California Board of Accountancy

Retired Status

Beginning July 1, 2014, a licensee may apply to have his or her license placed in a retired status with the CBA. While a license in a retired status may receive a share of the net profits from a public accounting firm or other compensation from a public accounting firm, the licensee must not otherwise engage in the practice of public accountancy. Doing so, while the license is in a retired status is grounds for revocation or discipline of the retired license.

Application for Retired Status:

To apply for retired status, a licensee must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit a completed application to the CBA on Form 11-R48 (11/11).
  • Remit the one-time application fee of $75 to the CBA via a money order, cashier's check, or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • Have held a license as a certified public accountant or public accountant in the United States or its territories for a minimum of 20 total years.
  • Of the 20 total years, have held a license in an active status as a certified public accountant or public accountant a minimum of five years with the CBA.

The CBA shall deny an application if the CPA license is subject to an outstanding order of the CBA, suspended, revoked, or otherwise punitively restricted by the CBA, or is subject to disciplinary action.

Limitation on Retired Status:

A licensee may be granted a license in a retired status on no more than two separate occasions.

Abandonment of the Application:

An application for a certificate, permit, registration, or license, including any application for retired status, shall be deemed abandoned and any application fee shall be forfeited, if the applicant fails to complete the application within two years of its original submission or within one year of notification by the CBA of any deficiency in the application.

Renewal of a License in a Retired Status:

A retired status license must be renewed every two years at the time of license expiration. The expiration date for a license in a retired status will remain the same as when the license was held in an active or inactive status. However, at the time of renewal, the holder of a license in a retired status is exempt from both the license renewal fee and the continuing education (CE) requirements. In order to renew a retired status license, the licensee must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit the completed Retired Status License Renewal Application or alternatively, a written submission requesting renewal of the retired status license prior to the renewal date.
  • Complete and submit the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12).

Restoration of a License from a Retired Status to Active Status:

Once a license is in a retired status, the licensee may restore his or her license to an active status either at the time of renewal or prior to the next renewal. The requirements are the same whether you restore at the time of renewal or prior to your next renewal, with the exception of the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12).


To restore a license to active status at the time of renewal, the licensee must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit the Retired Status License Renewal Application or alternatively, a written submission requesting restoration to active status.
  • Remit the restoration application fee of $50 to the CBA via a money order, cashier's check, or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • Within the 24-month period prior to restoring to an active status, complete 80 hours of CE, including the following:
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours in the one-year period immediately preceding restoration to an active status, with a minimum of 12 hours of the 20 required hours in technical subject areas.
  • Four hours of ethics education.
  • A two-hour Board-approved Regulatory Review course if more than six years have lapsed since completion of a Board-approved Regulatory Review or Professional Conduct & Ethics course
  • If subject to the Government Auditing or Accounting and Auditing CE requirement, as described in sections 87(c) and 87(d) of the CBA Regulations, complete 24 hours of CE as described in those sections.
  • If subject to this requirement, complete four hours of Fraud CE specifically related to the prevention, detection, and/or reporting of fraud affecting financial statements in addition to the 24-hour requirement, as described in section 87(e) of the CBA Regulations.
  • Complete and submit the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12) with the completed Retired Status License Renewal Application or alternatively, the written submission requesting restoration to active status.
  • If subject to the fingerprint requirement, submit fingerprints and successfully complete a state and federal background search as a condition of license renewal. Please refer to the fingerprint requirement section below for additional information.

