2019 Sunset Review Success!

(May 25, 2019) - Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Sunset bill (HB 1520) into law on Friday, May 24! Congratulations goes to TXCPA volunteers for their exceptional advocacy efforts to get this vital legislation passed for the CPA profession in Texas. 

The reauthorization of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) and the Texas Public Accountancy Act (TPAA) and the successful completion of the Sunset Review process means that the licensed CPA profession in Texas will continue unabated!

The Sunset law will continue TSBPA and the TPAA for another 12 years, until 2031. The effective date on the legislation is September 1, 2019.

Also see: Fingerprint-Based Background Check for CPAs
If you submitted electronic fingerprints to the TSBPA after September 1, 2014, no additional fingerprints are required. Retired or disability status licensees as defined in Board Rule 515.8 will also be exempt from fingerprinting.

Background and Timeline

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy was up for review during the 2019 Texas Legislative session.

Sunset Review of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) and the Texas Public Accountancy Act (TPAA) was the number one issue for TXCPA during the 2019 Texas Legislative session. Our top priority was to assure a successful completion of the Sunset Review process and the reauthorization of TSBPA and the TPAA so the licensed profession in Texas will continue unabated.

  • On May 3,  the Sunset Bill (HB 1520) was passed in the Texas Senate. The bill now goes back to the Texas House because a minor amendment was added to the bill in the Senate. TXCPA expects the House to accept the amendment. Once the House approves the amended legislation it will be sent to the governor. (5-3-19)

  • On April 16, the Sunset bill (HB 1520) was presented to a Texas Senate committee by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin). This relatively early committee hearing for the bill is a very encouraging sign for its eventual passage. (4-19-19)

  • On April 3, the Texas House passed the Sunset Bill (HB 1520) ! The focus now shifts to Texas Senate acceptance of the House version of the bill. (4-3-19) View HB 1520 (updated)

  • Testimony of John Sharbaugh, Managing Director, TXCPA Government Affairs before the Texas House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures (3-12-19)

  • Sunset bill introduced in Texas House of Representatives (2-14-19) | View HB 1520 and Texas Senate (2-19-19) | View SB 613

Sunset Review Commission Public Hearings

  • Sunset Commission Adopts Final Report (11-15-18) - The Texas Sunset Commission adopted a final report on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) and the Texas Public Accountancy Act (TPAA).  The Commission voted to continue the TSBPA and the TPAA for another 12 years (until 2031).  Commission decision document

  • Round One (9-18) - TXCPA Managing Director John Sharbaugh, CAE, discusses the status of the review process.
  • News update (8-31-18) - Details on the review process.
  • TXCPA Testimony (8-30-18) - See comments from TSCPA Chairman Stephen Parker, CPA-Houston, and TXCPA Managing Director John Sharbaugh, CAE. 

Commission Staff Report and Responses

Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Releases Staff Report on Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (8-2-18) The Society reviewed the report and provided testimony at public hearings before the Commission at a public hearing in Austin on Aug. 29-30, 2018.

Responses to Staff Report


What is Sunset Review?

The Texas Legislature established the Sunset Advisory Commission in 1977. Sunset exists to provide regular reviews of state agency operations and spending — and to automatically end those operations, unless the Legislature specifically reauthorizes the agency.

Under the Texas Sunset Act, an agency under review (such as the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy) can be abolished or have some of its functions transferred to another agency.

Texas’ Sunset Advisory Commission is an agency governed by legislative appointees. The lieutenant governor appoints five senators and one public member to serve as commissioners; the speaker of the House appoints five representatives and another public member. A staff of about 30, including a director, policy analysts and administrative staff, report to the commission.

Although Sunset may appear to be an “insider” process, “Outside input is critical — it’s how Sunset staff gets the broad perspective it needs to understand the issues surrounding the agencies under review, and how the Sunset Commission gets feedback on the recommendations offered in the Sunset staff report,” says Jennifer Jones, deputy director of the agency.  

“More often than not, the feedback received from stakeholders helps focus the commission’s attention on key problem areas and develop workable solutions, including changes to law and management directives,” she says.

Every state entity other than universities, courts and agencies established by the state constitution is subject to periodic review by the Sunset Commission — about 130 in all. Agencies generally undergo a Sunset review about once every 12 years. Read more.