Regulations of the Commissioner

Part 70, Public Accountancy

Effective July 15, 2011

§70.1 Definition of practice of public accountancy | §70.2 Professional study of public accountancy | §70.3 Experience requirements | §70.4 Licensing examinations | §70.5 Licensure by endorsement | §70.6 Limited permits | §70.7 Practice by certain out-of-state individuals and firms | §70.8 Registration of a firm | §70.9 Continuing Education. | §70.10 Mandatory quality review program.

§70.1 Definition of practice of public accountancy.

Pursuant to Education Law section 7401, the practice of public accountancy is defined as:

  1. offering to perform or performing attest and/or compilation services, as defined in Education Law section 7401-a of this Article;
  2. incident to the services described in subdivision (a) of this section, offering to perform or performing professional services for clients, in any or all matters relating to accounting concepts and to the recording, presentation, or certification of financial information or data; or
  3. offering to perform or performing, for other persons one or more types of the following services including but not limited to accounting, management advisory, financial advisory, and tax exclusive of services within subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, which involve use of the professional skills or competencies described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision of the licensed accountant, including professional services rendered to one's employer not required to register under section Education Law section 7408, in any and all matters related to accounting concepts and to the recording of financial data or the preparation or presentation of financial statements.
    1. Professional skills and competencies. The practice of public accountancy shall include accounting, management advisory, financial advisory, and tax exclusive of services within subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, which involve, but shall not be limited to, use of the following professional skills or competencies:
      1. Application of accounting skills, which shall include:
        1. preparation of financial statements and note disclosures;
        2. analysis of the effects of transactions on account balances;
        3. analysis of account balances;
        4. calculation of key financial ratios and interpretation of the results of such calculations; and
        5. application of appropriate generally accepted accounting principles in practice.
      2. Application of transaction processing cycles and the control environment, which shall include:
        • development of a flow chart to explain operational processes;
        • identification of potential weaknesses in a company's internal control structure, including computer information systems controls; and
        • evaluation of corporate governance and structure.
      3. Identification of potential violations of ethical behavior;
      4. Fraud detection and deterrence:
      5. Application of business law and laws related to fraud, including:
        1. cognizance of the fundamental legal principles associated with contracts, civil and criminal matters, social goals associated with the legal system and the role of the justice system;
        2. recognition of the advantages and disadvantages of the different forms of business organization;
        3. recognition of the ethical duties and legal responsibilities associated with confidentiality; and
        4. familiarization with legal restrictions, privacy laws, and rights of individuals in gathering evidence of embezzlement, money laundering, and other issues related to fraud.
      6. Application of tax law:
        1. application of current federal income tax laws for individuals and businesses;
        2. application of current state and local income tax laws for individuals and businesses;
        3. application of financial planning concepts to current gift and estate tax laws;
        4. calculation of payroll taxes; and
        5. calculation of sales and use taxes;
      7. Application of government and not-for-profit accounting principles, including:
        1. analysis of the differences between financial reporting for a business enterprise and a government or not-for-profit entity; and
        2. preparation of financial statements for a governmental and a not-for-profit organization by applying appropriate accounting concepts.
      8. Application of management accounting concepts, including:
        1. evaluation of data to support decision-making; and
        2. analysis of expenses to reduce a company's costs and improve profitability.
      9. Application of finance concepts, including:
        1. calculation of the time value of money;
        2. analysis of debt versus equity in business financing decisions; and
        3. evaluation of investment opportunities using discounted cash flow, net present value, and risk analysis.

§70.2 Professional study of public accountancy.

  1. For purposes of this section, acceptable accrediting agency shall mean an organization accepted by the Department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accreditation of accountancy programs, having accreditation standards that are substantially equivalent to the requirements for programs registered pursuant to section 52.13 of this Title, and applying its criteria for granting accreditation in a fair, consistent, and nondiscriminatory manner.
  2.  
    1. To meet the professional educational requirements for licensure, the applicant shall present satisfactory evidence of completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy that is registered by the Department pursuant to section 52.13 of this Title, or a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or a baccalaureate or higher degree program, or its foreign equivalent, that is deemed to be the substantial equivalent of a registered or accredited program, as determined by the Department.
    2. An applicant who applies to the Department for licensure on or after August 1, 2009 shall be required to have satisfactorily completed a curriculum of at least 150 semester hours in a program described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, except that an applicant who applies for licensure on or after August 1, 2009 and was licensed in another state prior to August 1, 2009 may meet the education requirements by having satisfactorily completed a curriculum of at least 120 semester hours in a program described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision.
    3. An applicant who applies to the Department for licensure prior to August 1, 2009 shall be required to have satisfactorily completed a curriculum of at least 120 semester hours in a program prescribed in paragraph (1) of this subdivision prior to August 1, 2009 and have submitted the required application forms for licensure to the Department prior to August 1, 2009.
  3. In lieu of meeting the education requirements prescribed in subdivision (b) of this section and the experience requirements prescribed in section 70.2 of this Part, the applicant may meet the following requirement: at least 15 years of full-time experience in the practice of public accountancy satisfactory to the State Board.

§70.3 Experience requirements.

  1. An applicant who has satisfied the requirements as to education shall meet the experience requirement for licensure as a certified public accountant by submitting documentation, satisfactory to the Board of Regents, of completion of the following experience requirements:
    1. One year of acceptable full-time experience, or the equivalent thereof, shall be required for an applicant who has met the professional education requirements for licensure in section 70.2 of this Part through completion of a curriculum of at least 150 semester hours in a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy, or its foreign equivalent, in accountancy that is registered by the Department pursuant to section 52.13 of this Title, accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of a registered or accredited program.
    2. Two years of acceptable experience, or the equivalent thereof, shall be required for an applicant who has met the professional education requirements for licensure in section 70.1 of this Part through completion of a curriculum of at 120 semester hours in a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy, or its foreign equivalent, that is registered by the Department pursuant to section 52.13 of this Title, accredited an acceptable accrediting agency, or determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of a registered or accredited program.
    3. For purposes of this subdivision, one year of full-time experience shall mean an aggregate total of twelve calendar months of full-time employment. Full-time shall be defined as a five-day work week, with at least 35 hours of experience per week, excluding overtime. The State Board for Public Accountancy may also credit an applicant for part-time experience in the amount of one week of experience for every two weeks of acceptable part-time experience earned. Part-time shall be defined as at least 20 hours of experience per week.
    4. Such experience shall be attested to by a certified public accountant licensed in New York or in another political subdivision of the United States or by a public accountant licensed in New York, provided that such certified public accountant or public accountant acted in a supervisory capacity to the applicant in the employing organization.
  2. Acceptable experience in the practice of public accountancy shall be limited to experience in providing accounting services or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills under the supervision of a certified public accountant licensed in the United States or a public accountant licensed in New York.
  3. Acceptable experience in the practice of public accountancy shall be earned through employment in public practice, government, private industry or an educational institution.
  4. For purposes of subdivision (a), if the experience was earned more than ten years after the applicant passed the certified public accountant licensing examination, a license will not be issued until the applicant completes a satisfactory amount of continuing professional education, as is deemed appropriate by the State Board.

