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Division of Professional Regulation - Registered Certified Public Accountant (RCPA)

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Q. Why is the Division now issuing licenses for Registered Certified Public Accountants (RCPA)?
A.

The Division received a variety of complaints from the public indicating their CPA did not file their income tax returns, failed to complete their tax information, etc.  Until the law was amended (Public Accounting Act), the Division did not have the authority to take action against non-licensed CPA’s who were not practicing public accounting (as defined in Section 450/8 of the Act) which includes providing services such as attest, audits and reviews.  The amendment to the Public Accounting Act gave the Division the authority to discipline CPA’s for a variety of violations including the use of the title CPA.

Q. What is the difference between a LCPA and a RCPA?
A.

An LCPA is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant who can practice public accounting in accordance with Section 450/8 of the Public Accounting Act.  LCPAs are required to complete 120 hours of Continuing Professional Regulation (CPE) every three years including a minimum of 4 hours in professional ethics.

An RCPA is a Registered Certified Public Accountant who is prohibited from practicing public accounting as defined in Section 450/8 of the Public Accounting    Act.  RCPAs are not required to obtain CPE. However, the RCPA can use the title Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and prepare tax returns and provide other professional services.

Q. I received my CPA Certificate from Illinois and now reside in another jurisdiction. Should I apply for the RCPA license?
A.

If there is a chance you would return to Illinois and wish to use the title “CPA” in Illinois then you should apply for the RCPA license.

Q. I hold a CPA license in another jurisdiction and do not reside in Illinois.  I only prepare tax returns for my clients.  If I move to Illinois after July 1, 2010, can I apply for and receive the RCPA license?
A.

No. The law only allows individuals the opportunity to apply for and receive the RCPA license between now and June 30, 2010.  After June 30, 2010, you will be required to obtain the LCPA designation and be subject to CPE requirements.

Q. Why does Illinois have this two tier system of licensure? It seems confusing.?
A.

Illinois has always had a two tier system in place. The difference is that prior to the amending the Public Accounting Act, there was no regulatory authority over the   use of the “CPA” title.  Beginning July 1, 2010 there will be a one tier system as it relates to CPAs.  On and after July 1, 2010, the Division will no longer accept applications for the RCPA designation.  However, anyone who has registered as a RCPA prior to that time may renew the registration.

 

NOTE:

The Illinois Public Accounting Act was amended requiring all individuals who hold themselves out to the public in any manner in Illinois as a “Certified Public Accountant” or use the abbreviation “C.P.A.” or “CPA” or any words or letters to indicate that the person using the same is a certified public accountant must be a Registered Certified Public Accountant (RCPA) or a Licensed Certified Public Accountant (LCPA) with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation.

Individuals who are NOT currently licensed or do not practice public accounting as defined in Section 450/8 of the Public Accounting Act but hold themselves out to the public in Illinois as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) must become a licensed RCPA on or before October 1, 2006. 

The Division will no longer accept applications for licensure as a RCPA on or after July 1, 2010. 

Individuals who apply for and receive the RCPA license will be allowed to renew or restore their license indefinitely.

Download the Illinois Public Accounting Act, Rules for the Administration of the Act and applications by visiting our Website at www.idfpr.com