CPA CPE Requirements in Pennsylvania

The PICPA offers more than 1,000 CPE sessions each year, including in-person seminars and conferences, as well as webinars, webcasts, and On-Demand (self-study) CPE. 

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Regulatory Changes

On Sept. 23, 2017 the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy published regulatory changes in The Pennsylvania Bulletin.

The new regulations will be effective Jan. 1, 2018, so they will not impact the current biennial license renewal due Dec. 31, 2017. Read a summary of the changes and listen to this podcast for more information.

Organization Reporting Period Total CPE Hours Annual Minimum Subject Minimum
PA State Board of Accountancy Jan. 1, 2016-Dec.31, 2017
(2 years)
80 20-hours 16-hours A&A
8-hours Tax
4-hours Ethics
NJ State Board of Accountancy Jan. 1, 2015-Dec. 31, 2017 
(3 years)
120 20-hours 72-hours in technical subject areas, including 24 in A&A and 4 in NJ law and ethics
GAO Yellow Book Requirements Jan. 2015 - Dec. 2016*
(2 years)
80 20-hours 24-hours government-related
AICPA Varies (3 years) 120 None None
PICPA There are no CPE requirements to be a member of PICPA.      

Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy

On May 1, 2001, the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy implemented amended CPE program sponsor regulations that directly impacted licensees. The amendments included a stipulation 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 now confirm a sponsor's approval under the regulations prior to registering for a program.

New Jersey State Board of Accountancy

The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy requires 72-hours in technical subject areas each reporting period, 24 of which must be in A&A, and four in NJ Law and Ethics.


Reporting period begins Jan. 1 of the calendar year after joining the AICPA.

GAO Yellow Book Requirements

Each auditor performing work under GAGAS should complete, every two years, at least 80-hours of CPE that directly enhance the auditor’s professional proficiency to perform audits and/or attestation engagements.

*Instead of following the dates listed above, your period may run two years from the start date of first audit made in accordance with the Yellow Book. The GAO states that to simplify administration of CPE requirements, an audit organization may establish a standard two-year CPE period for all of its auditors, which can be either a fixed-year or rolling-year basis. A fixed year period, for example, would be 2011-2012, 2013-2014; a rolling-year period would be 2012-2013, 2014-2015. Effective Jan. 1, 2004, the GAO released an amendment to their CPE requirements that states that CPAs may not, in most cases, use tax credits to meet their 80-hour GAO Yellow Book requirement.

To read the requirements effective June 30, 2005, as outlined in the GAO's Guidance on GAGAS Requirements for Continuing Education; the overview of Major Changes from the 1991 CPE Interpretation; and the technical amendment made by the Comptroller General to CPE requirements contained in the 2003 revision of Government Auditing Standards, visit the GAO Web site.

Pennsylvania CPA CPE Credit Types & CPE Requirements

As determined by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy:

Category Maximum Amount Per Reporting Period How Credit is Calculated
Group Study No Maximum Awarded one CPE credit for each 50 minutes of participation.
Individual Study 50% of requirement Noninteractive (no direct feedback between attendee and instructor) - Credit will be given based on half the average completion time calculated by the sponsor. Includes approved professional education courses taken over the Internet.

Interactive (interaction between instructor/sponsor & attendee) - Awarded one CPE credit for each 50 minutes of participation. NASBA registry approved individual study courses qualify under this standard.

Credit will only be given in the renewal period in which the certificate of completion is dated. Certificate must be retained for five years.
Discussion Leader
50% of requirement Awarded one CPE credit for each 50 minutes of service as lecturer.

Two additional CPE credits are awarded for preparation time for each credit hour of instruction.

Credit will not be awarded for subsequent sessions unless the subject matter has substantially changed.
University/College Courses No Maximum Credit Courses - Awarded 15 CPE credits for 1 semester credit.
(i.e. - (1) Three-credit college course = 45 CPE credits)

Non-credit Courses - Awarded one CPE credit for each 50 minutes of class participation.
In-House Programs
On-Site Training Programs
No Maximum Awarded one CPE credit for each 50 minutes of participation.
Professional Education Courses
25-50% of requirement One credit given for each 50 minutes of preparation time on self-declaration basis up to 25 percent of biennial requirement. A copy of the publication must be submitted to the Board with the biennial renewal application.

Applicant may request additional credit by submitting a copy of work to the Board with a letter explaining why applicant believes he/she should be awarded more than 25 percent.