By Meg Killian, PICPA's Vice President of Member Relations
Maybe you decided to open up a coffee shop, or trek one of the world’s greatest mountains, or you spent a few years surfing in southern California. Whatever the reason you decided to place your license on inactive status, it’s time to get your license reactivated and join the business world again.
Certainly there are some forms, some CPE requirements, and some fees involved in the process, but reactivating your CPA license doesn’t need to be daunting. Just make sure you have all the information and paperwork you need, and follow this handy checklist from the PICPA for step-by-step instructions.
As you gather up your forms and make your plan, be sure to keep these things in mind:
- If you let your license expire rather than making it inactive, when you reactivate you will be subject to additional fines as well as inquiries regarding your work while your license was lapsed. Be prepared for follow up contact from the State Board of Accountancy.
- You must confirm that you have not been performing attest work or holding yourself out to the public as a CPA to perform accounting services during your inactive period. If you were, then you could be subject to an investigation, fines, and possibly the rejection of your reactivation application.
- Consider the timing of your reactivation. If you apply prior to October of the odd year in the biennial reporting period, then your reactivated license is only valid until the end of that calendar year and will be subject to renewal at that time. For example, apply in June 2015 and you’ll need to renew in December 2015. Apply in October 2015, and you won’t need to renew until December 2017.
- Make sure all your professional education has been attained through a NASBA or Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy approved provider. Annual renewals are subject to random audits, but activations are individually scrutinized. A random free webinar you found online that nabbed you that last credit hour may not count, and you don’t want to come up short. The PICPA is an approved sponsor which offers thousands of courses, plus you can track your CPE history online in My Account.
You worked hard to get your CPA credential, and you want to be able to use it. Whether or not you are performing attest work, there are many benefits to keeping your CPA license active. No matter what type of work you do, having CPA after your name gives you instant credibility and respect.