W. Va. Code R. § 1-1-4 - Certification

Current through Register Vol. XXXIX, No. 11, March 18, 2022

4.1. The Board shall issue a certificate to any applicant of good moral character who satisfies all of the education, examination, and experience requirements listed in this Section.
4.1.a. Education. -- The satisfactory completion of one hundred fifty semester hours or their equivalent conferred by an accredited college or university, the total education program to include an accounting concentration or its equivalent.
4.1.b. Examination. -- Passage of the uniform certified public accountant examination published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or its successor and any additional examination required by the Board by rule that tests the applicant's knowledge of subjects related to the practice of accounting: Provided, That before applying for the examination required by this subsection, an applicant is required to have met the baccalaureate degree requirement and the specific course requirements, but not the one hundred fifty semester hour requirement of 4.1.a. of this Rule, or have attained a graduate degree in accounting as approved by the Board from an accredited college or university.
4.1.b.1. Specific course requirements. -- As part of the required hours to sit for the examination, an applicant shall have completed the following credit hours at the upper-division baccalaureate and/or graduate levels at an accredited college or university:
4.1.b.1.A. at least thirty (30) credit hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting, excluding introductory accounting courses covering the principles of accounting components, including the minimum requirements in each of the following subject areas:
4.1.b.1.A.1. six (6) credit hours in financial or intermediate accounting;
4.1.b.1.A.2. six (6) credit hours in auditing or accounting information systems with a minimum of three (3) credit hours in auditing;
4.1.b.1.A.3. effective July 1, 2018, six (6) credit hours in taxation;
4.1.b.1.A.4. three (3) credit hours in cost accounting, managerial accounting, governmental accounting or not-for-profit accounting; and
4.1.b.1.A.5. nine (9) credit hours in accounting electives. Accounting internships or independent studies not exceeding three (3) credit hours may satisfy this accounting elective requirement;
4.1.b.1.B. effective July 1, 2016, three (3) credit hours in business law;
4.1.b.1.C. effective July 1, 2011, three (3) credit hours in ethics to be counted as part of the nine (9) hours of accounting electives or twelve (12) hours of business electives; and
4.1.b.1.D. a minimum of twenty-seven (27) credit hours in business courses, excluding required accounting and business law courses, with a minimum requirement in each of the following subject areas:
4.1.b.1.D.1. three (3) credit hours in economics;
4.1.b.1.D.2. three (3) credit hours in finance;
4.1.b.1.D.3. three (3) credit hours in marketing;
4.1.b.1.D.4. three (3) credit hours in statistics;
4.1.b.1.D.5. three (3) credit hours in management; and
4.1.b.1.D.6. twelve (12) credit hours in business-related electives, excluding the introductory principles of accounting components and the required three (3) credit hours in business law. Business-related courses include, but are not limited to, quantitative application in business, business ethics, business communication skills and organizational behavior.
4.1.b.2. Foreign academic credentials shall be accompanied by a written evaluation from an international credential evaluation service approved by the Board.
4.1.c. Experience. -- An applicant shall demonstrate at least one year of experience in the four-year period immediately preceding the application in providing any type of relevant service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. The experience requirement may be satisfied by employment in private practice, government, industry, a not-for-profit organization, academia or public practice and must be verified by the holder of an active West Virginia certificate, a West Virginia registered public accountant or a holder of an out-of-state certificate.
4.1.c.1. In evaluating the experience of the applicant, the Board shall consider the complexity and diversity of the work performed as well as any other factor the Board may consider relevant.
4.1.c.2. Any person who has been requested by the applicant to provide evidence of the applicant's experience shall comply with the request. Any person who refuses to provide evidence shall, upon request of the Board, explain in writing or in person the basis for his or her refusal.
4.1.c.3. The Board may require any licensee who has furnished evidence of an applicant's experience to substantiate the information. The Board may require the applicant and/or the licensee to provide documentation supporting the evidence of experience for review by the Board.
4.1.c.4. The Board may require any applicant to appear before it or its representative to supplement, explain, or verify the evidence of experience.
4.1.d. Criminal History Record Check
4.1.d.1. In addition to all of the requirements for licensure, all applicants for initial license to practice as a Certified Public Accountant in West Virginia shall request and submit to the Board the results of a state and national criminal history record check.
4.1.d.2. The purpose of the criminal history record check is to assist the Board in obtaining information that may relate to the applicant's fitness for licensure.
4.1.d.3. In addition to the State Police, the Board may contract with and designate a company specializing in the services required by this section instead of requiring the applicant to apply directly to the West Virginia State Police or similar out-of-state agency for the criminal history record check. Provided, that any such company must utilize protocols consistent with standards established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact.
4.1.d.4. The applicant shall furnish to the State Police or other organization duly designated by the Board, a full set of fingerprints and any additional information required to complete the criminal history record check.
4.1.d.5. The applicant is responsible for any fees required by the State Police, or other organization duly designated by the Board, for the actual costs of the fingerprinting and the actual costs of conducting a complete criminal history record check.
