Unlicensed Activity FAQ

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Unlicensed Activity FAQ

What is unlicensed activity?

Unlicensed activity occurs when a person performs or offers to perform a job or service that requires licensure, such as the services provided by a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Unlicensed activity in this profession is a criminal offense and is referred for prosecution to the local State Attorney.

CPAs are licensed and regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Certified Public Accounting.  Not all accountants are CPAs.  In order to be a CPA, one must pass the uniform CPA examination, meet the requirements of Florida state laws and be issued a license by the Florida Board of Accountancy.  Licensed CPAs, including sole proprietors, are only allowed to practice in a licensed firm.

According to Florida law, only CPAs can perform certain services such as audits, reviews, compilations and issue opinions regarding financial statements.  If an individual or business requires these services, they must use a licensed CPA.  An accountant is not required to have a state-issued license to prepare taxes.  Also, a license is not required to perform certain bookkeeping services.

Why is it a problem?

Unlicensed activity is a serious threat to the financial well-being of Florida residents and visitors. Unlicensed activity also is detrimental to business, taking jobs away from properly licensed Certified Public Accountants who undergo rigorous education, testing and licensure requirements. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has made enforcement of licensure regulation a priority.  Your video may be used to help educate the public on this matter.

What are the key message points to include in the video?
  1. What is unlicensed activity and how do you recognize it?
  2. Why is it important to use a CPA?  What skills and competencies do CPAs have that other accountants do not have?
  3. What type of accounting work requires a CPA?
  4. Know where to go online for more information and resources on unlicensed activity
Where can I get more information on licensure?

See the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Certified Public Accountants webpage at:

Where can I view unlicensed activity messaging and CPA PSAs produced in prior campaigns?


Who can I contact for more information about licensing and unlicensed activity?

Office of Communications
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
1940 N. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2208
(850) 922-8981

Who can I contact for more information about "The Impostulators” contest?

Communications and Marketing
Florida Institute of CPAs
P.O. Box 5437
Tallahassee, FL  32314
(850) 224-2727, Ext. 380