Dec 13, 2016

Your CPA License Renewal: Don’t Be a State Board Audit Statistic

Francesca ZampaglioneBy Francesca Zampaglione, CPA, CGMA, former PICPA vice president - learning and development

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy (SBA) released the results of its latest CPE audit. They weren’t great. In fact, nearly 13 percent of those audited failed. The outcome is disappointing, no doubt, but some of the reasons behind the failures are quite surprising.

Failed stampThe biggest audit failure was related to one of the more basic rules that the state board requires: meeting 80 hours of continuing education over a two-year reporting period. The second-highest failure was with licensees not obtaining the minimum four hours of ethics.

A summary of the SBA’s requirements was posted in a CPA Now blog recently, and can be found here.

The SBA selects approximately 10 percent of licensees for audit. Lucky licensees are notified via mail of their lottery “win,” and must provide support for their continuing education credits. While CPAs are required to have a certain number of hours, they are not required to submit support unless they are asked to do so via an audit.

Here are five ways to steer clear of renewal violations that could put your CPA license in jeopardy:

  1. Obtain a total of 80 hours of professional education over the two-year reporting year period.
  2. Obtain a minimum of 20-hours in each year of a reporting cycle.
  3. Obtain the required minimum in the subject areas of ethics, tax, and accounting and auditing.
  4. Obtain your credits from an approved program sponsor. (The PICPA is an approved program sponsor of the SBA!)
  5. Claim no more than 40 hours of self-study CPE.

The PICPA works closely with our members to provide support during the renewal process, but all renewals must be submitted directly to the SBA.

The PICPA is not a governmental entity, thus it has no ability to issue licenses. We can, however, provide guidance and approved CPE to help you meet your requirements.

1 comment

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  • ProWeb365 | Mar 22, 2017
    Thanks Francesca for very informative post. It's great to know about 5 ways to steer clear of renewal violations...

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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.