PICPA - CPA License Renewal Questions


 

CPA License Renewal Questions

Q. Where can I find a listing of my PICPA courses that I attended?
A. A summary of the PICPA professional education events you have attended is available in the My Account section of the PICPA website. A certificate of completion is available about two weeks after each course and you will receive an e-mail once it is posted. The PICPA no longer mails annual CPE history letters. In the event a signed letter is required, contact the Professional Education Team at education@picpa.org. The PICPA approved-sponsor ID number for Pennsylvania is PX000490L.

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Q. How do I report my CPE hours for my license renewal?
A. When you receive your postcard reminder from the State Board and you have completed all of the CPE requirements, log onto the State Board website to renew your license. The renewal fee is $100 and you are no longer required to enter individual course information on your renewal application. Once you have completed the renewal process, print a copy of your application before submission for your records.

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Q. When should I complete my individual license renewal application?
A. You must complete the required CPE before renewing your license. The renewal application should be completed on or before Dec. 31 of the odd numbered year in the biannual reporting period.

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Q. When do I file my individual license renewal application if I do not complete the CPE requirements until Dec. 31?
A. Even if you will not complete your CPE requirements until late December, it is strongly recommended that you access your renewal application on the State Board  website upon receiving your postcard to ensure you can properly access your information. You can submit your renewal application when you have completed your CPE requirements, enter the remaining information, and file your renewal application by Dec. 31. You must file your renewal application no later than Dec. 31.

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Q. If I am the “key person” for my firm’s license renewal, when can I complete the firm license renewal application?
A. If you are designated as the “key person” in your firm responsible for the renewal of your firm’s license to practice, you may renew the firm license as soon as you receive your postcard from the State Board. You do not need to wait until your individual CPE requirement is completed. Be sure to renew your firm license prior to Dec. 31, to ensure that your firm remains licensed to provide public accounting services. You no longer need to submit your peer review acceptance letter but may have to submit peer review information.

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Q. Where can I find out if a program sponsor is approved under the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy’s regulations?
A. The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy is the regulatory body responsible for licensing CPE program sponsors. Only CPE courses provided by approved vendors will qualify toward your renewal requirement. The Pennsylvania Board maintains a list of approved program sponsors on its website. The one exemption from maintaining a program sponsor license with the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy is a member in good standing of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) National Registry of Continuing Professional Education Sponsors.

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Q. Can I request extensions or waivers of my peer review or CPE license renewal requirements?
A. Any request for a waiver or extension of time to complete either peer review or CPE requirements must be sent to the State Board in writing, documenting the reason(s) for the request. This request must be received by the State Board prior to the end of the reporting period. 

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Q. What should I do if I did not receive a license renewal notification from the State Board?
A. If you have moved since you last renewed your license, or transferred from inactive to active status, and have not received your renewal notification from the State Board by mid-November, contact them immediately at (717) 783-1404 or by e-mail at ST-ACCOUNTANCY@state.pa.us to request a renewal form. The State Board does not forward renewal notices.

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Q. Can I request to have my license to practice placed on inactive status through the license renewal process?
A. If you plan to request inactive status because you no longer practice public accounting, you may do so through the online renewal. Remember, if you are a CPA with an inactive license, but still use the CPA designation on letterhead, business cards, or as a mark of achievement, you need to have the word “inactive” following the designation.

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Q. What are the CPE requirements for Pennsylvania CPAs?
A. Pennsylvania CPAs are required to obtain 80 hours of CPE credits per biennial period. The 80 credit hours must include at least 16 credit hours in accounting and auditing subjects, eight credit hours in tax subjects, and four hours in ethics subjects. In addition, there is a minimum requirement of 20 credit hours per year.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy requires that all individuals or entities offering a program for continuing education credit must apply to the Board for approval as a program sponsor. Licensees should confirm a sponsor's approval under the regulations prior to registering for a program.

Licensees who participate in programs provided by unapproved sponsors need to take additional steps and not assume the training qualifies for continuing education credits. Those steps include determining whether the program met all requirements of CPE and the program sponsor met all responsibilities under the regulations and maintaining documentation to support these claims. For more details on the CPE requirements and program sponsor responsibilities, review the regulations of the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.

PICPA is an approved sponsor of CPE programs as required by the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York State Boards of Accountancy.

  • PA State Board of Accountancy Sponsor Number PX000490L
  • NJ State Board of Accountancy Sponsor Number 20CE00027000
  • NY State Board of Accountancy Sponsor Number 002218

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Q. What is the penalty if I do not meet the 20 credit-hour minimum?
A. Per the State Board of Accountancy, your first offense (1 to 20 hour deficiency) is $300. Second or subsequent offense results in formal action. For more details about violations and penalties, visit the State Board of Accountancy's website.

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Q. How many credits do I report for self-study courses?
A. The State Board defines two types of individual study, interactive and noninteractive as follows:

"Interactive individual study program - A continuing education program designed to use interactive learning methodologies that simulate a classroom learning process by employing software, other courseware or administrative systems that provide significant ongoing interactive feedback to the learner regarding the learning process which issues a certificate of completion."

"Non-interactive individual study program - A continuing education program designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject without interaction with an instructor or interactive learning methodologies which issues a certificate of completion upon the participant's achieving a 70 percent minimum grade on a written examination or workbook."

Further, interactive study programs shall be given one credit hour of continuing education credit for each 50 minutes of participation. Non-interactive programs shall be given credit based upon one-half the average completion time calculated by the sponsor.

The Pennsylvania State Board accepts credit from individual study programs, however, the maximum continuing education credit from self-study courses is limited to 50 percent of the biennial requirement, or 40 hours.

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Q. Are PICPA webinars or on-demand courses considered self-study?
A. PICPA webinars are live and qualified as "group study" for CPE reporting requirements. PICPA on-demand CPE courses are considered self-study and are limited to 50 percent of the biennial requirement, or 40 hours.

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Q. What does the State Board do with the information submitted on my license renewal application?
A. The State Board verifies that the renewal application has been accurately completed and re-issues permits to practice. A random number of renewal forms will be selected for an audit, which will require the licensee to provide further documentation of individual CPE hours. In addition, under the Business License Information Exchange Program, state agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction will provide your demographic renewal information to the Department of Revenue. The department will then verify that the entities/persons seeking a license renewal are compliant with their state tax obligations. If you (or your firm) have an outstanding state tax obligation, or you do not meet the CPE or peer review relicensing requirements, you will be subject to disciplinary action by the State Board.

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Q. What if I misplaced my registration code number and my password necessary to renew my license?
A. Contact the State Board immediately via e-mail and request the information. Include your certificate number, name as it appears on your license, and phone number to expedite the process.

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Q. How long should I keep my CPE records?
A. According to the State Board of Accountancy, evidence to support fulfillment of those CPE requirements shall be maintained for five years after the completion of educational courses. For more information, go to http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/049/chapter11/s11.68.html.

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