§70.4 Licensing examinations.

  1. Content. The examination shall consist of the following sections:
    1. financial accounting and reporting;
    2. business environment and concepts;
    3. regulation; and
    4. auditing and attestation.
  2. Passing score. The passing score in each section shall be 75.0.
  3. Retention of credit. A candidate shall be subject to the retention of credit requirements of paragraph (1) of this subdivision, unless the candidate passed two or more sections of the paper-and-pencil version of the examination administered prior to December 4, 2003 in which case the candidate shall be subject to the retention of credit requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
    1. For purposes of this paragraph, examination window means a three-month period in which the examination is available within a quarter of the year, the beginning and ending of which shall be established by the examination provider. A candidate may take the required sections of the examination individually and in any order. Credit for any section passed shall not be valid for more than 18 months, calculated from the last day of the examination window in which the candidate sat for such section of the examination. A candidate must pass all four sections of the examination within a rolling 18-month period, which begins on the last day of the examination window in which the candidate sat for any section of the examination that the candidate passed. A candidate may not retake a failed section of the examination in the same examination window.
    2. Transitional retention period. A candidate who has acquired credit for passing two or more sections of the paper-and-pencil version of the examination administered prior to December 4, 2003 shall be allowed a transitional retention period to obtain a passing score on the remaining sections of the computer-based format of the examination. The transitional retention period shall consist of the three-year period in which the candidate was required to pass all sections of the paper-and-pencil examination, extended to the last day of the month in which the three-year period ends, provided that such period shall terminate before the end of such three-year period as extended, if the candidate has exhausted six opportunities to pass the remaining sections of the licensing examination in whatever format before the end of that period. In that case, the transitional retention period shall terminate on the date the candidate has exhausted the six opportunities. A candidate may not retake a failed section of the examination in the same examination window, meaning a two-month period in which the examination is available within a quarter of the year.
    3. A candidate who has been awarded credit for passing a section of the licensing examination administered prior to December 4, 2003 shall receive credit for the corresponding section of the licensing examination administered after that date, as follows, provided that the candidate has met the retention of credit requirements of this subdivision:
      1. a candidate who has been awarded credit for financial accounting and reporting shall be awarded credit for financial accounting and reporting;
      2. a candidate who has been awarded credit for business law and professional responsibilities shall be awarded credit for business environment and concepts;
      3. a candidate who has been awarded credit for accounting and reporting shall be awarded credit for regulation; and
      4. a candidate who has been awarded credit for auditing shall be awarded credit for auditing and attestation.
  4. The Department shall accept passing scores on the uniform certified public accountant examination, or on an examination determined to be comparable in content, as meeting the requirement of the licensing examination, except where the Department determines that the administration, scoring, content or other comparable factors concerning such examination have affected the validity and/or integrity of such examination so as to render acceptance of such scores inappropriate. Candidates shall complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of study in a regionally accredited college or university which shall include at least one course in each of the mandatory professional accounting content areas defined in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of section 52.13 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, or its equivalent as determined by the Department, for admission to the licensing examination as a New York candidate.
  5. Transfer of examination credit. Candidates who have passed, in another state, sections of the licensing examination used by New York State may have their grades transferred upon application, if the requirements of this Part concerning education, and retention of credit for sections passed have been met. A score of 75.0 or higher shall be considered passing for the purposes of transferring grades from another jurisdiction.

§70.5 Licensure by endorsement.

  1. Endorsement of licenses of other states. A license to practice certified public accountancy issued by another state of the United States may be endorsed by the Department for practice in New York State if the applicant:
    1. is either:
      1. licensed by a state that has significantly comparable licensure standards to New York. For purposes of this section, states that have significantly comparable licensure standards shall mean those states that are recognized by a national professional accounting organization acceptable to the Department as having licensure requirements for certified public accountants that are significantly comparable to New York State; or
      2. licensed by a state that has not been recognized as having significantly comparable licensure standards to New York, provided that the Department has determined that the applicant has completed licensure requirements significantly comparable to the licensure requirements for certified public accountants in New York State; and
    2. presents satisfactory evidence to the State Board of at least four years of professional experience in the practice of public accountancy following initial licensure and within the 10 years immediately preceding application for licensure by endorsement;
    3. received acceptable grades on a professional competency examination acceptable to the State Board; and
    4. submits a completed application, on a form prescribed by the Department, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the following information:
      1. certification by the applicant of good moral character;
      2. verification of the applicant's licensure status in his/her initial state of licensure and, if different, verification of the applicant's licensure status in the state of the applicant's principal place of business;
      3. verification by the applicant of the location of his or her principal place of business;
      4. certification by the applicant that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements of the state where the applicant's principal place of business is located in the year prior to submission of the application form; and
      5. certification of satisfactory completion of the required education and professional experience in the practice of public accountancy, as required in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision.
  2. Endorsement of foreign licenses. A certified public accountancy license, or its foreign equivalent, that is issued by a foreign country in which licensure or registration is regulated by an authority responsible for the regulation of the practice of public accountancy in such foreign jurisdiction and acceptable to the Board of Regents, may be accepted by the Department for licensure in New York State if the applicant:
    1.  
      1. presents satisfactory evidence of a license in certified public accountancy, or its foreign equivalent, from a foreign jurisdiction that is recognized by the Department or a national professional accounting organization acceptable to the Department, as having significantly comparable licensure standards to New York; or
      2. presents satisfactory evidence of a license in certified public accountancy, or its foreign equivalent, from a foreign jurisdiction that has not been recognized as having significantly comparable licensure standards to New York, provided that the Department has determined that the applicant has completed licensure requirements significantly comparable to the licensure requirements for certified public accountants in New York State;
    2. presents satisfactory evidence to the State Board of at least four years of professional experience in the practice of public accountancy following initial licensure and within the 10 years immediately preceding application for licensure by endorsement;
    3. received acceptable grades on a professional competency examination acceptable to the State Board; and
    4. submits a completed application, on a form prescribed by the Department, which shall include, but not be limited to:
      1. certification by the applicant of good moral character;
      2. verification of the applicant's licensure status in his/her initial country of licensure and if different, verification of the applicant's licensure status in the state of the applicant's principal place of business;
      3. verification of acceptable grades on a professional competency examination acceptable to the State Board;
      4. certification of completion of the required education for licensure as a certified public accountant; and
      5. certification of completion of four years of satisfactory professional experience in public accountancy, as required in paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

