MD Board of Public Accountancy

Winter  2012    
New License Portal to Come
Tax Preparers' Deadline has Passed
MD Board and NASBA Launch Now Available
Online Application a Success
Terms Defined: Inactive vs. Expired
Reactivating or Reinstating a License
NASBA Annual Conference Update
2011 Exam Scores
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In the coming months,  Maryland CPAs will see a big change in the way licenses are distributed by the Board. For the first time ever, licenses will not arrive in the mail. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is launching a license, registration, permit and certificate portal through which a licensee or firm can print a license or permit on a desktop printer. Look for this new feature to be established in the near future. Detailed information and instructions for use will be forthcoming.  


December 31, 2011 was an important date to note for anyone who prepares Maryland tax returns for compensation. That date was the end of the two-year "grace period" allowed for tax preparers to register with the State pursuant to a 2008 Maryland law. If your CPA license is active,  you are exempt from having to register under that law. But what if your license is on inactive status and you want to earn money by preparing Maryland tax returns? An inactive or an expired CPA license doesn't allow you that same exemption from registration with the State Board of Individual Tax Preparers. If you fail to register, you could face enforcement action as early as January 2012. Registration can be done online through the Tax Board's web page on the website maintained by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.


The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy, in a joint effort with other state boards of accountancy and the National Association of State Boards of Public Accountancy (NASBA), has launched a new license search tool for consumers of CPA Services. is a website featuring a central database of state licensee information about Certified Public Accountants  practicing across the nation. Maryland, along with 21 other state boards of accountancy, provides its public licensing data to NASBA to present through The website is free and open to the public.  

As with many other professions, the practice of Certified Public Accountancy no longer stops at state lines. CPAs must engage in the national and world markets on a daily basis in order to be relevant in today's business climate. Now, there is a new online tool to aid CPAs seeking to provide services in other states or U.S. jurisdictions. was developed as a joint effort between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). In 2006, along with state boards of accountancy and state CPA societies, a coalition of the groups was formed to pass uniform mobility laws in the country and to enable CPAs to easily practice in other states without having to obtain multiple licenses. Today, 48 of 55 U.S. jurisdictions have passed mobility laws and participate in The only remaining jurisdictions are California, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The user-friendly site works by entering three key items of information: principal place of business, target state, and type of service to be rendered. Both the NASBA and AICPA websites contain a link to an instructional video providing additional information.  
September 2011 Board Meeting
Members and Staff of the State Board of Public Accountants Conduct September 2011 Meeting

Standing From Left: Administrative Officer Linda Rhew, Consumer Member Ella Pierce, Education Member Raymond Speciale, Esq., CPA, CPAs Mac Claxton and Clifton Jeter and Executive Director Dennis Gring. Seated From Left: CPAs Elizabeth Gantnier and Tim Murphy (Chair) and Consumer Member Naomi Powell. Not Pictured: Board Counsel Matthew Lawrence, CPE Consultant Bert Fenwick and Office Service Clerk Barbara Hardy.


exam screenIn October, the Board of Public Accountancy launched its new online application for exam candidates to coincide with Maryland's transition to the "120/150" model for licensure. The application has been fully operational since October 4, and early feedback to the Board has been positive. As of November 30, 2011, 165 applications have been received. 


The new application was developed as a result of the October 1, 2011 change in the law that permits individuals to qualify to take the Uniform CPA Examination after graduating from a college or university with a degree in accounting or its equivalent. The process of applying online has been streamlined and automated, while remaining tailored to the circumstances of each candidate's unique educational background. Additionally, the electronic record can be re-accessed and updated at the time of application for licensure.


The key to a successful application lies in the completion of the core course inventory worksheet prior to starting the application. Candidates have expressed to the Board that the process goes much more smoothly when they are able to work directly from a completed worksheet. Also, the process is expedited when candidates understand the importance of  following through with the delivery of transcripts and other supporting documents to the Board.  


Finally, it is significant to note that each candidate's records are housed in a national database maintained by the National Association of State Boards of Public Accountancy (NASBA). State policy necessitates that if a candidate has been accepted to sit for the exam in another state, he or she is prevented from applying in Maryland concurrently. A Maryland license can only be obtained later through reciprocity.


Do you know the difference between an inactive CPA license and an expired one? It isn't just a matter of semantics. The Board often receives calls from licensees who have allowed their license to expire, and the callers frequently refer to themselves as having an "inactive" license. In reality, the two terms are not synonymous.


The conditions of an inactive license are set forth in Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. 2-313 (2011) and the status is obtained by application to the Board. It is a convenient way to put a license "on hold" when an applicant is due to renew an active license and he or she has not yet accrued the required amount of CPE hours, or has not had a recent peer review. Bear in mind, though, that having an inactive license prohibits you from performing CPA services or making representations to the public that you are a CPA.


