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May 25, 2016

America’s accountancy population counts 664,532 CPAs and over 22,940 CMAs

There are currently 664,532 licensed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the USA, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

The figure stems from NASBA’s Accountancy Licensee Database (ALD) as at 22April 2016.

NASBA’s database includes information from 51 State Boards of Accountancy. There are 55 boards in total, one on each CPA licensing jurisdictions.

These jurisdictions are America’s 50 states plus the following: Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Among the current 664,532 licensed CPAs there is no representation from four jurisdictions: Delaware, Hawaii, Utah and Wisconsin.

In a statement NASBA said such a total number represents individual CPAs who are considered to be active by their respective boards.

"A majority of which can be matched across state lines to assure licensees who are licensed in multiple states are only counted once. Before the existence of the ALD, this ability to eliminate the duplicate licensees across state lines when calculating the total CPA population was not possible," NASBA explained.

The database, created in 2004, is now available to the public to conduct background checks on individual CPAs and firms. The ALD’s website is called CPAverify.org.

Elizabeth Stanton, ALD and CPAverify manager, said: .

"CPAverify.org enables consumers of financial services to verify the licensure and disciplinary history of CPAs, which not only provides incredible protection to the public, but also promotes the CPA designation while dissuading fraudulent use."

Out the total 664,532 CPAs reported by NASBA, more than half, 61%, are members of the AICPA, which is a membership organisation that CPAs voluntarily can join with approximately 412,000 accountants.

In addition, the population of USA qualified management accountants (professionals holding the Certified Management Accountant certification or CMA) grew to 22,940 in 2015, according to the latest USA survey of The Accountant.

Those CMAs belong to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) whose total worldwide membership, including CMA candidates, grew to 77,956 in the same year.

Related storyUS survey: The quest for growth continues overseas

(Note: This story has been amended on 3 June 2016 to reflect that NASBA’s ALD was created in 2004 and its website CPAverify.org is already available)

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