§70.6 Limited permits.

  1. Pursuant to the provisions of Education Law section 7406(1) and upon the recommendation of the State Board, the Department will consider applications for limited permits, following receipt from the appropriate authority in the foreign country, of documentation which establishes or sets forth:
    1. the licensing standards and processes applied by the licensing authority of that country;
    2. the certificate, license, or degree which is recognized in the foreign country as qualification to perform the acts specified in Education Law section 7401; and
    3. that the foreign country grants equal authority to certified public accountants or public accountants licensed in the United States.
  2. Upon receipt of an application and supporting evidence, and upon recommendation of the State Board, the Department will issue a limited permit to an applicant who holds a degree, certificate or license specified in subdivision (a) of this section from a foreign country which has complied with said subdivision, if the applicant:
    1. demonstrates that he or she has professional qualifications which are determined by the State Board to be significantly comparable of those required for New York licensure;
    2. evidences proficiency in the use of generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards as practiced in New York;
    3. demonstrates that the applicant resides or has a place for the regular transaction of business within New York State;
    4. is of good moral character; and
    5. has paid an application fee of $250 for issuance of a limited permit.
  3. A limited permit issued pursuant to these provisions:
    1. shall be valid for a period of two years;
    2. may be renewed on recommendation of the State Board upon reapplication, payment of a renewal fee of $250 and a demonstration that the purposes intended to be served by the original permit have not been accomplished;
    3. shall authorize the holder to use only the titles or designations used in the foreign country, followed by the name of the country from which he or she received his or her certificate, license or degree; and
    4. shall subject the holder to the jurisdiction of the Department and the Board of Regents in matters relating to the regulation of professional misconduct under the provisions of Article 130 of the Education Law and regulations promulgated under authority of such law.

§70.7 Practice by certain out-of-state individuals and firms.

  1. Practice by certain out-of-state firms.
    1.  A firm that holds a valid license, registration, or permit in another state shall register with the Department if the firm offers to engage or engages in the practice of public accountancy pursuant to subdivision 1 or 2 of section 7401 of the Education Law;
    2. A firm that holds a valid license, registration, or permit in another state that is not required to register with the Department pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision, including those out-of-state firms that use the title “certified public accountant” or “certified public accountants” or the designation “CPA” or “CPAs” but do not have an office in New York, may practice in this state without a firm registration with the Department, if the firm’s practice is limited to the practice of public accountancy pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 7401 of the Education Law;
    3. A firm may register and perform services pursuant to this subdivision only if:
      1. at least one partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation or the sole proprietor is licensed as a certified public accountant engaged within the United States in the practice of public accountancy and is in good standing as a certified public accountant of one or more of the states of the United States;
      2. the firm complies with the Department’s mandatory quality review program pursuant to section 7410 of the Education Law; and
      3. the services are performed by an individual who is licensed and in good standing as a certified public accountant of one or more states of the Unites States.
  2. Practice by certain out-of-state individuals.
    1. An individual who holds a certificate or license as a certified public accountant issued by another state, who is in good standing in the state where certified or licensed, and whose principal place of business is not in this state may practice public accountancy in this state without obtaining a license pursuant to section 7404 of the Education Law, if:
      1. the Department has determined that the other state has education, examination, and experience requirements for certification or licensure that are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure in this state; or
      2. the Department has verified that the individual possesses licensure qualifications that are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure in this state.
    2. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (6) or (7) of this subdivision, an individual who meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subdivision and who offers or renders professional services in person or by mail, telephone, or electronic means may practice public accountancy in this state without notice to the Department. An individual who wishes to practice public accountancy in this state, but does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subdivision is subject to the full licensing and registration requirements of the education law and of this title.
    3. An individual licensee or individual practicing under this subdivision who signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant’s report on the financial statement on behalf of a firm shall meet the competency requirements set out in the professional standards for such services and as set out in paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of section 29.10 of this title.
    4. An individual practicing under this section shall practice through a firm that is registered with the Department pursuant to section 7408 of the Education Law if the individual performs any attest or compilation service as defined in section 7401-a of the Education Law.
    5. Each certified public accountant who practices in this state pursuant to this section and each firm that employs such certified public accountant to provide services in New York consent to all of the following as a condition of the exercise of such practice privilege:
      1. to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Board of Regents as if the practice privilege is a license and an individual with a practice privilege is a licensee;
      2. to comply with Article 149 of the Education Law and the provisions of this Title relating to public accountancy; and
      3. to the appointment of the Secretary of State or other public official acceptable to the Department, in the certified public accountant's state of licensure or the state in which the firm has its principal place of business, as the certified public accountant’s or firm's agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Department against such certified public accountant or firm.
    6. In the event the license from the state of the certified public accountant's principal place of business is no longer valid or in good standing, or that the certified public accountant has had any final disciplinary action taken by the licensing or disciplinary authority of any other state concerning the practice of public accountancy that has resulted in any of the dispositions specified in subparagraphs (i) or (ii) of this paragraph, the certified public accountant shall so notify the Department, on a form prescribed by the Department, and shall immediately cease offering to perform or performing such services in this state individually and on behalf of his or her firm, until he or she has received from the Department written permission to do so:
      1. the suspension or revocation of his or her license; or
      2. other disciplinary action against his or her license that arises from:
        1. gross negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongdoing relating to the practice of public accountancy; or
        2. fraud or misappropriation of funds relating to the practice of public accountancy; or
        3. preparation, publication, or dissemination of false, fraudulent, or materially incomplete or misleading financial statements, reports or information relating to the practice of public accountancy.
    7. Any certified public accountant who, within the seven years immediately preceding the date on which he or she wishes to practice in New York, has been subject to any of the actions specified in subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of this paragraph shall so notify the Department, on a form prescribed by the Department, and shall not practice public accountancy in this state pursuant to Education Law section 7406(2) and this section, until he or she has received from the Department written permission to do so. In determining whether the certified public accountant shall be allowed to practice in this state, the Department shall follow the procedure to determine whether an applicant for licensure is of good moral character. Anyone failing to provide the notice required by this paragraph shall be subject to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Board of Regents as if the practice privilege is a license, and an individual with a practice privilege is a licensee, and may be deemed to be practicing in violation of Education Law section 6512:
      1. has been the subject of any final disciplinary action taken against him or her by the licensing or disciplinary authority of any other jurisdiction with respect to any professional license or has any charges of professional misconduct pending against him or her in any other jurisdiction; or
      2. has had his or her license in another jurisdiction reinstated after a suspension or revocation of said license; or
      3. has been denied issuance or renewal of a professional license or certificate in any other jurisdiction for any reason other than an inadvertent administrative error; or
      4. has been convicted of a crime or is subject to pending criminal charges in any jurisdiction.
    8. Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subdivision or any other inconsistent law or rule to the contrary, a certified public accountant licensed by another state and in good standing, who otherwise meets the practice privilege requirements under this section and files an application for licensure under Education Law section 7404, may continue to practice under such privilege for a period coterminous with the period during which his or her application for licensure remains pending with the Department, including any period after the certified public accountant establishes a principal place of business in New York, while his or her application is pending.

