Annual Registration Frequently Asked Questions​​

Question: Where are the links to the Board's downloadable Forms and Applications?

Answer: Beginning November 3, 2015, applications (initial, renewal, or for CPA or exam candidate status amendments) for CPA Examination, CPA License, renewal of CPA Retired Status, and renewal of Firm Permit are available only online through the Accountancy Board’s secure online portal links located on the Board’s Homepage.

The remainder of Forms and Applications (including: CPA license and firm reinstatement; firm applications for initial, reinstatement, and amendment; and initial application for CPA – Retired Status) are still downloadable paper forms, at this link: http://www.msbpa.ms.gov/Pages/Forms.aspx


Question: I need to know more about the security of the information I am required to enter to log on to the Board of Accountancy’s online CPA license registration portal.  Is the portal secure?

Answer:
The Board of Accountancy Portal allows secure transmission of data through the use of the HTTPS protocol. The data is encrypted, securely transmitted, and securely stored.  According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org):

HTTPS provides three security guarantees:

1. 
Server authentication allows users to have some confidence that they are talking to the true application server. Without this guarantee, there can be no guarantee of confidentiality or integrity.
2. 
Data confidentiality means that eavesdroppers cannot understand the content of the communications between the user's browser and the web server, because the data is encrypted.
3. 
Data integrity means that a network attacker cannot damage or alter the content of the communications between the user's browser and the web server, because they are validated with a cryptographic message authentication code.

Question: The Board CPA license renewal is $110.00.  What is the other fee ($1 to $6) that I had to pay when I registered my CPA license online at the Accountancy Board Portal?

Answer: In addition to the renewal, application and other fees listed in the Schedule of Fees, 3rd party service providers may charge: transaction fees for use of credit card or e-check; and "e-Government" fees for development and maintenance of websites and online licensing and database applications on behalf of the Board.

Question: I thought the Board does not charge a firm permit fee?

Answer: The Board does not charge a firm permit fee for CPA Firms physically located in Mississippi. However, effective November 1, 2015, Out-of-State CPA firms with a Mississippi firm permit which have no physical office in Mississippi must pay a firm permit fee in the amount of $110. This annual fee will be applied to the cost of monitoring of their activities and compliance (including peer review).

Forms and Applications Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where are the links to the Board's downloadable Forms and Applications?

Answer: Beginning November 3, 2015, applications (initial, renewal, or for status amendments for CPAs or for exam candidates) for CPA Examination, CPA License, CPA Retired Status and FirmPermit are available only online through the Accountancy Board's secure online portal links located on the Board's Homepage.

The remainder of Forms and Applications (including: CPA License and Firm Reinstatement; Firm application for initial license, reinstatement, and amendments; and Initial  application for CPA-Retired Status) are still downloadable paper forms, available at this link: http://www.msbpa.ms.gov/Pages/Forms.aspx

Question: I need to know more about the security of the information I am required to enter to log on to the Board of Accountancy’s online CPA license registration portal.  Is the portal secure?

Answer:
The Board of Accountancy Portal allows secure transmission of data through the use of the HTTPS protocol. The data is encrypted, securely transmitted, and securely stored.  According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org):

HTTPS provides three security guarantees:

1. 
Server authentication allows users to have some confidence that they are talking to the true application server. Without this guarantee, there can be no guarantee of confidentiality or integrity.
2. 
Data confidentiality means that eavesdroppers cannot understand the content of the communications between the user's browser and the web server, because the data is encrypted.
3. 
Data integrity means that a network attacker cannot damage or alter the content of the communications between the user's browser and the web server, because they are validated with a cryptographic message authentication code.

Question: What is the other fee ($1 to $6) that I had to pay when I completed the Accountancy Board's online application?

Answer: In addition to the renewal, application and other fees listed in the Schedule of Fees, 3rd party service providers may charge: transaction fees for use of credit card or e-check; and "e-Government" fees for development and maintenance of websites and online licensing and database applications on behalf of the Board.

Question: Accountancy Board CPA license applications now appear to require a background check. Which applicants have to obtain a background check?

Answer: In accordance with Board Rule 2.1.4.(b), and effective November 1, 2015, persons applying for an initial Mississippi or Reciprocal CPA license, and all persons Reinstating a CPA license must have an Accountancy Board background check before receiving a CPA license. By signing the online CPA license application, applicants agree to the background check. Upon receipt of an online application and application fee, the Accountancy Board Administrator will send an email to the applicant containing a secure link to the background check service provider. The applicant will logon to that secure website, complete the background check agreement, and pay the provider for the cost of the background check. The Board Administrator will not process the license application until she reviews the completed background check report.


