The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has released for the first time in history an official CPA population statistic representing the total number of individual, U.S.-licensed CPAs.
As of April 22, 2016, there are 664,532 actively licensed CPAs.
The new statistic comes from NASBA’s Accountancy Licensee Database, a national database of CPAs containing official Board of Accountancy data aggregated from 51 of the 55 CPA licensing jurisdictions. It represents the total number of individual CPAs considered to be in “Active” status by their state boards, a majority of which can be matched across state lines to assure the CPAs who are licensed in multiple states are only counted once. Before the existence of the database, the ability to eliminate the duplicate licensees across state lines when calculating the total CPA population was not possible.
“NASBA has one of the most accelerated data-sharing programs among state-regulated professions because of the amount of data being contributed by the participating boards,” said NASBA chief legal officer and director of compliance services Maria Caldwell in a statement. “Without the ongoing efforts of the state boards and their willingness to collaborate and preserve the CPA designation, there would not be the unprecedented degree of data that is currently shared between state boards.”
Approximately 98 percent of the world’s CPA licensee information is housed in the public database.
The database has a public-facing version, CPAverify.org, a free service available to the public to verify if a person or firm is licensed to practice public accounting and if there is any enforcement history on the record. License numbers, issue dates, license status, a flag of existing enforcement history, and other details are included for the records.
“CPAverify.org enables consumers of financial services to verify the licensure and disciplinary history of CPAs, which not only provides incredible protection to the public, but also promotes the CPA designation while dissuading fraudulent use,” said ALD and CPAverify manager Elizabeth Stanton. “Everyone from individual CPA clients to background check companies to Human Resources personnel can benefit from using the site.”
The new CPA population statistic will be updated quarterly and made available on NASBA’s website.
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