§70.8 Registration of a firm.

  1. Pursuant to the provisions of Education Law section 7408, a firm shall register with the Department if:
    1. the firm is established for the business purpose of lawfully engaging in the practice of public accountancy pursuant to Education Law section 7401(1) and (2); or,
    2. except as otherwise provided in section 70.7(a)(2) of this Part, the firm uses the title "CPA" or "CPA firm" or the title "PA" or "PA firm."
  2. A firm of certified public accountants or public accountants engaged in the practice of public accountancy pursuant to Education Law section 7401(3), that does not use the title “CPA” or “CPA firm” or the title “PA” or “PA firm” and does not engage in the practice of public accountancy pursuant to Education Law section 7401(1) and (2), may register with the Department under this section.
  3. An application for registration of a firm shall include:
    1. a list of all offices within this state, including the name of the person(s) in charge of such offices;
    2. a list of all states in which the firm has applied for or holds registrations, licenses, or permits as a public accounting firm;
    3. a list of any past denial, revocation, or suspension of a license, registration or permit by any other state or jurisdiction within the last three years;
    4. a list of all partners, owners or shareholders of the firm, including state(s) of licensure;
    5. a list of all certified public accountants or public accountants whose principal place of business is New York or who are otherwise authorized to practice in New York and who are responsible for supervising attest or compilation services or signing or authorizing someone to sign the accountant's report on financial statements on behalf of the firm;
    6. affirmation by the firm that the individuals listed pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subdivision meet the following competency requirements set forth in paragraph (13) of paragraph (a) of section 29.10 of this Title;
    7. confirmation acceptable to the department that the firm is appropriately authorized to do business in New York State;
    8. confirmation acceptable to the department that at least one partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation or the sole proprietor that is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under Article 149 of the Education Law and that his or her license to practice is not currently suspended, annulled or revoked in any jurisdiction and he or she is regularly engaged in practice on behalf of the firm within the state;
    9. affirmation that the firm has not violated the provisions of Article 149 of the Education Law, any other applicable laws and such other requirements that the Department may impose; and
    10. payment of a firm registration fee pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section.
  4. The fee for a firm registration shall be:
    1. $50 for each office of the firm located in New York or $50 for the firm if the firm has no offices located in New York; and
    2. $10 for the sole proprietor or each general partner of a partnership or partner of a limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation whose principal place of business is located in New York and for each certified public accountant or public accountant licensed in New York State that signs or authorizes someone to sign an engagement on behalf of a New York State client but whose principal place of business is not located in New York State. Any firm that registers with the Department pursuant the provisions of Education Law section 7408, but does not have a sole proprietor or a general partner of a partnership or a partner of a limited liability partnership, or a member of a limited liability company or a shareholder of a professional service whose principal place of business is in NYS, shall pay $10 for the firm.
  5. A firm offering or rendering professional services via a website shall provide the address of the firm's principal place of business, the firm's principal state of licensure or registration and a means to contact the person in charge of the firm regarding complaints, questions, or regulatory compliance on the firm's homepage of their website.
  6. In accordance with Education Law section 7408 and the Rules of the Board of Regents, the Board of Regents may revoke a registration issued under this section or take other action pursuant to a consent order or surrender of registration, in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided with respect to individuals licensed pursuant to Article 149 of the Education Law, or pursuant to a settlement in which the firm neither admits nor denies the allegations of professional misconduct, or after a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in Education Law section 6510 upon proof of the following:
    1. that the registration was obtained by either misrepresentation or suppression of any material fact;
    2. that the license or authorization to practice of any sole proprietor, partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation is suspended, annulled or revoked in any jurisdiction;
    3. that any sole proprietor, partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation in such firm is or has been engaged in the practice of public accountancy in this state who is not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice in this state;
    4. that the firm failed to file annually on or before the anniversary of the date of the firm's first registration, written notification of:
      1. any admission of a partner, member or shareholder,
      2. any resignation, termination, retirement or death of a partner, member or shareholder,
      3. any termination of a firm,
      4. any change in the number or location of offices within this state and any change in the identity of the persons in charge of such offices, or
      5. any occurrence of any event or events which would eliminate as to such firm conformity with the applicable requirements of this section.
    5. Effective January 1, 2012, a firm seeking to re-register with the Department shall submit a copy of its most recently completed quality review report performed in accordance with the provisions of Education Law section 7410, with its application for re-registration.

