Renew Your CPA License in Pennsylvania

For the 2016-2017 Reporting Period

Update: What if I didn’t renew my license by Dec. 31, 2017?

If you did not renew your Pennsylvania CPA license by Dec. 31, 2017, then your license is likely in “expired “ status. This means you no longer have an active CPA license, and you need to ensure that you avoid referring to yourself as a CPA or performing any work restricted to actively licensed CPAs. You should take steps to correct this as soon as possible.

If you met all the license renewal requirements, including the completion of all CPE by Dec. 31, 2017, then you could have renewed your license online using the Pennsylvania License System (PALS) website up to Jan. 31, 2018. You should log-in and submit your renewal as soon as possible to minimize the time your license is expired. A late renewal fee may apply.

If you did not meet all the license renewal requirements by Dec. 31, 2017, then you should contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy to discuss available options.

License Renewal Notices

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy emailed renewal notices on Nov. 8. If you did not receive the notice it may be in your junk/spam folder.  A hard copy renewal notice was also mailed in mid-November, but most licensing communications is sent by email.

Online Renewal

To renew your license, log in or register through the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS). Check out this blog post for guidance on completing the renewal. 

Pennsylvania accountancy firm licenses also need to be renewed using the PALS website. Be sure the firm’s key person renews the license by Dec. 31.


The cost to renew a Pennsylvania CPA license or accountancy firm license is $100. The cost to renew a program sponsor license is $150.

2016-2017 Reporting Period Continuing Professional Education Requirements

Pennsylvania CPAs are required to obtain 80 credit hours of CPE per biennial period, which runs from Jan. 1 of every even-numbered year through Dec. 31 of every odd-numbered year. The 80 credit hours must include at least:

  • 16 credit hours in accounting and auditing subjects
  • 8 credit hours in tax subjects
  • 4 credit hours in ethics subjects (does not need to be state specific)
  • 20 credit hours per calendar year

A maximum of 40 credit hours can come from individual study courses.

More information about CPE minimums and acceptable sources of CPE

New CPE requirements went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, for the 2018-2019 reporting period. 

Peer Review Requirements 

Accounting firms and sole practitioners that performed an audit or review engagement after Dec. 31, 2015, are required to submit peer review information as part of the renewal application. Individual CPAs that perform audits or reviews as part of a licensed accounting firm only are not required to submit peer review information.

For firms with three or more licensees, a timely peer review is one that was accepted after Dec. 31, 2014. For sole practitioners and firms with 1-2 licensees, a timely peer review is one that was accepted after Dec. 31, 2012.

More information about peer review licensing requirements.


File your renewal application online by Dec. 31, 2017. The State Board strongly recommends that you access your online renewal application now and confirm your contact information. You can submit your renewal once you have completed your CPE and peer review requirements. Individual CPAs, accountancy firms, and program sponsors must submit their renewal by Dec. 31, 2017.

CPE Requirements for Newly Licensed CPAs

CPAs who passed the Uniform CPA Exam in 2016 or 2017 are exempt from CPE requirements for license renewal. There is a question on the license renewal application to claim this exemption. CPAs who passed the exam prior to 2016 are required to meet the same CPE requirements as other Pennsylvania CPAs.

Request Extensions/Waivers of Peer Review or CPE Requirements

Any request for a waiver or extension of time to complete either peer review or CPE requirements must be sent to the State Board in writing, documenting the reason(s) for the request. Extension or waivers are granted for military reasons, medical, or other good cause. You must include your military orders or documentation from your medical physician indicating that you were/are under their care and due to the medical reason were/are unable to obtain the required CPE in order for the State Board to review your request. 

Additionally, you should provide any documentation if your request is due to circumstances relating to an “other good cause.” This request must be received by the State Board prior to Oct. 31 to allow time for the Board to review your request. 

Requesting Inactive Status

If you are not renewing your CPA license, you can request your license be placed on inactive status using the PALS online renewal webpage. There is no fee or CPE required to place your license on inactive status. With an inactive license you can use the “CPA” designation provided you include the word “inactive” and meet other State Board regulations

Licensing Renewal FAQs

  • How and when do I report my CPE hours and complete my individual license renewal application?

  • Will I be penalized if I don't meet the 20 credit hour CPE minimum per year?

  • How can I reactivate my CPA license?

  • What do I need to send to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy if audited?

  • How many credits do I report for self-study courses?

  • When do I file my individual license renewal application if I do not complete the CPE requirements until Dec. 31?

  • If I am the "key person" for my firm's license renewal, when can I complete the firm license renewal application?

  • Where can I find out if a program sponsor is approved under the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy's regulations?

  • Can I request extensions or waivers of my peer review or CPE license renewal requirements?

  • What should I do if I did not receive a license renewal notification from the State Board?

  • Can I request to have my license to practice placed on inactive status through the license renewal process?

  • What does the State Board do with the information submitted on my license renewal application?

  • What if I misplaced the user ID and/or password necessary to renew my license?

  • How long should I keep my CPE records?

Still have questions?

We're here to help!

Contact PICPA’s team at (215) 496-9272 or via the online chat, e-mail, or @PaCPAs.

If you are having technical issues with the PALS website, submit a technical support request.

For specific questions about your license, email the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy or call (717) 783-1404.