On the other hand, if a licensee fails to renew at all, the license is then considered expired. An expired license is just that, expired. To reinstate a license, a person must meet the continuing professional education and peer review requirements and pay a reinstatement fee.


If you find yourself falling into one of these categories at some point in your career, you will want to refer to the Board's website. It contains all of the guidelines you will need to follow in order to either reactivate an inactive license or reinstate an expired license. If your license has been expired for more than two years, you must contact the Board for a paper reinstatement application.

Also, take special note of your license's expiration date when deciding to reactivate or reinstate. Please see the following article for a closer look at the importance of timing your application


One of the most essential things you should know about your Maryland CPA license is that your license expiration date never changes. Once it's set, it stays with you throughout your professional life as a CPA. Even if your license is placed on inactive status, or if you haven't renewed on time, the month and day of your expiration date will always remain the same.


Therefore, it is very important to consider your license expiration date if you have an inactive or an expired license. If you apply to the Board to reactivate or reinstate your license, your fees and 80 CPE hours will only apply to the remaining length of your current two-year term. So if you apply to the Board three months before your term is set to expire, you will only be covered for those three months. The Board cannot extend or alter expiration dates in any way, so in three months you will be faced with reporting an additional 80 hours of CPE and paying another renewal fee.


Please contact the Board if you have any questions about timing your reactivation or reinstatement. You may renew your license as early as 60 days before your license is set to expire. The staff will be able to assist you to ensure a smooth transition back to active licensure.

Chairman Tim Murphy, Board member Liz Gantnier and Executive Director Dennis L. Gring attended the 104th annual meeting of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22-26, 2011. Board members and executive staff of the 55 accountancy licensing agencies in the United States were in attendance.


Highlights of the meeting included:  

  • A presentation by James Doty, Chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Chair Doty stressed that registration with the PCAOB does not relieve audit firms from the responsibility to comply with licensing requirements and codes of professional conduct in the jurisdiction where they engage in practice. Additionally, Chair Doty advised that the PCAOB audits "foster conduct and a culture consistent with the franchise that the securities regulatory scheme accords the audit profession." See text of Doty's speech. 
  • A presentation by Leann Ruf, Communications Director of the Return Preparer Office of the Internal Revenue Service, which updated the requirements for registration for tax preparers. The presentation reviewed the process for obtaining a tax preparer identification number, and contained an overview of the return preparer requirements, testing information, and the annual continuing professional education requirements. It included a description of course provider qualifications, as well as contact information. See Ruf's presentation. 
  • A presentation by Leslie Seidman, Chair of Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), who outlined FASB's activities to work with private companies to ensure that private company concerns are part of every standard setting consideration. See Seidman's presentation. 
  • A presentation by Keith T. Darcy, Executive Director of the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA). Mr. Darcy provided an overview of the interrelationship between ethics and compliance. See Darcy's presentation.  
  • A presentation by Kenneth Dakdduk, Chair of the International Federation of Accountants, who discussed a proposed change to its "Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants." The proposal would repeal certain language concerning inadvertent violations of the Code. The current Code states that an inadvertent violation, depending upon its nature and significance, may be deemed not to compromise compliance with the fundamental principles of the Code. Once a violation is discovered, it is corrected promptly and any necessary safeguards are applied. The IESBA concluded that the provision in the Code should be replaced with a requirement that a professional accountant take whatever actions that might be available as soon as possible to sufficiently address the consequences of a breach of a provision of the Code. Further, the provision should also require the accountant to determine whether or not to report the breach to those who may have been affected by it. Public comment on the proposed modifications may be sent to IESBA by January 23, 2012. See Dakdduk's presentation. See Proposed Code Exposure Draft.   


The scores are in for the July-August and October-November 2011 administration windows for the Uniform CPA Examination. Two hundred sixty-five (265) candidates passed the exam in these windows. In 2011, 365 candidates passed the examination and can complete the process to become licensed. See the section by section analysis below:


2011 exam scores


Harry Loleas

Interim Commissioner, Occupational and Professional Licensing

Janet Morgan, Outreach Coordinator



Thomas J. "Tim" Murphy, CPA

Chair, Industry Member

(Prince George's County)

Mac N. Claxton, CPA

Industry Member

(Prince George's County)

Elizabeth S. Gantnier, CPA

Industry Member

(Frederick County)

Clifton B. Jeter, CPA

Industry Member

(Montgomery County)

Ella H. Pierce

Consumer Member

(Baltimore City)

Naomi B. Powell

Consumer Member

(Prince George's County)

Raymond C. Speciale, Esq., CPA

Education Member (Frederick County)



Dennis L. Gring, Executive Director

Matthew A. Lawrence, Board Counsel

Linda L. Rhew, Administrative Officer

Bert Fenwick, CPE Consultant

Barbara Hardy, Office Service Clerk

Vacant, Office Secretary



Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation / Maryland Board of Public Accountancy 

500 North Calvert Street / Baltimore, Maryland 21202