§70.9 Continuing Education.

  1. Applicability of requirement.
    1. All licensees engaged in the practice of public accountancy in this State, as defined in Education Law section 7401, either full time or part time, and required under Article 130 of the Education Law to register triennially with the Department, shall complete the continuing education requirements in accordance with this section, except those licensees exempt from the requirement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
    2. Exemptions and adjustments in the requirement.
      1. New licensees shall be exempt from mandatory continuing education requirements for the triennial registration period in which they are first licensed by the Department. A new licensee shall become subject to the mandatory continuing education requirements on the first January 1 that falls in his or her second registration period.
      2. Licensees who are not engaged in the practice of public accountancy as defined in Education Law section 7401 and who have filed a written statement with the Department declaring such status shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing education requirement.
      3. Adjustments to the mandatory continuing education requirement may be made by the Department for good cause acceptable to the Department which prevents compliance with all or part of the requirement. Good cause shall include personal illness certified by a physician, military service and extreme hardship which makes it impossible to comply with the requirement in a timely manner. Good cause shall not include family or business commitments, except for unforeseen serious family problems occurring during the last six months of the calendar year.
  2. Minimum continuing education requirement.
    1. For licensees whose triennial registration period ends prior to January 1, 2009, for each calendar year, other than those that are exempt from the continuing education requirements pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of this section shall have the option of:
      1. completing a minimum of forty contact hours of acceptable formal continuing education in the following recognized areas of study: accounting, attest, auditing, taxation, advisory services, specialized knowledge and applications related to specialized industries, and such other areas appropriately related to the practice of accounting as may be acceptable to the Department; or
      2. completing a minimum of twenty-four contact hours of acceptable formal continuing education concentrated in any one of the following three subject areas: auditing, accounting, or taxation.
    2. For licensees whose triennial registration period ends on or after January 1, 2009, for each calendar year beginning with the 2009 calendar year, licensees other than those that are exempt from the continuing education requirements pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of this section shall have the option of:
      1. completing a minimum of forty contact hours of acceptable formal continuing education in the following recognized areas of study: accounting, attest, auditing, taxation, advisory services, specialized knowledge and applications related to specialized industries, and such other areas appropriately related to the practice of accounting as may be acceptable to the Department; or
      2. completing a minimum of twenty-four contact hours of acceptable formal continuing education concentrated in any one of the following recognized areas of study: accounting, attest, auditing, taxation, advisory services, specialized knowledge and applications related to specialized industries, and such other areas appropriately related to the practice of accounting as may be acceptable to the Department
    3. Any licensee who supervises attest or compilation services or signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on financial statements on behalf of a firm shall be required to complete at least 40 contact hours of continuing education in audit, accounting, and/or attest during the three years immediately prior to the performance of such services. These contact hours may be counted toward the annual contact hour requirement in the calendar year that they are completed.
    4. Any acceptable continuing professional education credits earned between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 may be credited toward the minimum contact hours required for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2009 and ending December 31, 2009.
    5. During each triennial registration period ending on or before December 31, 2011, a registered licensee who is subject to the continuing education requirement shall be required to complete at least four contact hours in professional ethics.For each registration ending on or after January 1, 2012, a registered licensee who is subject to the continuing education requirement shall be required to complete at least four contact hours in professional ethics during the prior three calendar year period. For registered licensees who complete the calendar year contact hour requirement in the manner described in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the four contact hours of professional ethics may be counted toward the annual contact hour requirement in the calendar year that they are taken. For registered licensees who complete the calendar year contact hour requirement in the manner described in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the four contact hours of professional ethics may be counted toward the annual contact hour requirement in the year that they were completed if the hours in professional ethics were taken in the recognized subject area of the concentration.
    6. Each licensee who is registered and resumes practice during the triennial registration period or re-registering from an inactive status, except as provided in paragraph (7) of this subdivision, shall notify the Department and shall document 24 hours of continuing education completed in the 12-month period prior to return to public practice. Following re-entry into the practice, the licensee shall complete a pro rata portion of the mandated yearly requirement for the option selected pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision on the basis of one-half of the number of hours required under the option selected for each full six-month period from the date of reentry to the end of the current reporting year.
    7. Any licensee who is not registered and submits an application to reactivate his or her registration between February 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010 shall not be required to document 24 hours of continuing education completed in the 12 month-period prior to his or her return to practice. Such a licensee shall register with the Department and complete the annual continuing education requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision for the calendar year in which he or she re-registers and in each subsequent calendar year.
  3. Eligible Programs.
    1. As used in this section, acceptable formal continuing education shall mean formal programs of learning which contribute to professional practice, maintain or increase professional knowledge and which meet the requirements of this subdivision.
    2. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (3) or (4) of this subdivision, to be acceptable to the Department, recognized continuing education areas of study shall consist of instruction conducted by sponsors approved pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section in the following subjects only: accounting; attest; auditing; taxation; advisory services; and specialized knowledge and applications related to specialized industries, professional ethics and such other areas related to the practice of accounting as may be acceptable to the Department. The types of formal programs which may be accepted by the Department shall include:
      1. any courses taken for academic credit at a regionally accredited college or university, as reflected on an official transcript, and that fall within one or more of the recognized subject areas;
      2. other organized educational and technical programs which contribute to growth in the professional knowledge and professional competence of the licensee and meet standards approved by the Department.
