CPAs Beware Branding Strategy

CPAs Beware Branding Strategy

CPAs Beware Branding Strategy as individuals offering their services to assist CPA’s, attorneys, and other professionals CPAs Beware Branding Strategymay fail to recognize the restrictions that regulatory agencies impose on professions. In many cases, bad advice is a recipe for disaster.

We came across an article entitled “How To Name A Cannabis Company” by Celeste Miranda which states

If you’re an cannabis accountant your signature service could be saving small cannabis businesses an additional 10% off their taxes. That doesn’t mean the same firm couldn’t also offer bookkeeping and audits and other services.

Ms. Miranda may know something about marketing, but she is completely ignorant of the constraints on naming accountants, well certified public accountants [“CPA’s] and law firms anyway. Specifically, in the case of CPA’s, the California Board of Accountancy [“CBA”] has very specific rules associated with fictitious names of CPA’s and CPA firms… The selection of a name that violates those rules could cost a CPA or firm thousands of dollars in having to change to a compliant name or worse, be sanctioned for a violation of the CBA rules. The author should have a better understanding of the potential consequences before she offers advice.

The CBA website states:

A sole proprietor who wishes to practice under a fictitious name must register with, and be approved by, the California Board of Accountancy (CBA) before practicing and holding out to the public.

You may not practice public accounting using a name other than the one printed on your certificate unless you have also registered that name with the CBA. A fictitious name will not be issued to an accountancy corporation or accountancy partnership.

Licensees intending to operate under a fictitious name should carefully review section 67 of Title 16. The name of the firm must meet the requirements set forth in section 5060 of the Business and Professions Code and section 75.5 of Title 16. CBA staff is unable to provide guidance regarding whether a particular fictitious name will be considered false and misleading by your clients; therefore, licensees are encouraged to contact their legal counsel for guidance.

There is no fee for a fictitious name registration. Fax copies of the application will not be processed.

Any registration issued under this section shall expire five years after the date of issuance unless renewed prior to expiration.

The CBA provides a checklist you can find here.  You can also check out our overview of professional regulation for tax pro’s here.

Author: abizcannabis

Managing Director & CEO of integrated transactional financial advisory, tax, and technology consulting firm - aBIZinaBOX Inc New York, Chicago, and OaklandCPA.CITP.CISM.CGEIT.CGMAExpertise with: Alt. Investments/Private Equity, Real Estate, Professional Services, CA Cannabis, Tech Start-Ups and Distressed Assets/DebtTechnology Certifications including:Advanced & High Complexity Cloud Integrator AICPA PCPS, CAQ,, IMTA, CITP ISACA CGEIT, CISMState CPA Societies in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and TexasExpertise with Regulatory Compliance - US - HIPAA, FINRA, SEC Rule 17(a)(3)/(4), eDiscovery, FINCEN - EU- EBA, ESMA, EIOPA UK - BoE, PRA, FCA