By Peter N. Calcara, PICPA vice president of government relations, and Alex Fabian, PICPA manager of government relations
On Nov. 30, 2020, Pennsylvania lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Tom Wolf that authorizes the state professional and occupational licensing boards to allow carryover of excess continuing education credits. Now-retired state Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny), longstanding chair of the House Professional Licensure Committee, was the measure’s chief architect and legislative champion. Readshaw introduced similar legislation in previous legislative sessions (2015-2016 and 2017-2018) only to fall short before achieving success in the 2019-2020 legislative session. Both the House and Senate voted unanimously in favor of his bill, and Wolf signed the legislation into law on Nov. 25, 2020.
Act 116 of 2020 permits boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to allow licensees who earn continuing education credits in excess of the amount required for license renewal to carry over excess credits and apply them to the next biennial renewal period.
However, Act 116 also gave each of the 29 licensing boards and commissions the ability to determine whether or not to permit the credit carryover, which would have to be established through regulation. The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy (SBOA) discussed Act 116 of 2020 at its Jan. 20, 2021, public meeting, and the board voted not to carryover continuing education credits for CPAs. The SBOA made this decision on the basis that they believe CPAs should avail themselves of the most up-to-date information about the profession through continuing education.
Since the SBOA did not take any action to implement Act 116, the regulations regarding CPE for CPAs will remain as is.
With regard to some confusion surrounding the self-study credit maximum waiver offered during the pandemic, the PICPA has confirmed with the SBOA that the waiver does extend for the full 2020-2021 reporting period, despite the waiver technically expiring Sept. 30, 2021. This means Pennsylvania CPAs can use as many self-study credits in the current reporting period as they would like. The 50% cap will be back in effect beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
Sign up for weekly professional and technical updates from PICPA's blogs, podcasts, and discussion board topics by completing this form.