirements of other states will be accepted in lieu of the foregoing requirements, provided that such other states have at least 80 hours required in a two-year period.

(f) Applicants for initial issuance or renewal of permits under this Section shall in their applications list all states in which they have applied for or hold certificates or permits, and each holder of or applicant for a permit under this Section shall notify the Board in writing, within 30 days after its occurrence, of any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a certificate or permit by another state.

$110. Status of existing public accountants preserved.

(a) Any person who submits an appropriate application to the Board for issuance of an individual permit to practice public accountancy within one year after June 30, 1985, will be issued such permit to practice by the Board provided that the applicant:

(I) has attained the age of eighteen years;

(2) is of good character, as defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) In Section 108. The Board may refuse to grant a permit to practice public accountancy on the ground of failure to satisfy this requirement only if there is substantial connection between the lack of good character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a permit holder and if the finding by the Board of lack of good character is supported by clear and convincing evidence. When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a permit because of lack of good character, the Board shalt furnish the applicant a statement containing the finding of the Board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the applicant's right of appeal; and

(3) is engaged in the practice of public accounting as a principal (as distinguished from employee) within this State on or before June 30, 1985. For purposes of this Section, the Board may consider this requirement as having been met by such principals who, on or before June 30, 1985, were engaged in other occupations in addition to the practice of public accounting in this State.

(b) in order to meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this Section, applicants may be required to furnish to the Board evidence that they have held themselves out to the public as being engaged in the practice of public accounting as principals (as distinguished from employees) and that they did perform public accounting for others, for consideration.

(c) Any person issued a permit to practice public accountancy under this Section shall thereafter possess the same rights and privileges as persons to whom permits to practice public accountancy shall be issued pursuant to Section III, subject however, to the power of the Board, as provided in this Chapter, to suspend or revoke the permit of such person or censure or reprimand such person for any of the causes set forth in this Chapter.

$ Ill. Permits to practice Public Accountancy: requirements for obtaining individual.

(a) Each person who intends to be or is engaged In the practice of public accountancy In this State, whether as a principal of a firm or as an employee of a firm, shall be required to obtain and maintain a valid permit to practice public accountancy. The Board shall grant and renew permits to persons who make application and demonstrate their qualifications therefor in accordance with the following subsections of this section.

(b) Permits shall initially be issued and renewed for periods of two years but in any event shall expire on June 30, 1987. and each biennial period thereafter following issuance or renewal. Applications for such permits or renewals shall be made in such form as the Board shall by regulation specify, and the Board shall grant or deny any such application no later than 120 days after the application is filed in proper form. In any case where the applicant seeks the opportunity to show that issuance or renewal of a permit was mistakenly denied, or where the Board is not able to determine whether it should be granted or denied, the Board may issue to the applicant a provisional permit, which shall expire ninety days after its issuance or when the Board determines whether or not to issue or renew the permit for which application was made, whichever shall first occur.

(c) An applicant for initial issuance of a permit under this section shall show that her or she:

(1) meets the requirements of subsections (a) (1) and (2) of section 108;

(2) meets, as a minimum, the education requirement of subsection (a) (3) (c) of Section 108;

(3) has passed either all parts of the National Society of Public Accountants Uniform State Examination, or both the Accounting Practice and Auditing portions of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination; and

(4) has passed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants self study course and examination in professional ethics."

(d) An applicant for renewal of a permit under this Section shall show that he or she has fulfilled requirements of continuing professional education consisting of no less than 80 hours in the two--year renewal period that has elapsed since the last biennial renewal date of such general kinds and in such subjects as shall have been specified by the Board by regulation. Prorated continuing professional education requirements consisting of no less than 40 hours arc to be met by an applicant whose initial permit was issued less than two years and at least one year prior to the renewal date. No continuing professional education is required of an applicant whose initial permit was Issued less than one year prior to the renewal date. The Board may also provide by regulation that fulfillment of continuing professional education requirements of other states will be accepted In lieu of the foregoing requirements, provided that such other states have at least 80 hours required In a two- year period.

5112. Permits to practice - firms.

(a) Each firm which Intends to be or is engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy or the practice of public accountancy in the State of Delaware shall be required to obtain and maintain a valid permit to practice. The Board shall grant or renew permits to firms that make application and demonstrate their qualifications therefor in accordance with the following subsections of this Section.

