By Frannie Winters
On July 2, 2021, the California Board of Accountancy (CBA) published notice of its intent to amend section 70, Title 16 of the CCR to increase the Board’s fee for an initial permit to practice public accountancy as a partnership, a corporation, or a certified public accountant (CPA), as set forth in the proposed language. In addition, the Board proposes to increase the fee for renewal of a permit to practice as a partnership, corporation, public accountant, or CPA. According to the initial statement of reasons, the proposed revisions will “increase fee levels to their statutory cap and are anticipated to generate approximately $1.53 million annually.” The initial statement of reasons further states that fee increases are necessary “to ensure the CBA maintains sufficient financial resources to continue these functions essential to consumer protection.”
According to the initial statement of reasons, the proposed regulations are addressing a structural imbalance where authorized expenditures are greater than projected revenues. This imbalance is reducing the fund balance reserve and creating insufficient resources to enable the CBA to carry out its consumer protection mandate. CBA proposes to increase the fee for the initial permit to practice as a partnership, a corporation, or a certified public accountant from the current rate of $120 to the statutory maximum of $280, and align the regulations to reflect this increase. Similarly, CBA proposes to increase the fee for renewal of a permit to practice as a partnership, a corporation, a public accountant, or certified public accountant from the current rate of $120 to the statutory maximum of $280
The 45-day public comment period for this rulemaking action ended on August 17, 2021, and a public hearing was held on August 18, 2021.
At its September 24, 2021, WebEx meeting [Agenda item XI.A.], the Board considered and rejected the one public comment received. The Board voted to adopt the proposed amendments, until such time as the Director of Department of Consumer Affairs; the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency; and the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approve the fee schedule through the formal rulemaking process.