    3. In addition to instruction pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision, the following activities may contribute to meeting the continuing education requirement, provided that the number of contact hours allowed for such activities for any licensee shall not exceed one-half of the total number of hours of continuing education claimed during a licensee's triennial registration period:
      1. preparing and teaching a course offered by an approved sponsor, provided that the instruction is in the subjects set forth in paragraph (2) of this subdivision, further provided that such teaching shall not be accepted where the licensee has taught the course on more than one occasion without presenting new or revised material. The continuing education credits allowed will be on the basis of actual presentation hours, plus up two additional credits for actual preparation time for each hour taught, provided that the licensee can provide satisfactory documentation that he or she was a presenter for the course; and
      2. authoring an article published in a peer-refereed journal or a published book dealing with one of the subjects set forth in paragraph (2) of this subdivision; and
      3. teaching a credit bearing course at a regionally accredited college or university, provided that the instruction is in the subject areas set forth in paragraph (2) of this subdivision, and further provided that such teaching shall not be accepted if the licensee has taught the course on more than one occasion without presenting new or substantially revised material. The amount of continuing education that will be awarded for teaching a course is 15 contact hours per semester or 10 contact hours per quarter credit hours.
    4. Educational programs or courses in the subjects specified in paragraph (2) of this subdivision may be accepted, in whole or part, towards the continuing education requirement provided that such courses or programs are offered and conducted in another state or country by sponsors approved by licensing authorities of that jurisdiction or the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy under standards substantially equivalent to those of the Department.
  4. Measurement of continuing education study. Continuing education credit shall be granted only for formal programs of learning that meet the requirements set forth in subdivision (c) of this section. One continuing education credit shall equal one contact hour. Contact hours shall be measured by program length, with a minimum of 50 minutes equaling one contact hour. Contact hours in one-half hour increments, equal to 25 minutes, shall be permitted after the first continuing education credit has been earned in a given program. For credit-bearing university or college courses, each semester-hour credit shall equal 15 contact hours and each quarter-hour shall equal 10 contact hours. Self-study programs shall be pretested to determine average completion time and the sponsor shall award credit on the basis of one credit per contact hour of the average pre-tested completion time.
  5. Sponsor approval.
    1. Persons or organizations desiring to offer programs under provisions of Education Law section 7409, shall submit, with fee as set forth in subdivision (h) of this section, an application for approval as a sponsor on forms provided by the Department. Once the application has been reviewed and approved, initial registration as a sponsor shall become effective on the first day of the month in which the application is received. Retroactive approval will not be given for programs offered prior to the initial approval date.
    2. To be approved, each applicant shall submit evidence acceptable to the Department that the applicant has and will maintain adequate resources to support all programs and will comply with the following development and presentation standards:
      1. sponsors shall assure that program developers are qualified in the subject matter and knowledgeable in instructional design;
      2. sponsors shall assure that program materials are technically accurate, current and sufficient to meet the programs' learning objectives;
      3. sponsors shall inform participants in advance of the programs' learning objectives, prerequisites, level of knowledge, content, specific New York States areas of study as defined in Education Law 7409(4), teaching method, recommended CPE credit, New York State sponsor identification number, and relevant administrative policies;
      4. sponsors shall select instructors qualified with respect to both program content and teaching methods used; and
      5. sponsors shall provide a means for evaluating the quality of the program and update programs in response to the evaluations.
    3. Each approved sponsor shall maintain documentation for each program of instruction offered and retain the records for a period of not less than five years from the date each program is completed. Such documentation shall include the name and biography of the faculty, a record of individual enrollment and participation in such programs, an outline of the program materials, date and location of the program, number of contact hours recommended, summary of program evaluations and other evidence of compliance as may be required by the Department. Records shall be available to the Department upon request. In the event an approved sponsor discontinues operation, the governing body of such sponsor shall notify the Department and shall transfer all such records as directed by the Department.
    4. The Department shall determine the term of approval for each sponsor.
    5. The Department may conduct site visits or other reviews of sponsors and courses. Failure to cooperate with the Department shall be cause for revocation of a sponsor's approval.
  6. Licensee records. Each licensee subject to this section shall maintain a record of completed continuing education hours which includes the title of the program, the number of credits awarded for the program, the sponsor's name and New York State sponsor number and the date and location of the program. Documents supporting these records shall be retained by the licensee for not less than five years from completion of a course(s), and be available for review by the Department in the administration of the continuing education program.
  7. Renewal of registration.
    1. To qualify for renewal of registration, each licensee subject to the continuing education requirement shall certify on the registration application whether the minimum number of hours of continuing as required by subdivision (b) of this section has been completed. A licensee who has not satisfied the mandatory continuing education requirements shall not be issued a triennial registration certificate by the Department and shall not practice unless and until the continuing education requirement has been met, satisfactory to the Department, and a registration certificate has been issued or until a conditional registration certificate is issued as provided in this subdivision.
    2. The Department, in its discretion, may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who fails to meet the continuing education requirements but who agrees to make up any deficiencies and take any additional education which the Department may require. The fee for such a conditional registration shall be the same as, and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration. The duration of such conditional registration shall be determined by the Department. Any licensee who is notified of the denial of registration for failure to submit evidence, satisfactory to the Department, of completion of required continuing education and who practices without such registration may be subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Education Law section 6510.
  8. Fees.
    1. A mandatory continuing education fee of fifty dollars ($50) shall be collected from any licensee who is required under Article 130 of the Education Law to register triennially with the Department at the beginning of each triennial registration period. This fee shall be in addition to the triennial registration fee required by Education Law section 7404.
    2. Each individual and organization applying for approval from the Department to offer continuing education courses to licensees shall pay an application fee of three hundred dollars ($300) and graduated renewal fees based on the number of different courses offered in the year prior to renewal.