(b) Permits shall be initially issued and renewed for period of two years but In any event expiring on June 30. 1987, and each biennial period thereafter following issuance or renewal. Applications for permits and renewals of permits shall be made in such form as the Board may by regulation specify, and the Board shall grant or deny any such application no later than 120 days after the application is filed In proper form. In any cue where the applicant seeks the opportunity to show that issuance or renewal of a permit was mistakenly denied or where the Board is not able to determine whether it should be granted or denied, the Board may issue to the applicant a provisional permit, which shall expire ninety days after its Issuance or when the Board determines whether or not to issue or renew the permit for which the application was made, whichever shall first occur.

(c) An applicant for initial issuance or renewal of a permit to practice certified public accountancy under this Section shall be required to show that each principal who regularly works M this State, and each employee holding a certificate who regularly works in this State. except for employees who have not yet accumulated sufficient experience to qualify for a permit under Section 109, holds a valid individual permit to practice certified public accountancy issued under Section 109. and that each other principal holds a certificate and is licensed to practice certified public accountancy in some other state.

(d) An applicant for initial issuance or renewal of a permit to practice public accountancy under this Section shall be required to show that each principal who regularly works M this State, a Id each employee who regularly works M this State, except for employees who have not yet mvt the requirements to qualify for a permit under Section 111, holds a valid individual permit to practice.

(e) An applicant for initial issuance or renewal of a permit to practice under this Section shall be required to register each office of the firm within the State with the Board and to show that each such office Is under the charge of a person holding a valid permit to practice issued under this Chapter.

(1) Each holder of or applicant for a permit under this Section shall notify the Board in writing, within 30 days after its occurrence, of any change in the Identities of principals who work regularly within this State, any change in the number or location of offices within this State, any change in the identity of the persons in charge of such offices, and any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a permit by any other state.

§113. Examinations.

(a) All examinations provided for in this Chapter shall be in writing and shall be conducted by the Board. The time and place of holding examinations shall be duly advertised for not less than three consecutive days in two newspapers with general circulation in this State and not less than thirty days prior to the due date for applications to take each examinations.

(b) The Board shall by regulation prescribe the terms and conditions for granting credit to a candidate for a certificate or an applicant for a permit to practice public accountancy for his or her satisfactory completion of a written examination in any one or more of the subjects of the Uniform Certified Public Accountants Examination, the National Society of Public Accountants Uniform State Examination, and any written examination in any other subject or subjects given by the Board or by the licensing authority in any other jurisdiction.

(c) A person who has previously taken the Uniform Certified Public Accountants Examination under this Chapter and regulations of the Board in effect on December 31, 1975, shall continue to be permitted to take this examination and receive a certificate In accordance with such prior law and regulations.

(d) The examinations shall take place as often as the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is available from and at such times as specified by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or its successor organization.

§114. Waiver of examination.

(a) The Board may waive the examination of, and issue a certificate to any person possessing qualifications equivalent to those set forth in Section108 (a) (I), (2), and (4) of this Chapter who at the time of application for said certificate:

(1) is engaged full time in the practice of certified public accountancy in this State; and

(2) is the holder of a certificate under the laws of another jurisdiction, provided the requirements for such certificate in the jurisdiction which has granted it to the applicant are, in the opinion of the Board, equivalent to those provided in this Chapter; or is the holder of a currently valid certificate, license, or degree of a foreign country constituting a recognized qualification for the practice of public accountancy in such country, which in the opinion of the Board, is comparable to that of a certified public accountant of this State.

(b) In the event such holder of an out of- state certificate (or such holder of a foreign certificate, license, or degree) meets all the requirements for a certificate other than being engaged full- time in the practice of certified public accountancy in this State, the Board may, in its discretion, issue a temporary certificate. The temporary certificate shall be effective only until the Board shall notify him or her that the requirement for full- time practice has been met or, absent such notice, until It expires by its own terms. In no event shall a temporary certificate be in effect for more than one year after the date of its issuance.

§115. Transition period, waiver of violation.

