How Many U.S. CPAs? More Than 664,532, NASBA Says

For the first time, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) has released a CPA population statistic that represents the total number of individual, U.S. licensed CPAs – at least 664,532 as of April 22.

This new statistic is derived from NASBA’s Accountancy Licensee Database (ALD), the national database of CPAs comprised of official Board of Accountancy data that is aggregated from 51 of the 55 CPA licensing jurisdictions. The number does not include CPAs in Delaware, Hawaii, Utah and Wisconsin.

It represents the total number of individual CPAs that are considered to be in an “active” status 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 has one of the most accelerated data-sharing programs among state-regulated professions because of the amount of data being contributed by the participating boards,” said Maria Caldwell, chief legal officer and director of compliance services for NASBA. “Without the ongoing efforts of the state boards and their willingness to collaborate and preserve the CPA designation, there would not be the unprecedented degree of data that is currently shared between state boards.” About 98% of the world’s CPA licensee information is housed in the public database.

The free, public version of the database, CPAverify.org, can be used to verify if a person or firm is licensed to practice public accounting and if there is any enforcement history on the record. License numbers, issue dates, license status, a flag of existing enforcement history and other details are included.

The new CPA population statistic will be updated quarterly and made available on NASBA’s website.