Continuing Professional Education Requirements for CPAs in California
About our programs
The CalCPA Education Foundation follows the provider requirements as prescribed in the California Board of Accountancy Regulations. To be in compliance with Section 88(1) of these regulations, we must monitor attendance and retain a record of attendance that accurately reflects the number of contact hours for participants, including those who arrive late and leave early.
CalCPA Education Foundation programs are developed to comply with the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs jointly issued by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and AICPA.
California Board of Accountancy
As a condition of active status license renewal, a licensee shall be required to have completed at least 80 hours of continuing education (CE) in the two-year period immediately preceding license renewal. A signed statement that appears on the renewal application wherein the licensee certifies to the completion of the required CE and the statement required by Section 89(a) must be submitted. A licensee engaged in the practice of public accountancy as defined in Section 5051 of the Business and Professions Code is required to hold a license in active status. No carryover of continuing education is permitted from one two-year period to another.
A licensee renewing a license in an active status shall complete a minimum of 20 hours in each year of the two-year license renewal period, with a minimum of 12 hours of the required 20 hours in technical subject areas as described in subsection (a)(2). Licensees shall complete a minimum of 50 percent of the required continuing education hours in the following technical subject areas: accounting, auditing, fraud, taxation, consulting, financial planning, ethics, regulatory review, computer and information technology (except for word processing), and specialized industry or government practices that focus primarily upon the maintenance and/or enhancement of the public accounting skills and knowledge needed to competently practice public accounting. Licensees may claim no more than 50 percent of the required number of continuing education hours in the following non-technical subject areas: communication skills, word processing, sales, marketing, motivational techniques, negotiation skills, office management, practice management and personnel management.
For specific credit requirements in government, accounting and auditing, regulatory review and ethics, and fraud, please refer to the credit index below.
If you have questions regarding your CPE requirements, contact the California Board of Accountancy, 2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95815-3832; www.dca.ca.gov/cba; (916) 263-3680.
The following continuing education regulations are taken from Section 5027 of the California Accountancy Act, Business and Professional Code—Division 3 Chapter 1.
Government [Accty. Regulation Sec. 87c)]: A licensee who plans, directs or conducts substantial portions of fieldwork, or reports on financial or compliance audits of a governmental agency at any time during the license period, shall be required, as a condition of license renewal, to complete 24 of the 80 hours required in governmental accounting, auditing or related subjects. View courses.
Accounting and Auditing (effective July 1, 1998 [Accty. Act Sec. 5027]): A licensee who provides audit, review, other attestation services, or issues compiled financial statement reports shall, during the two-year license renewal period, complete a minimum of 24 of the 80 hours of qualifying continuing education in the area of accounting and auditing related to reporting on financial statements. View courses.
Regulatory Review [Accty. Regulation Section 87.8]: In order to renew a license in an active status, a licensee shall, within the six years preceding the license expiration date, complete a continuing education course on the provisions of the California Accountancy Act and the California Board of Accountancy Regulations specific to the practice of public accountancy in California emphasizing provisions applicable to current practice situations. The course will also include an overview of historic and recent disciplinary actions taken by the Board, highlighting the misconduct that led to licensees being disciplined. The course shall be a minimum of two hours and approved by the Board. The two hours can be counted towards the 80 hours required pursuant to Section 87. View courses.
Ethics Continuing Education Requirement [Accty. Regulation Section 87(b)]: A licensee renewing a license in an active status shall complete four hours of the 80 hours of continuing education required pursuant to subsection (a) in an ethics course. The course subject matter shall consist of one or more of the following areas: a review of nationally recognized codes of conduct emphasizing how the codes relate to professional responsibilities; case-based instruction focusing on real-life situational learning; ethical dilemmas facing the accounting profession; or business ethics, ethical sensitivity, and consumer expectations. Programs in the following subject areas are not acceptable toward meeting this requirement: sexual harassment, workplace harassment, or workplace violence. Courses must be a minimum of one hour, as described in Section 88.2. View courses.
Fraud [Accty. Regulation Sec. 87(e)]: A licensee who is subject to the accounting and auditing (A&A) or government CE requirement will need to complete an additional four hours of fraud CE specifically related to the prevention, detection, and/or reporting of fraud affecting financial statements. The fraud CE requirement is part of the 80 hours required for license renewal but not the 24-hour A&A or government CE requirement. Fraud CE is not required for licensees who are not subject to the A&A or government CE requirement. View courses.