For the one year period ending June 30, 1986, any Individual or firm practicing certified public accountancy or public accountancy without a valid permit to practice issued by the Board pursuant to this Chapter shall be deemed not in violation of the prohibition against engaging in such practice without a permit, provided that an application for such permit has not been denied or that such permit has not been revoked or suspended by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

§116. Prohibited services.

(a) No person or firm shall perform compilation, review or audit services except holders of a valid permit to practice issued pursuant to this Chapter.

(b) Audit services provided by public accountants shall be limited to services for non public entities.

§117. Revocation; suspension; censure; notice.

(a) After notice and hearing the Board may suspend for a period not to exceed two years or may revoke any certificate or permit to practice issued under this Chapter or any other law of this State, or may censure, reprimand, or warn any holder of such certificate or permit, for any one of the following causes:

(1) Fraud or deceit In obtaining any certificate or permit to practice issued under this Chapter;

(2) Dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence in the practice of certified public accountancy or public accountancy;

(3) Violation of a rule of professional conduct promulgated by the Board under the authority granted by this Chapter;

(4) Entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of a felony under the laws of any State or of the United States;

(5) Entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of any crime, an element of which is dishonesty or fraud, under the laws of any State or or the United States;

(6) Cancellation, revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew the authority of an individual, firm, or principal of a firm to practice certified public accountancy in any other State for any cause other than failure to pay an annual registration fee in such other State;

(7) Suspension or revocation of the right to practice before any state or federal agency; and

(8) Any dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.

(b) After notice and hearing the Board may revoke the permit to practice of a firm if at any time it does not have or meet all the qualifications prescribed in this Chapter. In its decretlon, and for good cause shown, the Board may stay such order of revocation for a period of time not to exceed one year to permit the firm to requalify for a permit.

§118. Disciplinary action; procedure.

(a) The Board or any aggrieved person may prefer any charge or charges against individual holding a certificate or any individual or firm holding a permit to practice. Such charge or charges shall be In writing and shall be sworn to by the person or persons making them and shall be filed with the secretary of the Board.

(b) Upon the filing of such charge or charges with the Board which states matters of fact which In the opinion of a majority of the Board would, if true, be sufficient cause for censure or more severe disciplinary action, the Board shall fix a time and place for a hearing of such charge or charges.

(c) A copy of the charge or charges together with a notice of time and place of hearing. shall be personally served on the accused, or sent by registered or certified mall to the last known address of such individual or firm at least 30 days before the date fixed for the hearing. At any hearing the accused individual shall have the right to appear In person or by counsel or both. A firm may be represented at such hearing by a duly authorized representative of such firm who shall be a principal thereof and permit holder of this State in good standing or by counsel or both. At any hearing, the accused Individual or firm shall have the right to cross-examine witnesses in defense of such charges, and to produce evidence and witnesses on behalf of the accused. If the accused fails to appear at said hearing, the Board may proceed to hear and determine the validity of the charges against the accused. The accused shall be entitled, on application to the Board, to the issuance of subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents on behalf of the accused.

(d) The Board or any member thereof may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and may administer oaths, take testimony, hear proofs, and receive exhibits In evidence In connection with, or upon hearing under, this Chapter. In case of disobedience to a subpoena, the Board may invoke the aid of any court of this State In requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence. The Board shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. A record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made of hearings. Transcripts shall be prepared at the request and expense of any party.. At alt hearings, the Attorney General of this State, or one of his deputies designated by him, or such other legal counsel may be employed by the Board, shall appear and represent the Board.

(e) If, after such hearing, a majority of the Hoard vote in favor of sustaining the charges, the Board may suspend or revoke the certificate of the accused person or the permit to practice of the accused individual or firm may warn, censure or reprimand such accused person or firm. The written decision of the Board shall be delivered personally to the accused or sent by registered or certified mall to the last known address of the accused.

§119. Appeals.

(a) Any complainant, or any person or firm affected by any action of the Board in denying, suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew a certificate or permit to practice, may appeal therefrom to the Superior Court within 30 days from the date of receipt of the written decision of the Board.