4.1.d.6. The Board may require the applicant to obtain a criminal history record check from a similar Board-approved agency or organization in the state of the applicant's residence, if outside of West Virginia.
4.1.d.7. The applicant shall authorize the release of all records obtained by the criminal history record check to the Board.
4.1.d.8. A criminal history record check submitted in support of an application for licensure must have been requested by the applicant no earlier than three (3) months immediately prior to the Board's receipt of the applicant's paper or electronic application for licensure.
4.1.d.9. An initial licensure application is not complete until the Board receives the results of a state and a national criminal history record check conducted by the State Police or another entity duly authorized by the Board. The Board shall not consider an application for licensure submitted by any applicant who fails or refuses to submit the criminal history record check required by this section.
4.1.d.10. The Board may not disqualify an applicant from initial licensure because of a prior criminal conviction unless that conviction bears a rational nexus to the accounting profession. In determining whether a criminal conviction bears a rational nexus to the accounting profession, the Board shall consider at a minimum:
4.1.d.10.A. The nature and seriousness of the crime;
4.1.d.10.B. The passage of time since the commission of the crime;
4.1.d.10.C. The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, and fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the accounting profession; and
4.1.d.10.D. Any evidence of rehabilitation or treatment undertaken by the applicant.
4.1.d.11. An individual with a criminal record who has not previously applied for licensure may petition the Board at any time for a determination of whether the individual's criminal record will disqualify the individual from obtaining a license.
4.1.d.11.A. The petition shall be submitted on an application form prescribed by the Board and shall include sufficient details about the individual's criminal record to enable the Board to identify the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred, penalties imposed, the date of the conviction, and the specific nature of the conviction.
4.1.d.11.B. The applicant may submit with the petition evidence of rehabilitation, letters of reference, and any other information the applicant deems relevant to show fitness and the ability to practice as a Certified Public Accountant.
4.1.d.11.C. The Board shall provide the determination within 60 days of receiving the petition and the applicable fee from the applicant.
4.1.d.11.D. The fee for an applicant petitioning for a licensure eligibility determination is specified in the Schedule of Fees and upon acknowledgment of eligibility by the Board and upon the submission of an application for licensure, the eligibility fee shall be deducted from the applicable initial licensure application fee.
4.1.d.12. An applicant is solely responsible for challenging the accuracy and completeness of information provided by the West Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other agencies and must reconcile the record directly with those reporting agencies. The Board must receive notification directly from the reporting agency regarding any changes or corrections to an applicant's record.
4.1.d.13. If the applicant provides adequate proof of any error and correction thereof by any reporting agency, the Board shall reconsider the application of that applicant.
4.1.d.14. The results of the state and national criminal history record check may not be released to or by a private entity except:
4.1.d.14.A. To the individual who is the subject of the criminal history record check;
4.1.d.14.B. With the written authorization of the individual who is the subject of the criminal history record check; or
4.1.d.14.C. Pursuant to court order.
4.1.d.15. The Board shall maintain confidential records and reports pertaining to criminal history record checks in a separate file which is only accessible to personnel authorized by the State Police to receive such records and reports.
4.1.d.16. Records received as part of the criminal history record check shall be maintained for a period of two years subsequent to the Board's final action on the application, and then disposed of by crosscut shredding.
4.1.d.17. A criminal history record check and related records are not public records for the purpose of chapter twenty-nine-b of the West Virginia Code.
4.1.e. Pays to the Board the appropriate application and license fees as required by Section 18; or
4.1.e.1. Applies for a waiver of initial licensing fees as an active member of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard, or a reserve component, as an honorably discharged veteran of the same, as a spouse if such active member or honorably discharged veteran, or as a surviving spouse of a deceased service member who has not remarried. The military service verification form, provided by the Board, and all required verification documents must be submitted with the application for licensure.
4.1.e.2. Applies for a waiver of initial licensing fees as a low-income individual. A low-income individual is defined as an individual in the local labor market whose household adjusted gross income is below 130 percent of the federal poverty line. The term low-income individual also includes any person enrolled in a state or federal public assistance program including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANFP), Medicaid, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Low-Income Waiver of Initial Licensing Fees form, provided by the Board, shall be submitted with the application for licensure. The applicant shall attest to the validity of the information provided by signing, under penalty of perjury, the Written Declaration.
4.2. Prior Certificants. -- No person who, on July 1, 1989, held a license as a certified public accountant previously issued by the Board shall be required to obtain an additional or substitute certificate or to fulfill an experience requirement in order to renew a certificate.


W. Va. Code R. § 1-1-4

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