CPE Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I reported 4 hours Board approved Ethics CPE on this year’s online CPE reporting form in the Ethics column. The program included the required one hour in Mississippi Accountancy Laws, Rules and Regulations. I also attended a 4 hour general ethics program. Must I report the additional hours in the Ethics column, or can I put the hours in the “other” column and carry them over to future compliance periods as other CPE?

Answer: You may record the hours as “other” on the online CPE reporting form once you have met the triennial Ethics CPE requirement: 4 hours Board approved ethics including at least 1 hour in Mississippi Accountancy Laws, Rules and Regulations. Note that there is no Ethics CPE carryover from one triennial compliance period to the next compliance period. In addition, once Ethics CPE hours have been reported in any 12 month reporting period, they count toward the triennial Ethics requirement and do not have to be carried forward within the period or listed again.

Question: May I satisfy the ethics CPE requirement by obtaining all four hours related to the Public Accountancy Law and Regulations?

Answer: Yes; however, only a minimum of one CPE credit hour must be in Mississippi Public Accountancy Law and Regulations every three years. The remaining ethics CPE credit hours may be in general ethics or professional conduct requirements. [4.1.3.(b)]

Question: Does an ethics course have to be approved by the Mississippi State Board before it will qualify to satisfy the ethics CPE requirement?

Answer: Yes. A CPA should receive confirmation from the CPE sponsor that a course is approved by the Board for ethics CPE and in what topic area: Ethics-General or Ethics-Rules and Regulations. The Board must approve content and all aspects of an ethics course before it can be acceptable for Mississippi requirements. If a course is not submitted for preapproval and the Board subsequently disapproves the course, ethics CPE credit would not be accepted. [4.1.3. and 4.3.2.] Exceptions to this requirement are: for a CPA whose primary employment is in a State that has an ethics CPE requirement and the CPA complies with that State’s requirement. [4.1.9.]; and effective July 1, 2007, the Board will accept for the Ethics - General subject category programs from these sponsors without further Board review: American Institute of CPAs, CLE (Bar approved continuing legal education), MSCPA and other CPA Societies, and State Boards of Accountancy.

Question: As a Mississippi CPA primarily employed in another state but not licensed in that State, may I use that state's CPE ethics course be used to meet the Mississippi ethics requirement?

Answer: No. That individual must complete four hours in ethics CPE approved by the Mississippi Board. [4.1.3]

Question: As a Mississippi CPA primary employed and licensed in another state may that state's CPE ethics course be used to meet the Mississippi ethics requirement?

Answer: Yes. If the individual complies with that state's ethics CPE requirement. Compliance must be documented. [4.1.9]

Question: As a practicing attorney, may I count the one hour of ethics continuing legal education (CLE) that I must obtain for the Bar toward the four hours ethics CPE required by the Board?

Answer: Yes. It could be counted toward general ethics CPE hours. [4.1.3.(b)]

Question: How do I complete the CPE form if I claim exemption based on employment and licensing in another state?

Answer: Complete the CPE form with the hours you obtained during the MS compliance period year ended June 30, even if the hours are less than 40.

Question: Do the CPE rules now prohibit self-study CPE programs?

Answer: No, however, effective July 1, 2005, the Board will only accept self-study programs from CPE sponsors that are approved by the Quality Assurance Services (QAS) program through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). This provision does not waive the regulatory requirements of Chapter 4, in particular Section 4.3.6., which prohibits CPE credit for quizzers or programs requiring only the reading of reference guides/materials, professional literature or publications whether or not followed by a test. Therefore, reading of guides (such as PPC, RIA, CCH) or independent study for examinations continues to be prohibited. The AICPA CPE Direct program is now approved by QAS and accepted by the Board. Ethics CPE programs whether self-study, classroom, or other must still be approved by the Board. For a listing of QAS approved sponsors, please refer to learningmarket.org.

Question: For 2015 compliance, does a new CPA licensee that passed the CPA examination (completion of all four exam sections) in the compliance period ending June 30, 2015, have to complete the online CPE report?

Answer: Yes. All licensees must annually complete the online CPE reporting form. The online reporting form contains an affirmation for new licensees who passed the exam during the 2015 compliance period. These individuals are exempt from earning CPE but not from completing the online CPE reporting form by August 1, 2015. [4.1.5.]

