Does my firm need a firm permit?
Firm permits are required by firms with an physical office in ND practicing public accounting or using titles such as "CPA" or "LPA".
Other firms may practice public accounting in ND and use "CPA" or "LPA" titles without a permit, if they perform such services through an individual who holds a valid CPA license from a substantially equivalent (SE) state (see nasba.org ), or who personally holds SE status granted by the NQAS. The firm must also be authorized to provide these services in that person’s home state.
Permits are issued and renewed on an annual basis. Multiple-office firms may register on one application, with one registration fee.
Each firm permit holder, or applicant, is to notify the Board in writing, within 30 days, of any change in the identity of partners, officers, or shareholders who work regularly in this state, any change in the number or location of offices in ND, any change in the identity of those in charge of such offices, and any issuance, denial, revocation, or suspension of a permit by any other jurisdiction.
About firm ownership
A minority of the ownership of a firm practicing public accountancy within this state may be held by non-certified public accountants or non-licensed public accountants, but each such owner: 1. Must be an individual; 2. Must not serve as the principal executive officer of the firm; 3. Must not exercise authority over the performance of audit, review, compilation, or other attest services; and 4. Must not aid in the unauthorized practice of public accounting, or knowingly misrepresent facts, or commit any act discreditable to the accounting profession.
When any owner of a firm practicing public accounting within this state is convicted of a felony or other crime involving fraud or dishonesty, or is disciplined by a regulatory agency, that person’s ownership in the firm must be fully divested within six months thereafter, if so directed by the board. In the event of death or incapacity of a firm’s sole owner, the firm may continue to operate under the owner’s name and credential, for up to one year. The board may require firm supervision.
Firms that perform attest services such as audits, reviews and compilations are required to undergo peer review every three years.