Certified Professions Under Fire in Louisiana and other States

May 24, 2018


The American Institute of CPAs’ State Regulation and Legislation team is monitoring legislative activity around the country that aims to reduce licensing requirements for some occupations but could negatively affect the CPA profession’s mobility.

Louisiana introduced legislation to eliminate excess regulations associated with occupational licensing. Sponsors of the Occupational Licensing Review Act argued that the legislation will lower barriers to employment. However, it could also have a negative impact on professions that use certifications, including the CPA profession, to enhance consumer protection.

Thanks to the Society of Louisiana CPAs and its partners, however, the legislation was amended to remove many of the troubling sections.

The amended legislation removed language that would have banned the use of the term "certified" as a title, or part of a title, unless that term is authorized in the statute regulating the profession. This would have essentially prevented certified professionals from using the title unless the certification is a requirement for licensure.

Additionally, the amended bill removed language that established a standard of review that required regulations be promulgated through the “least restrictive means” available. The language included a range of alternatives to regulation, including the option of no regulation at all. The bill now requires an annual review of 20 percent of the state’s current occupational regulations with all regulations reviewed within the subsequent five years. Reviews will then repeat every 5 years thereafter.

As of today, the bill has passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.

Louisiana is just one state in many that have introduced legislation aimed at easing regulatory requirements for occupational and professional licenses. The AICPA is currently tracking over 50 bills that either alter, restrict, remove or decrease state regulatory board licensing authority.