You have found a CPA that you think is perfect for you and your business. How can you check that they are, in fact, holders of a CPA license? Fortunately, many online resources are available to help you perform a more thorough due diligence check on a prospective CPA.
The AICPA, also known as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, was initially founded in 1887 and represents the CPA profession nationwide. It is responsible for standard-setting and rule-making. The institute creates standards for audits of private businesses and other services provided by CPAs. It also includes educational guidance materials for its members.
The founding of the AICPA established accounting as a profession distinguished by strict educational requirements, demanding professional standards, plus a code of professional ethics.
The AICPA maintains a searchable database of CPAs available to verify that a CPA has a license.
AICPA Members of specialty credential areas and firm-based centers are included in the referral database. This referral database does not include all members of AICPA.
You can verify that a CPA is licensed by the State Board of Accountancy from which the license was obtained.
Here is a link to the search tool on the AICPA website.
Another great research tool is the CPA Verify website.
What is CPA verify?
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy maintains an online central repository of licensed CPAs and public accountant firms. This resource provides a single-search resource covering all jurisdictions in which a person or company has been licensed.
CPAverify.org, which is free and open to all, is a CPA search tool that has been populated with official state regulatory information with data sent from Boards of Accountancy into a central database.
CPAverify.org includes additional markers for enforcement, so you can see any marks on the record of a CPA you are considering.
The National Society of Public Accountants, later shortened to the National Society of Accountants, is a professional organization for tax and accounting professionals.
NSA and its state affiliates are more than 30,000 independent practitioners that provide accounting, tax, and auditing services to 19,000,000 individuals and businesses. The National Society of Accountants (NSA) mission is to promote practice rights and establish high standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence in accounting and taxation.
They maintain an online database of members here.