CHAPTER 128

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 27

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend § 102(3), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by inserting the phrase “and permit to practice” immediately before the period (“.”) at the end of said subsection.

Section 2. Amend § 106(a), Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by inserting the words “and permit to practice” after the phrase “shall be limited to a person who holds a valid certificate” as it appears in said subsection.

Section 3. Amend Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by deleting §§107 and 108 in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §107 to provide as follows:

“§ §107. Certificate and permit requirements for certified public accountancy.

(a) Each person who intends to be or is engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy in this State, whether as a principal or employee of a firm, shall be required to obtain and maintain a valid certificate and permit to practice certified public accountancy. The Board shall grant or renew permits to persons who make application and demonstrate their qualifications in accordance with this Section. A certificate and permit to practice certified public accountancy shall be granted by the Board to any person who meets the following requirements:

(1) Is of good character. For purposes of the Section, “good character” means that an applicant has not been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the

practice of accountancy;

(2) Meets one (1) of the following education requirements:

a. holds a master’s degree, conferred by an accredited college or university, 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 an accredited college or university, with a concentration in accounting, or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration; or

c. holds an associate degree, conferred by an accredited college or university, or a degree from an accredited 2-year college with a concentration in accounting, or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration;

(3) unless otherwise provided in § 113 of this Title, has successfully passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and/or such successor examinations as may be required to qualify for a certificate;

(4) has passed the AICPA self-study course and examination in professional ethics; and

(5) meets one of the following experience requirements:

a. has at least the equivalent of 1 year of accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than 1 year of experience as an accountant in government, commerce, industry or other field of endeavor which, in the opinion of the Board, is substantially equivalent to 1 year of experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or 2 years of full-time experience as an owner, principal or employee of a firm engaged in the practice of public accountancy, when such experience has occurred and the individual has obtained either (i) the education requirement described in § 107(a)(2)a of this Title, or (ii) the education requirement described in §107(a)(2)b of this Title; provided that experience shall include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, compilation, internal audit, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of which was verified by a licensee, meeting requirements prescribed by the Board by rule;

b. has at least the equivalent of two (2) years of accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than two (2) years of 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 (2) years of experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or four (4) years of full-time experience as an owner, principal or employee of a firm engaged in the practice of public accountancy when such experience has occurred and the individual has obtained the education requirement described in § 107(a)(2)b of this Title; this experience shall include experience in engagements resulting in the issuance of financial statements including appropriate footnote disclosure and prepared in accordance with accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting as defined in standards established by the AICPA, or internal audit; or

c. Has at least the equivalent of four (4) years of accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or not less than four (4) 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 (4) years of experience as an employee of a firm engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or 8 years of full-time experience as an owner, principal or employee of a firm engaged in the practice of public accountancy when such experience has occurred and the individual has obtained the education requirement described in § 107(a)(2)c. of this Title; For purposes of this paragraph, experience shall not include experience completed more than ten (10) years prior to the date of an individual’s application for a certificate and permit.

(6) If an applicant’s certificate was issued more than four (4) years prior to his or her application for issuance of an initial permit under this section, then the applicant, in the two (2) years immediately preceding such application must have completed no less than 80 hours of continuing professional education that would have been applicable under §107(e) or (f) for renewal of such permit.

(b) A concentration in accounting is considered to be successful completion of 21 semester hours of accounting courses.

(c) The Board shall grant or deny any such application for a certificate and permit no later than 120 days after the application is filed in proper form. The Board may refuse or reject an applicant if the Board finds that the applicant has failed to meet the requirements in subsection (a) of this Section; has misstated or misrepresented a material fact in connection with his or her application; has violated any Section of the Code of Professional Conduct for Accountants; has practiced public accountancy or certified public accountancy without being registered in accordance with this Chapter; or comes within the provisions of § 107(g) of this Title.

(d) In the event that the Board has questions about an applicant’s qualifications or application materials, the Board may request an explanation or additional information.

(e) A certificate and permit to practice will be issued to applicants who satisfy the requirements of subsection (a) of this Section. Permits shall be renewed biennially. An applicant for renewal of a permit under this Section shall show that he or she has completed no less than 80 hours of continuing professional education in accordance with the Board guidelines during the 2-year renewal period that has elapsed since the last biennial renewal date. If an applicant’s initial permit to practice was issued less than 2 years prior to the renewal date, the applicant must fulfill the following continuing professional education requirements:

(1) No continuing education requirement if initial permit was issued less than one (1) year prior to the renewal date; or

(2) A prorated continuing professional education requirement based on 80 hours (but no less than 40 hours) if initial permit was issued one (1) year or more, but less than two (2) years, prior to the renewal date.

(f) The Board may also provide by regulation that fulfillment of continuing professional education requirements of other states will be accepted in lieu of the requirements of subsection (e) of this section; provided, that such other states require at least 80 hours in a 2-year period.

(g) An applicant for initial issuance of a certificate and permit or renewal of permits under this Section shall not have engaged in any of the acts or offenses that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this Chapter and have no disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against him or her in any jurisdiction where the applicant has previously held or currently holds a permit to practice. Each holder of or applicant for a certificate and 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 or jurisdiction.

(h) Where the Board has found to its satisfaction that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent or intentionally supplied false information, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(i) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for the applicant than for other applicants or permit holders; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.

(j) Persons who have held valid certificates since June 30, 1985, which were previously issued under the former § 107 of this Chapter, but who have never obtained a permit to practice certified public accountancy, are deemed to hold valid certificates and may petition the Board for a permit to practice pursuant to this Section.”

Section 4. Amend § 109(a)(4), Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(4) meets the requirements of § 107(a)(5) of this Chapter, the requirements of § 107(a)(6) of this Chapter, if applicable, and, the requirements of § 107(g) of this Chapter.”

Section 5. Amend § 111(c), Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by deleting “§ 108” wherever it appears in said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof “§ 107”.

Section 6. Amend § 114, Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by inserting the words “and permit to practice” after the words “waive the examination of and issue a certificate”, by deleting "(1) and (2)" after "§ 107(a)", and by deleting the phrase “for said certificate” as it appears in the first sentence of the Section.

Section 7. Amend § 122(c), Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by deleting “§ 108(c)(2)” and substituting in lieu thereof “§ 107(a)(5)”.

Section 8. Amend Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by re-designating §§ 109 through 123 as §§ 108 through 122 respectively.

Section 9. This Act shall become effective 180 days after its enactment into law.

Section 10. Amend § 122, Chapter 1, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection “(d)” to read as follows:

“(d) Any person who has applied to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination listing Delaware as the state of application prior to January 1, 2006 shall be granted a certificate under the prior law and regulations upon submitting an appropriate application to the Board and the Board having approved such application as meeting the applicable requirement as of December 31, 2005.”

Approved July 7, 2005