What You Need to Know to Reactivate Your Pennsylvania CPA License
Sep 23, 2019

What You Need to Know to Reactivate Your Pennsylvania CPA License

By Meg Killian, PICPA's Vice President of Member Relations
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Maybe you decided to open a coffee shop, or trek one of the world’s greatest mountains, or you spent a few years surfing in southern California. Whatever the reason you decided to place your CPA license on inactive status, it’s time to get your license reactivated and join the business world again.

Certainly there are forms, CPE requirements, and fees involved in the process, but reactivating your CPA license doesn’t need to be daunting. Follow this handy checklist from the PICPA for step-by-step instructions.

As you gather your forms and make your plan, keep these things in mind:

  • If you let your license expire (rather than changing it to inactive status), when you reactivate you will be subject to additional fines as well as inquiries regarding your work while your license was lapsed. Be prepared for follow up contact from the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.
  • You must confirm that you have not been performing attest work or holding yourself out to the public as a CPA to perform accounting services during your inactive period. If you were, then you could be subject to an investigation, fines, and possibly the rejection of your reactivation application.
  • Consider the timing of your reactivation. If you apply prior to October of the odd year in the biennial reporting period (currently 2019), then your reactivated license is only valid until the end of that calendar year and will be subject to renewal at that time. For example, apply in June 2019 and you’ll need to renew in December 2019. Apply in October 2019, and you won’t need to renew until December 2021.
  • Make sure all your professional education has been attained through a NASBA or Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy approved provider. Annual renewals are subject to random audits, but activations are individually scrutinized. A free webinar that nabbed you that last credit hour may not be approved, and you don’t want to come up short on CPE requirements. The PICPA is an approved sponsor which offers thousands of courses, plus you can track your CPE history online in My Account.
You worked hard to earn your CPA credential, and you want to be able to use it. Whether or not you are performing attest work, there are many benefits to keeping your CPA license active. No matter what type of work you do, having CPA after your name gives you instant credibility and respect.


Leave a comment
  • Clare Bedford | Jun 01, 2022
    Hi Carlos. Check out the blog post on reactivating your CPA license here: https://www.picpa.org/articles/cpa-now-blog/exam-licensing/cpa-now/2022/01/18/reactivating-your-cpa-license-in-pa
  • Carlos Dishman | May 31, 2022
    My CPA License has expired. What do I need to do to reactivate it? 
  • Kelly OHara | Feb 04, 2016

    How do I confirm that the CPE's I'm taking are Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy approved?  For instance.  I have paid for access to Checkpoint Learning for CPE's.  Are all these approved?


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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.