Question: Is an individual who the Board granted a Mississippi reciprocal license during the year ended June 30, 2015, exempt from CPE reporting for this first CPE year?

Answer: No. The 2015 online CPE reporting form must be completed by August 1, 2015. [4.1]

Question: When can a new CPA licensee begin accumulating CPE credits for compliance purposes?

Answer: Earned CPE credit hours may be accumulated from the time the CPA examination is passed and carried over to the next compliance period up to 20 hours. [4.1.4. and 4.1.5.]

Question: May an individual studying to take the Certified Internal Auditor exam, Certified Fraud Examiner exam, or other professional exam use either the time spent studying or taking the exam toward the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy CPE compliance requirements?

Answer: No. Studying for examinations not established as formal programs of learning and meeting these requirements are not allowable as CPE credit. [4.3.6.(a)]

Question: Calculation of self-study CPE credit can be based on either a 100-minute hour or a 50-minute hour. What calculation is acceptable by the State Board?

Answer: Formal correspondence or other formal individual self-study programs will be based on a 50-minute CPE credit hour. [4.3.6.(a) and 4.4.6.]

Question: May a licensee who also holds an insurance license receive credit for a self-study CPE course that is required by the Mississippi Insurance Department?

Answer: No, as mentioned above, the Board will only accept self-study programs from CPE sponsors that are approved by the Quality Assurance Services (QAS) program through NASBA.

Question: I recently obtained a Mississippi reciprocal license and reported CPE on the reciprocal license application. Must I complete the online CPE reporting form for the year ending June 30, 2015?

Answer: Yes. All licensees must complete the online CPE reporting form. This is true even if a licensee is exempt under Rule 4.1.5 (passed exam in current CPE compliance period) or Rule 4.1.9.[a] (primary employment is in another state and you are licensed there and are in compliance with other state's CPE rules).​​​​​​​

Question:  I cannot open the link to the Online CPE Reporting form, how can I resolve this?

Answer: Open your internet browser and select Options>Applications>Portable Document  Format and set the status for "Use Adobe Acrobat" (in Firefox).  Close browser and try again.


CPA Examination Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Did Accountancy Board CPE Exam requirements change?


Answer:   Mississippi law (Code Section 73-33-5)) has been revised effective July 1, 2016, to allow examination candidates to sit for the CPA exam with a baccalaureate degree of at least 120 collegiate-level semester hours or its equivalent at a college or university acceptable to the Board. Prior to sitting for the exam, the candidate must still obtain the courses of the "required accounting concentration or its equivalent as determined by the board to be appropriate."


Question: I obtained a college degree in a foreign country. Where can I get the foreign college transcript evaluated so that the credits can be used for me to qualify to take the CPA exam in Mississippi?
Answer: If your degree is from a foreign country you must have it evaluated by a foreign credentialing service in addition to submittal of an official foreign transcript to the Board office. Effective July 1, 2016, NIES* is the only acceptable foreign credentialing service. The evaluation must schedule in detail and certify that the education requirements have been met. It will be reviewed by the Board for acceptability as equivalent to an accredited institution.
*NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) - Here is the link to NIES:     https://www.nasba.org/products/nasbainternationalevaluationservices/


Question
: Do Accountancy Board CPE Exam applications require me to get a background check?

Answer: No, Accountancy Board Rule 2.1.4.(b) (regarding background checks) does not apply to CPA Exam applicants. However, the exam application does ask if you have ever been convicted or pleaded no contest to a criminal misdemeanor or felony. You should answer this question carefully. Should you pass the CPA exam and apply for a Mississippi CPA license, you will be required to obtain a background check. If the information you provided on the exam application is proved to be incorrect by the background check report, you might be required to appear at a formal hearing before the Accountancy Board and possible be denied a CPA license.

Link to NASBA CPA Examination Frequently Asked Questions​​


Peer Review Frequently Asked Questions

Question:Where can I sign up for a Peer Review?

Answer: Contact the MSCPA Peer Review Coordinator at (601) 856-4244, for information on the AICPA Peer Review Program.

Question: Where can I find  peer review requirements in the Board of Accountancy Rules and Regulations?

Answer: Follow this link to Chapter 5 of the Board Rules and Regulations regarding Compliance Assurance Program (Peer Review) requirements: http://www.msbpa.ms.gov/Pages/Rules.aspx, and scroll down the table of contents to Chapter 5.