New Rules Adopted November 11th

At its meeting in Austin on Nov. 10, 2005 the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy adopted new rules affecting firm names, retired and disability status and accounting course requirements.

Firm Names
The Board has been faced with requests for non-traditional firm names for some time. From requests to use initials of foreign affiliates in names to the requests to describe services (such as Deloitte-Tax), the Board has been making decisions on these unusual requests on a case-by-case basis that started as far back as KPMG. In an effort to give CPA firms and Board staff more guidance, the Board repealed existing Rule 502.83 and replaced it with a completely new rule.

While the new rule retains many of the traditional restrictions (names can’t be misleading, no assumed names, non-owners’ names and non-CPA names are still prohibited), it does now allow the name, surname, or initials of former owners of the firm, its predecessor firm or successor firm, including foreign owners that meet certain qualifications. In a new twist to the Deloitte-Tax-type name, the new rule allows names that "state or imply a limitation on the type of service offered by the firm, such as ‘tax’…provided the firm in fact principally limits its practice to the type of service indicated in the name."

The new rule 501.83 can be found here.

Retirement and Disability
Under existing Rule 515.8, a CPA who becomes permanently disabled, or who reaches age 60 and is not employed may claim disability or retired status which reduces the license fee to $10 per year and eliminates the requirement for continuing professional education. The existing rule required returning to full license status if the CPA reentered the workforce in any capacity. The new rule only requires full license fees and CPE if the CPA reenters the workforce in a position that has "an association with accounting work for which he receives compensation." The rule provides some guidance on what constitutes accounting work.

You may read Rule 515.8 at this location.

Accounting Course Requirements
Some universities have questioned the Board’s strict interpretation of the law that only accounting courses that include content covered by the CPA exam can be included in the 30 hours of accounting courses required to sit for the exam. In revising Rule 511.57 the Board allows "at its discretion" up to three semester hours of credit for accounting courses that do not meet that criteria. Such courses will have to be explicitly approved by the Board.

Rule 511.57 is available for review here.

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