Auditors performing work under GAGAS, including planning, directing, performing field work, or reporting on an audit or attestation engagement under GAGAS, should maintain their professional competence through continuing professional education (CPE). Therefore, each auditor performing work under GAGAS should complete, every two-year period, at least 24 hours of CPE that directly relates to government auditing, the government environment, or the specific or unique environment in which the audited entity operates. Auditors who are involved in any amount of planning, directing, or reporting on GAGAS assignments and those auditors who are not involved in those activities but charge 20 percent or more of their time annually to GAGAS assignments should also obtain at least an additional 56 hours of CPE (for a total of 80 hours of CPE in every two year period) that enhances the auditor’s professional proficiency to perform audits or attestation engagements. Please refer to www.gao.gov, document GAO-05-5686, for further clarification. View Courses
License Reissuance or Stale Dated Experience
If a California CPA license has been canceled because the renewal fees were not paid for five years following the certificate expiration date, the CPA may apply for and obtain a new license, if qualified under the provisions of Section 5070.7, by meeting special continuing education requirements of Section 37 of the California Accountancy Regulations as follows:
An applicant who is applying for a reissued certificate shall, within two years prior to receipt of application, complete 80 hours of continuing education that meets the following requirements.
For applicants whose reissued certificate will authorize signing reports on attest engagements, the 80 hours must be completed in the following subject areas:
Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting (8 hours)
Financial Accounting Standards: A Comprehensive Review Course (16 hours)
Auditing Standards: A Comprehensive Review Course (16 hours)
Compilation and Review: A Basic Review and Update (8 hours)
Prevention, detection, and/or reporting of fraud affecting financial statements (8 hours)
For applicants whose reissued certificate will not authorize signing reports on attest engagements, courses in the following subject areas are required:
General education as described in Section 87 (80 hours)
CPE for CPAs in other states
Please contact your governing agency to determine if specific courses qualify for your CPE requirements.
CalCPA Education Foundation is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a Quality Assurance Service sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Website: http://www.nasbaregistry.org.
The California CPA Education Foundation has entered into program sponsor agreements with the following state boards of accountancy:
New York: 000224
New Jersey CE000164
Idaho: Courses qualify as acceptable continuing professional education programs provided they meet the standards outlined in Section 6 of the Board of Accountancy Rules and Regulations.
Kansas: Courses are designed to meet the requirements of regulation 74-4-8(a).
Louisiana: Correspondence programs qualify as acceptable continuing professional education programs in the state of Louisiana, provided they meet the requirements outlined in Chapter 7 of the State Board’s Rules and Regulations. Many courses are not accepted for CPE credit in Louisiana.
Michigan: We agreed to comply with the continuing professional education rules in R 338.5216.
Washington: For CPE Rules, visit www.cpaboard.wa.gov.
MCLE Legal Specifications
The California CPA Education Foundation is a State Bar of California Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) approved provider and is an approved provider of Legal Specialization in Taxation Law, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and Family Law. View available courses.
The California CPA Education Foundation has been approved by the California Tax Education Council to offer courses that provide federal and state credit towards the annual continuing education requirement imposed by the state of California. A listing of additional requirements to register as a tax preparer may be obtained by contacting CTEC at P.O. Box 2890, Sacramento, CA 95812-2890, by phone at 877-850-2832 or on the Internet at www.ctec.org. View available courses.
The California CPA Education Foundation has been approved by the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Office of Professional Responsibility to offer courses that qualify for continuing education credit for Enrolled Agents. View available courses.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits:
AA − Recommended for fulfilling the 24-hour AA CPE requirement.
ET − Recommended for fulfilling the Ethics CPE requirement (in California).
FR − Recommended for fulfilling the Fraud CPE requirement.
GT − Recommended for fulfilling the Government CPE requirement.
RR − Recommended for filling the Regulatory Review CPE requirement (in California)
YB − Recommended for fulfilling the Yellow Book CPE requirement.
For Enrolled Agents and Certified Tax Preparers:
CTEC-CA − Qualifies for California CTEC credit.
CTEC-ET − Qualifies for Ethics CTEC credit.
CTEC-FTL − Qualifies for Federal Tax Update CTEC credit.
CTEC-TX − Qualifies for Federal Tax Law CTEC credit.
IRS-ET − IRS Ethics
IRS-FTL − IRS Federal Tax Update
IRS-TX − IRS Federal Tax Law Topics
IRS-RT − IRS Retirement
For Certified Financial Planners:
CFP − Qualifies for CFP credit for Certified Financial Planners
MCLE − Qualifies for MCLE credit.
LS-EP − Qualifies for Legal Specialization (Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law).
LS-TX − Qualifies for Legal Specialization (Taxation Law).
LS-FL − Qualifies for Legal Specialization (Family Law).