If you would like to request a list of licensees, candidates, or firms from Board records, please complete and submit the List Request form
through our payment portal or by mail to the Board office.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CPA OR PA
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Public Accountant (PA) is a person who has met the requirements of Oregon law and has been issued a permit to practice public accounting by the Oregon Board of Accountancy.
Only persons who are licensed may call themselves a Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant. CPAs and PAs provide accounting, auditing, tax, financial planning, and management consulting services.
In order for you to get the most value from a CPA or PA it is important to first analyze your current and future needs. This will help you to select someone who can address your particular concerns.
When you choose a CPA or PA:
- Check the license status from our Licensee Look-up or call the Oregon Board of Accountancy at (503) 378-4181. Specifically, make sure the license is current, and inquire whether there have been any disciplinary actions against the licensee.
- Interview the prospective CPA or PA either by telephone or in person. A common inquiry is "what type of accounting work do you typically perform?" Compare the licensee´s experience to your service needs.
- To what professional organizations does the CPA/PA belong? To what extent is he or she an active member? You may wish to ask if a firm has non-CPA owners. OAR 801-010-0340, allows a public accounting firm to have non-licensee owners if certain requirements are met.
- Talk frankly with a CPA/PA about fees. It is important to make certain before any work is done that you receive an engagement letter detailing the work to be performed for you, who will specifically be performing the work, and the cost of the service.
SELECTING A CPA OR PA FROM THE INTERNET
It is now possible to purchase public accounting services on the internet. While this is a convenient way to access a broad range of services, it is important to "do your homework" before selecting a licensed accountant. Because internet practice does not allow face-to-face client contact, it may be easier for unqualified, unlicensed persons to pose as licensees. Remember as well that a practitioner offering services on the internet may be physically located anywhere in the world.
To provide CPA services to consumers in Oregon, a practitioner should be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant by the Oregon Board of Accountancy, (or may be practicing in Oregon under provisions of mobility OAR 801-010-0080).
The information below should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to purchase public accounting services on the internet. Rather, these tips are offered as consumer protection suggestions in advance of contemplating the selection of an internet practitioner.
- Keep in mind that if you encounter a problem with an accountant who is not licensed by the Oregon Board of Accountancy, the Board will probably not be able to assist you.
- Check the status of the licensee using our Licensee Look-Up or call the Oregon Board office at (503) 378-4181. Make sure the practitioner holds a current Oregon license. You may also want to ask if there has been any disciplinary action against the licensee.
- Interview the licensee either by e-mail or telephone to ensure that he or she can provide the services that you need. Ask about procedures for providing and receiving information. If you are interested in income tax preparation services, ask if the licensee can be reached later in the year if you need help with an audit. What are their policies or concerns about timeliness, accuracy and confidentiality?
- It is of primary importance to make certain that before any work is done by the CPA or PA that you receive an engagement letter or other written documentation detailing the work to be performed for you, who specifically will be performing the work and the cost of the services.
- If you are using the internet to obtain a directory of CPAs, keep in mind that the directory listing does not ensure that the person is well-qualified. You always want to contact the Oregon Board of Accountancy to ensure the person is properly licensed.
- Verify that the information given by the firm on its website matches the information on record with the Oregon Board of Accountancy. Does the address on the website match the address on the Board's Licensee Look-Up?
- This message is modified for Oregon consumers with permission from its originator, The California Board of Accountancy