§70.10 Mandatory quality review program.

  1. Establishment of Quality Review Program. Except as otherwise provided in this section, pursuant to section 7410 of the Education Law, effective January 1, 2012, the Department establishes a mandatory quality review program, requiring all applicants seeking a firm registration or a renewal of such registration, other than sole proprietorships or firms with two or fewer accounting professionals, to participate in a quality review of the firm's attest services.
  2. Definitions. For purposes of this section:
    1. Accounting professional means a certified public accountant, as defined in Education Law section 7401-a(2), or a public accountant, as defined in Education Law section 7401-a(6).
    2. Quality review report means a formal report issued by a reviewer and accepted by a sponsoring organization in accordance with this section.
    3. Review means a review conducted under the mandatory quality review program prescribed in this section.
    4. Review team means an individual or individuals assisting the team captain in conducting a review under this section.
    5. Reviewer means the team captain or a member of a review team, if any, approved by the sponsoring organization to conduct a review.
    6. Sponsoring organization means an entity, located in the state of New York, approved by the department in accordance with subdivision (e) of this section to oversee and facilitate quality reviews performed by a reviewer in accordance with the provisions of this section.
    7. Team captain means a person approved by a sponsoring organization to supervise and conduct a review under this section and to be responsible for the work performed by the review team.
  3. Participation in Mandatory Quality Review Program.
    1. Pursuant to section 7410 of the Education Law, an applicant seeking a renewal of its firm registration, with the exception of a sole proprietorship firm or a firm with two or fewer accounting professionals, that performs attest services, shall undergo, no more frequently than once every three years, except pursuant to a disciplinary action brought under section 7408 of the Education Law, a quality review of the firm's attest services in accordance with the provisions of this section.
    2. Any firm, including a firm organized as a sole proprietorship or a firm with two or fewer accounting professionals, that performs attest services for any New York State or municipal department, board, bureau, division, commission, committee, public authority, public corporation, council, office, or other governmental entity performing a governmental or proprietary function for New York State or any one or more municipalities thereof, or performs attest services specifically required to be performed pursuant to New York State law shall be required to undergo an external peer review, in conformity with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
    3. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subdivision, sole proprietorship firms or firms with two or fewer accounting professionals may voluntarily undergo a quality review.
    4. Any firm registered with the department that is not required to participate in a quality review program under this section shall submit an annual written notification of the basis for such non-participation as part of the firm's submission of its annual report as required in Education Law section 7408(3)(e).
    5. Any firm that begins providing attest services as described in Education Law section 7401-a or otherwise becomes subject to mandatory participation in the quality review program shall notify the department of its change in status within 30 days and provide the department with evidence of enrollment in an acceptable quality review program within one year of either the date of the firm's initial registration or the firm's initial performance of services requiring a quality review under this section, and the firm shall have a quality review completed within 18 months of the date such services were first provided.
  4. Quality Review Oversight Committee. The department establishes a Quality Review Oversight Committee (QROC) to oversee the mandatory quality review program and to perform the functions described in paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
    1. Composition of Quality Review Oversight Committee. The QROC shall be comprised of five members appointed by the Board of Regents. Members of the QROC shall be appointed by the Board of Regents for five-year terms, except that the terms of those first appointed shall be arranged so that as nearly as possible an equal number of such terms shall terminate annually. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled by an appointment by the Board of Regents for the unexpired term. Members of the QROC must be licensed certified public accountants in New York State and hold current registrations with the department, and may not be members of the state board for public accountancy or one of its committees. QROC members shall be compensated in accordance with Education Law section 6506(4).
    2. Responsibilities of the QROC. The QROC shall:
      1. receive and approve the quality review administration plans from entities applying to be sponsoring organizations in accordance with subdivision (e) of this section;
      2. at least annually monitor sponsoring organizations to provide reasonable assurance that the sponsoring organization is providing an acceptable level of oversight over reviewers, review teams and firms participating in the quality review program administered by the sponsoring organization and to ensure that such reviews are conducted and reported on in accordance with the quality review standards set forth in subdivision (i) of this section;
      3. inform the department of any issues and/or problems relating to the quality review program which may require the department's intervention;
      4. annually report to the department as to whether each sponsoring organization meets the standards necessary to continue as an approved sponsoring organization;
      5. annually assess the effectiveness of the quality review program;
      6. annually report to the department on any recommended modifications to the quality review program;
      7. review each quality review report submitted by a firm, as part of its registration or renewal of its registration, to determine whether the firm is complying with applicable professional standards.
        1. If the results of QROC's review indicate that a firm is complying with applicable professional standards and has received a quality review report issued by a reviewer approved by the department without deficiencies, the QROC shall recommend to the department that it accept the firm's quality review report.
        2. If the results of the QROC's review reveal that a firm's quality review report from a reviewer approved by the department includes deficiencies, or indicates that the firm was not in compliance with applicable professional standards, and if the QROC finds that the report warrants disciplinary action, the QROC may refer the firm to the Office of Professional Discipline pursuant to Education Law section 6510; and
      8. ensure that any documents received from a firm or reviewer, sponsoring organization or entity administering peer review outside the state of New York shall be confidential and not constitute a public record and shall not be subject to disclosure under articles six and six-A of the Public Officers Law. However, when any such document is admitted into evidence in a hearing held by the department, it shall then be a public record subject to disclosure under articles six and six-A of the Public Officers Law.
  5. Approval of sponsoring organizations. To qualify as a sponsoring organization, an entity shall submit a quality review administration plan to the department for review and approval by the QROC. The plan of administration shall:
    1. establish committees, as needed, and provide assurances that there is sufficient professional staff for the operation of the quality review program overseen by the sponsoring organization;
    2. provide assurances that the sponsoring organization will notify firms and reviewers participating in the quality review program of the latest developments in quality review standards and the most common deficiencies in quality reviews conducted by the sponsoring organization;
    3. establish procedures for resolving any disagreement between the firm and the reviewer which may arise out of the performance of a quality review;
    4. acknowledge that the sponsoring organization is subject to evaluations by the department or the QROC to periodically assess the effectiveness of the quality review program under its charge;
    5. establish procedures to evaluate and document the performance of each reviewer, and to disqualify a reviewer who does not meet the standards for quality reviews set forth in subdivision (i) of this section;
    6. establish procedures such that the sponsoring organization will provide the QROC timely access to quality review reports;
    7. establish procedures to ensure that any documents received from a firm or reviewer shall be confidential and not constitute a public record and shall not be subject to disclosure under articles six and six-A of the Public Officers Law. However, when any such document is admitted into evidence in a hearing held by the Department, it shall then be a public record subject to disclosure under articles six and six-A of the Public Officers Law; and
    8. provide for annual reports to the QROC on the results of the sponsoring organization's quality review program, which shall include information on completed reviews, including the most common deficiencies noted by reviewers and, with respect to the quality review program:
      1. the number of reviews conducted;
      2. the number of firms found to be performing and reporting in compliance with applicable professional standards;
      3. the number of firms found to have some deficiencies in complying with applicable professional standards; and
