The Certified Audit Program is a cooperative program between the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) and the FICPA and was created to increase voluntary compliance by taxpayers and is a true form of privatization. The program also provides CPA firms the opportunity to grow their business while serving the needs of their clients. The individual CPA and the CPA firm must both be qualified to conduct certified audits.
Increased Business Opportunities
- Ability to charge standard market rates for providing service to businesses and companies.
- Expand firm services to include sales and use tax consulting and advisory services.
- Expanded staff knowledge and skills in state tax and auditing.
Certification in Florida Sales and Use Tax (CFST)
- Hold an active Florida CPA license.
- Complete the mandatory 2.5 days live training program.
- Pass the Certified Audit Exam (CAE).
- DOR issues CFST designation.
- Attend training on the Florida Multi-Tax software.
CPA Firm Requirements
- Be a licensed audit firm as defined in Chapter 472.3101, F.S.
- Be "independent" with respect to the client/taxpayer.
- Have a current on-site/system peer review with a Pass opinion.
- Have an engagement team member (outside of those who have earned their CFST) complete the Practitioner Level Certified Audit self-study course and pass exam.
Benefit for Taxpayers
Under the Certified Audit Program, taxpayers are able to hire specifically trained and DOR-approved CPA firms to conduct sales, use and local-option tax audits in accordance with DOR standards and the technical standards of the CPA profession.
To encourage business entities to participate in this voluntary program, some strong incentives have been built into the program. For example, taxpayers participating in the Certified Audit Program receive:
- Guaranteed waiver of any penalties resulting from the certified audit.
- Abatement of the first $25,000 in interest, 25 percent of any interest over $25,000; and
- An approved certified audit report that closes the taxpayer from any further audits by the DOR for the period and the tax that was audited.
Other benefits include:
- Ability to deduct the cost of hiring a CPA as a normal business expense.
- Ability of the business entity to schedule the certified audit at its own convenience.
As of June 2017, the collections under the Certified Audit Program total over $23.91 million - money that may never have come to the state.
Florida taxpayers now have the option of using a Certified Auditor to conduct a sales tax audit for a transferee liability certificate. For more information, see the Florida Department of Revenue website or contact Mia Thomas at email@example.com.
The Florida Institute of CPAs is NASBA QAS approved.
The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.
QAS sponsorship applies to self-study programs only; QAS sponsors are able to award one credit for every 50 minutes of self-study.
For more information on FICPA CPE policies for self-study such as refunds or complaints, contact the Member Services at (800) 342-3197 or (850) 224-2727 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.