(225 ILCS 450/16)
(from Ch. 111, par. 5517)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2024)
Expiration and renewal of licenses; renewal of registration;
continuing education; peer review.
(a) The expiration date and renewal period for each license or registration
issued under this Act shall be set by rule.
(b) Every holder of a license or registration under this Act may renew such license or registration before the expiration date upon payment of the required renewal fee as set by rule.
(c) Every application for renewal of a license by a licensed CPA who has been licensed under this Act for 3 years or more shall be accompanied or supported by any evidence the Department shall prescribe, in satisfaction of completing continuing professional education as prescribed by Department rules. All continuing education sponsors applying to the Department for registration shall be required to submit an initial nonrefundable application fee set by Department rule. Each registered continuing education sponsor shall be required to pay an annual renewal fee set by Department rule. Publicly supported colleges, universities, and governmental agencies located in Illinois are exempt from payment of any fees required for continuing education sponsor registration. Failure by a continuing education sponsor to be licensed or pay the fees prescribed in this Act, or to comply with the rules and regulations established by the Department under this Section regarding requirements for continuing education courses or sponsors, shall constitute grounds for revocation or denial of renewal of the sponsor's registration.
(d) Licensed CPAs are exempt from the continuing professional education requirement for the first renewal period following the original issuance of the license.
Failure by an applicant for renewal of a license as a licensed CPA to furnish the evidence shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action, unless the Department in its discretion shall determine the failure to have been due to reasonable cause. The Department, in its discretion, may renew a license despite failure to furnish evidence of satisfaction of requirements of continuing education upon condition that the applicant follow a particular program or schedule of continuing education. In issuing rules and individual orders in respect of requirements of continuing education, the Department in its discretion may, among other things, use and rely upon guidelines and pronouncements of recognized educational and professional associations; may prescribe rules for the content, duration, and organization of courses; shall take into account the accessibility to applicants of such continuing education as it may require, and any impediments to interstate practice of public accounting that may result from differences in requirements in other states; and may provide for relaxation or suspension of requirements in regard to applicants who certify that they do not intend to engage in the performance of accountancy activities, and for instances of individual hardship.
The Department shall establish by rule a means for the verification of completion of the continuing education required by this Section. This verification may be accomplished through audits of records maintained by licensees; by requiring the filing of continuing education certificates with the Department; or by other means established by the Department.
The Department may establish, by rule, guidelines for acceptance of continuing education on behalf of licensed CPAs taking continuing education courses in other jurisdictions.
(e) For renewals on and after July 1, 2012, as a condition for granting a renewal license to CPA firms and sole practitioners who perform accountancy activities outlined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Section 8.05 under this Act, the Department shall require that the CPA firm or sole practitioner satisfactorily complete a peer review during the immediately preceding 3-year period, accepted by a Peer Review Administrator in accordance with established standards for performing and reporting on peer reviews, unless the CPA firm or sole practitioner is exempted under the provisions of subsection (i) of this Section. A CPA firm or sole practitioner shall, at the request of the Department, submit to the Department a letter from the Peer Review Administrator stating the date on which the peer review was satisfactorily completed.
A new CPA firm or sole practitioner shall not be required to comply with the peer review requirements for the first license renewal. A CPA firm or sole practitioner shall comply with the Department's rules adopted under this Act and agree to notify the Peer Review Administrator within 30 days after accepting an engagement for services requiring a license under this Act and to undergo a peer review within 18 months after the end of the period covered by the engagement.
The requirements of this subsection (e) shall not apply to any person providing services requiring a license under this Act to the extent that such services are provided in the capacity of an employee of the Office of the Auditor General or to a nonprofit cooperative association engaged in the rendering of licensed service to its members only under paragraph (3) of Section 14.4 of this Act or any of its employees to the extent that such services are provided in the capacity of an employee of the association.
(f) The Department shall approve only Peer Review Administrators that the Department finds comply with established standards for performing and reporting on peer reviews. The Department may adopt rules establishing guidelines for peer reviews, which shall do all of the following:
(1) Require that a peer review be conducted by a
reviewer that is independent of the CPA firm reviewed and approved by the Peer Review Administrator under established standards.
(2) Other than in the peer review process, prohibit
the use or public disclosure of information obtained by the reviewer, the Peer Review Administrator, or the Department during or in connection with the peer review process. The requirement that information not be publicly disclosed shall not apply to a hearing before the Department that the CPA firm or sole practitioner requests be public or to the information described in paragraph (3) of subsection (i) of this Section.
(g) If a CPA firm or sole practitioner fails to satisfactorily complete a peer review as required by subsection (e) of this Section or does not comply with any remedial actions determined necessary by the Peer Review Administrator, the Peer Review Administrator shall notify the Department of the failure and shall submit a record with specific references to the rule, statutory provision, professional standards, or other applicable authority upon which the Peer Review Administrator made its determination and the specific actions taken or failed to be taken by the licensee that in the opinion of the Peer Review Administrator constitutes a failure to comply. The Department may at its discretion or shall upon submission of a written application by the CPA firm or sole practitioner hold a hearing under Section 20.1 of this Act to determine whether the CPA firm or sole practitioner has complied with subsection (e) of this Section. The hearing shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public unless requested by the CPA firm or sole practitioner.
(h) The CPA firm or sole practitioner reviewed shall pay for any peer review performed. The Peer Review Administrator may charge a fee to each firm and sole practitioner sufficient to cover costs of administering the peer review program.
(i) A CPA firm or sole practitioner shall not be required to comply with the peer review requirements if:
(1) Within 3 years before the date of application for
renewal licensure, the sole practitioner or CPA firm has undergone a peer review conducted in another state or foreign jurisdiction that meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (f) of this Section. The sole practitioner or CPA firm shall, at the request of the Department, submit to the Department a letter from the organization administering the most recent peer review stating the date on which the peer review was completed; or
(2) Within 2 years before the date of application for
renewal licensure, the sole practitioner or CPA firm satisfies all of the following conditions:
(A) has not accepted or performed any accountancy
activities outlined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Section 8.05 of this Act; and
(B) the firm or sole practitioner agrees to
notify the Peer Review Administrator within 30 days of accepting an engagement for services requiring a license under this Act and to undergo a peer review within 18 months after the end of the period covered by the engagement; or
(3) For reasons of personal health, military service,
or other good cause, the Department determines that the sole practitioner or firm is entitled to an exemption, which may be granted for a period of time not to exceed 12 months.
(j) If a peer review report indicates that a CPA firm or sole practitioner complies with the appropriate professional standards and practices set forth in the rules of the Department and no further remedial action is required, the Peer Review Administrator shall, after issuance of the final letter of acceptance, destroy all working papers and documents related to the peer review, other than report-related documents and documents evidencing completion of remedial actions, if any, in accordance with rules established by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 100-419, eff. 8-25-17.)