      4. the number of firms found not to be in compliance with applicable professional standards.
  6. Approval of team captains and review teams.
    1. Each approved sponsoring organization shall provide a list of reviewers to the department, and from such lists the department will develop a roster of approved reviewers for the quality review program.
    2. Each approved sponsoring organization shall develop and implement procedures to assure that each review team member:
      1. is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice public accountancy in any state; and
      2. possesses knowledge of professional standards applicable to the attest practice or other specialized areas of practice to be reviewed, including recent experience in, and knowledge about, the rules and regulations appropriate to the industries of the engagements the individual will be reviewing.
    3. Each approved sponsoring organization shall develop and implement procedures to assure that each team captain:
      1. is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice public accountancy in any state; and
      2. meets the following competencies prior to a quality review:
        1.  
          1. each team captain performing a quality review of a firm's system of quality control over its attest services, shall within the last five years, have experience performing attest services on behalf of a firm as a sole proprietor, partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation;
          2. each team captain performing a quality review to evaluate that a firm's engagements were performed and reported in conformity with applicable professional standards, shall within the last five years, have experience performing attest services on behalf of a firm as a sole proprietor, partner of a partnership or limited liability partnership, member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a professional service corporation, manager or person with equivalent supervisory responsibilities;
        2. has either:
          1. completed at least 16 hours of introductory training acceptable to the department relating to the performance of quality reviews if the team captain will be issuing a report expressing an opinion on the firm's system of quality control; or
          2. has completed at least 8 hours of introductory training acceptable to the department relating to the performance of quality reviews if the team captain will be issuing a report that only evaluates engagements submitted for review without expressing an opinion on the firm's system of quality control;
        3. subsequent to the team captain's completion of an introductory reviewer training course pursuant to clause (b) of this subparagraph and within each successive triennial period as a team captain, the team captain shall complete a minimum of eight hours of reviewer training acceptable to the department relating to the performance of quality reviews; and
        4. possesses knowledge of professional standards applicable to the attest practice to be reviewed, including recent experience in, and knowledge about, the rules and regulations appropriate to the industries of the engagements the individual will be reviewing.
  7. Removal from roster of qualified reviewers. The department may, upon notice and with the opportunity to respond, remove a reviewer from the roster of approved reviewers for:
    1. failure to meet the requirements of subdivision (f) of this section; or
    2. being subject to any final disciplinary action taken against him or her by a licensing or disciplinary authority of any jurisdiction with respect to any professional license or having any charges of professional misconduct pending against him or her in any other jurisdiction.
  8. Effect of substandard reviews. Any firm that receives a quality review report indicating that the firm has failed to design a system of quality control over its attest services or comply with its system of quality control over its attest services, or that receives a quality review report indicating that the firm has failed to perform and report on engagements in conformity with applicable professional standards in material respects, may be referred by the QROC for disciplinary action under Education Law section 6510.
  9. Standards for quality reviews.
    1. Any sponsoring organization that administers quality reviews under this section and/or any reviewer performing a quality review under this section shall utilize standards for performing and reporting on quality reviews promulgated by a recognized national accountancy organization whose standards are generally accepted by other regulatory authorities in the United States and are acceptable to the department, including but not limited to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews.
    2. In addition to the standards described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, for any firm undergoing a review of its system of quality control, the review team shall review the firm's continuing education records on a sample basis and consider whether the records demonstrate that the licensee in the firm who supervised attest services or signed or authorized someone to sign the accountant's report on the financial statements of a client on behalf of the firm has met the competency requirements set forth in professional standards for such services, and in paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of section 29.10 of the Rules of the Board of Regents.
  10. Access to results of quality reviews.
    1. Any firm required to participate in the mandatory quality review program pursuant to section 7410 of the Education Law shall submit the following documents, as applicable, to the department:
      1. a quality review report issued by a reviewer approved by the department;
      2. the firm's letter of response;
      3. an acceptance letter from a sponsoring organization;
      4. letter(s) signed by the firm accepting the documents with the understanding that the firm agrees to take any actions required by the reviewer; and
      5. a letter from the sponsoring organization notifying the reviewed firm that required actions have been appropriately completed.
    2. Quality review documents required in subparagraphs (i) through (iii) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be made available to the department via a website address provided by the sponsoring organization within thirty days of the date on the acceptance letter from the sponsoring organization. The quality review document required in subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be made available to the department within thirty days of the date that the firm signs such letter. The document required in subparagraph (v) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be made available to the department within thirty days of the date of the letter from the sponsoring organization notifying the reviewed firm that the required actions have been appropriately completed. If a sponsoring organization cannot provide access to the quality review documents required in subparagraphs (i) to (v) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision via a website, the firm shall provide copies of the quality review documents by mail or facsimile within ten days of receipt of the applicable document, except for the quality review document required in subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision which shall be submitted within ten days of the date the firm signs such letter.
    3. Equivalent quality review reports submitted in accordance with subdivision (m) of this section shall be made available to the department via a website provided by the entity administering the quality review, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision. If the entity that administered the quality review cannot provide access to the equivalent quality review documents via a website, the firm shall provide copies of the equivalent quality review documents by mail or facsimile in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
  11. Retention of documents.
    1. Each reviewer and sponsoring organization, as applicable, shall maintain all documentation necessary to establish that each review conformed to the review standards of the relevant review program, including the review working papers, copies of the review report, and any correspondence indicating the firm's concurrence, non-concurrence, and any proposed remedial actions and any related implementation.
    2. The documents described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be retained by the reviewer for a period of time corresponding to the retention period of the sponsoring organization, and shall be made available upon request of the QROC. In no event shall the retention period be less than 120 days from the date of acceptance of the review by the sponsoring organization.
  12. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspections. In addition to the review required under subdivision (c) of this section, any firm that undergoes an inspection conducted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) as required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 shall submit to the department a copy of the public version of its most recent inspection report within ten days of a receipt of the notice of completion from the PCAOB.
  13. Equivalent quality review reports. The department may, in its discretion, accept from a firm a review report which the department deems to be the substantial equivalent of a quality review report issued under this section. A review report will be deemed substantially equivalent provided such reviews are conducted and reported on in accordance with the quality review standards set forth in subdivision (i) of this section. Peer reviews administered by entities located outside the state of New York acceptable to the department and any affiliated administering entities may be accepted as substantially equivalent of a quality review report issued under this section.
Last Updated: January 18, 2012