(b) in cue of every appeal to the Superior Court, the cause shall be determined by the Court from the record, which shall include a typewritten copy of the evidence and the findings of the Board, The Board shall file with the Court a certified transcript of the record before the Board 15 days after service on the Board of notice of the appeal. The Court may reverse, affirm, or modify the findings of the Board, or remand the cause to the Board for a rehearing. In case any cause shall be remanded to the Board for rehearing, the procedure and rights of all parties to such cause shall be the same as in the case of the original hearing before the Board.

§120. Reinstatement.

Upon application in writing, and after hearing pursuant to notice, the Board may issue a new certificate to an individual or permit to practice to an individual or firm whose certificate or permit has been revoked or modify the suspension of any certificate or permit which has been suspended.

§121. Ownership of working papers.

All statements, records, schedules, working papers and memoranda made by a certified public accountant or a public accountant incident to or in the course of professional service to clients by such accountants, except reports submitted by such an accountant to a client shall be and remain the property of such accountant in the absence of an express agreement between the accountant and the client to the contrary. No such statement, record, schedule, working paper, or memorandum shall be sold, transferred, or bequeathed, without the consent of the client or the client's personal representative or assignee, to anyone other than one or more surviving partners or new partners of such accountant or to his or her corporation.

§122. Register, publication of.

The Board shall have printed and published at least biennially for public distribution a register which shall contain the names, arranged in alphabetical order and addresses, of all persons and firms holding certificates and permits to practice under this Chapter, the names of members of the Board, and other matters as may be deemed proper by the Board. A copy of such register shall be mailed to each certificate and permit holder.

§123 Fees. The Board shall by regulation establish fees to be charged which shall not be less than:

(a) $25 to an applicant for examination or reexamination in each half day portion of the Uniform Certified Public Accountants Examination or the National Society of Public Accountants Uniform State Examination.

(b) $125 to an applicant for a certificate who is a certified public accountant under the laws of another state or territory of the United States, or of any foreign government.

(c) $100 to an applicant for the issuance or renewal of an individual permit to practice;

(d) $50 to $100 to an applicant for the issuance or renewal of a firm permit to practice; the amount to be determined based on the number of principals in the firm who are engaged In the practice of certified public accountancy or public accountancy In the State as follows:

550 per firm with one or two principals;

$75 per firm with three to five principals; or $100 per firm with six or more principals.

§124. Annual report and receipt.

credit of the State Treasurer as part of the General Fund of the State, In accordance with Chapter 61 of Title 29.

§125. Violations and penalties; Jurisdiction.

(a) Any person who represents himself or herself to the public as having a certificate or permit to practice certified public accountancy provided for in this Chapter, or assumes to practice certified public accountancy in this State without having received such certificate or permit, or having received such certificate or permit provided for in this Chapter, thereafter loses the same by revocation or suspension and continues to practice as a certified public accountant, or otherwise wrongfully uses such title or any other title mentioned in Section 106 (a) of this Chapter, or violates any of the provisions of this Chapter, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

(b) Any person who represents himself or herself to the public as having a permit to practice public accountancy provided for in this Chapter, or assumes to practice public accountancy in this State without having received such permit, or having received such permit provided for in this Chapter, thereafter loses the same by revocation or suspension and continues to practice as a public accountant, or otherwise wrongfully uses such title or any other title mentioned in Section 106 (b) of this Chapter, or violates any of the provisions of this Chapter, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

(c) Any firm that engages in the practice of certified public accountancy or public accountancy in this State without having received a permit to practice from the Board or having received a permit provided for in this Chapter, thereafter loses the same by revocation or suspension and continues to engage In the practice of certified public accountancy in this State. or violates any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $1000. Where a partnership or corporation engages in the practice of certified public accountancy or public accountancy in this State in violation of this Chapter, every partner of such partnership and every officer, director, shareholder, or principal of such corporation shall be deemed to be in violation of this Chapter.

(d) The Superior Court of this State shall have exclusive original Jurisdiction of any violation of this Chapter, notwithstanding any other law of this State to the contrary.

§126. Injunction against unlawful practice.

The Chancery Court may, in an action at the suit of Attorney General or of the Board, prevent and restrain any person or firm from engaging in the practice of certified public accountancy or public accountancy in this State who has not first obtained the applicable permit or permits as provided for in this Chapter or prevent and restrain the violation of any person or firm of the provisions of this Chapter."

Section 2. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved July 12, 1985.