To restore a license to active status prior to renewal, the licensee must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit the Application Requesting Restoration to Active Status Prior to License Renewal or alternatively, a written submission requesting restoration to active status.
  • Remit the restoration application fee of $50 to the CBA via a money order, cashier's check, or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • Within the 24-month period prior to restoring to an active status, complete 80 hours of CE, including the following:
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours in the one-year period immediately preceding restoration to an active status, with a minimum of 12 hours of the 20 required hours in technical subject areas.
  • Four hours of ethics education.
  • A two-hour Board-approved Regulatory Review course if more than six years have lapsed since completion a Board-approved Regulatory Review or Professional Conduct & Ethics course.
  • If subject to the Government Auditing or Accounting and Auditing CE requirement, as described in sections 87(c) and 87(d) of the CBA Regulations, complete 24 hours of CE as described in those sections.
  • If subject to this requirement, complete four hours of Fraud CE specifically related to the prevention, detection, and/or reporting of fraud affecting financial statements in addition to the 24-hour requirement, as described in section 87(e) of the CBA Regulations
  • If restoring to an active status prior to your next renewal, you do not need to complete and submit the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12) with the completed license restoration application or alternatively, the written submission requesting restoration to active status.
  • If subject to the fingerprint requirement and the most recent license renewal occurred between December 31, 2013 and the date the restoration request was submitted, submit fingerprints and successfully complete a state and federal background search as a condition of restoration. Please refer to the fingerprint requirement section below for additional information.

A licensee with a license in a retired status may not practice public accountancy until the CBA approves the application for restoration of the license to an active status.

Fingerprint Requirement:

Section 37.5 of the CBA Regulations requires, as a condition of license renewal, criminal background checks for all licensees who have either not been previously fingerprinted as a condition of licensure or for whom no record of the licensee's fingerprints exists in the Department of Justice's criminal offender record identification database. The CBA shall not restore a license to active status from retired status until the licensee has complied with this requirement. Therefore, if you are subject to the fingerprint requirement and your most recent license renewal occurred between December 31, 2013 and the date you submit a restoration request, you must submit fingerprints and successfully complete a state and federal background search as a condition of restoration. Additional information regarding this requirement can be found on the Fingerprinting FAQ webpage.

Peer Review Reporting Requirement:

Beginning January 1, 2014, section 45 of CBA Regulations requires all licensees to report peer review information at the time of license renewal. CPAs/PAs who are not required to undergo peer review must still report to the CBA using the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12). Therefore, a licensee restoring a license to an active status at the time of renewal must report to the CBA on the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12).


If a licensee is restoring a license to an active status prior to the next renewal, the licensee does not need to complete and submit the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12) with the completed license restoration application or alternatively, the written submission requesting restoration to active status. However, the licensee will be required to submit the Peer Review Reporting Form PR-1 (Rev. 1/12) with the next license renewal following the restoration of the license to active status.

CE Requirements Following Restoration to Active Status from Retired Status:

If a licensee restores his or her license to active status at the time of renewal, all of the basic CE requirements described in section 87 will apply to the subsequent active license renewal.


Alternatively, if a licensee restores his or her license to active status prior to the next renewal, the licensee must complete 20 hours of CE for each full six-month period from the date of license restoration to the next license expiration date in order to fulfill the CE requirement for active status license renewal. If the time period between the date of license restoration and the next license expiration date is less than six full months, no CE is required for the next license renewal.


If subject to the A&A or Government Auditing CE requirement, the licensee must complete six hours of A&A or Government Auditing CE as part of each 20 hours of CE for each full six-month period. If subject to less than 24 hours of A&A or Governmental Auditing CE, the licensee will not be required to complete four hours of fraud CE for the next license renewal.


If licensees that recently restored to an active license status allow the license to expire and go delinquent, they are required to complete an additional 20 hours of CE for each full six-month period from the date of license expiration through the date they apply for license renewal, up to the maximum of 80 hours of CE. If less than six full months have passed between the date that the license expired and the date they apply for license renewal, no additional CE is required.


For Example: A licensee restored his or her license to active status six months prior to his or her license expiration date of March 31, 2015. To renew active, the licensee is required to complete 20 hours of CE by March 31, 2015. However, the license is not renewed until October 20, 2015. As more than six months has passed since the license expiration date, the licensee must now complete 40 hours of CE.