Sep 30, 2013

Act 15 Opens Licensing Opportunities, but Do You Need CPE First?

By Mike Colgan, PICPA Executive Director and CEO

Act 15, which amends the CPA Law in Pennsylvania to allow for a more general experience requirement prior to licensing, went into effect Aug. 19, 2013. Many CPA applications have been filed with the State Board of Accountancy since that time, and one question that keeps getting asked is whether a new candidate will need CPE prior to the upcoming biennial license expiration on Dec. 31, 2013.

If you passed the CPA Exam in 2012-2013, you are able to get a license without obtaining CPE for the 2014-2015 license period. If you passed the exam prior to 2012, and are applying for your initial license after Oct. 1, 2013, you will need 80 hours of CPE, including 16 hours in accounting and auditing, eight hours in tax, and four hours in ethics in the preceding 24 months from when you apply. You will receive a license for the 2014-2015 period.

The PICPA has numerous opportunities to help both new and existing licensees get their required CPE. One of our newest is On-Demand CPE. Our On-Demand course library continues to grow, with more than 60 programs available on hot topics such as ethics, Act 32, the Affordable Care Act, financial reporting frameworks for small and medium-sized entities, and pension accounting, among other topics. You can learn from expert speakers on your own schedule from your desktop, tablet, or mobile device. One of the best features is that once you pass the online exam you instantly earn your credits.

Professional Issues Are Your Issues

Fall marks the return of the PICPA Professional Issues Update tour around Pennsylvania. This is an excellent opportunity for PICPA members to receive two hours of free CPE while interacting with PICPA leadership and your peers and discussing key issues and trends affecting your practice, your business, accounting education, and the state of the economy in Pennsylvania.

More than 1,000 members take time from their busy schedules each year to learn about legislative initiatives in Harrisburg and Washington and the impact these issues will have going forward. Professional and strategic issues on the PICPA and AICPA agendas are discussed, and program participants have the ability to shape the discussion to address areas of concern.

As we work to finalize the agenda for the Professional Issues Update program, I would be interested in hearing from you on topics or issues that you would like to see included in this program. Recently PICPA polled attendees of our Leadership Conference and received some great responses. These leaders think the PICPA should be looking at tax simplification in Pennsylvania, succession planning opportunities, and various technical topics. These issues will be included in the Professional Issues Update. But we also want to know which legislative or regulatory issues cause you the most angst, or provide you with new opportunities? What does PICPA do (or not do) to add value to your membership? What issues keep you up at night? Hit the Comment button on this page to let me know.

This is your Professional Issues Update, so help shape the agenda! A list of program dates and registration can be found at www.picpa.org.

There will also be one-hour Professional Issues Update webinars available.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.