Continuing Professional Education

In order to renew the license to practice, all CPAs are required to complete continuing professional education (CPE) during their reporting period which is always the two calendar years prior to the renewal year.   
 

Reporting Period

CPAs with even-numbered licenses renew in July of 2020
Reporting period - CPE must be taken between January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019

CPAs with odd-numbered licenses renew in July of 2021
Reporting period - CPE must be taken between January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020   
 

Requirements 

If you worked 3,000 hours or more in a public accounting firm during the reporting period (see above for your reporting period) you are required to complete 80 hours of CPE that include 2 hours in ethics. 
 
If you worked less than 3,000 hours in a public accounting firm during the reporting period (see above for your reporting period) you are required to complete 60 hours of CPE
that include 2 hours in ethics.
 
If you were employed in industry, education or government during the reporting period (see above for your reporting period) you are required to complete 60 hours of CPE
that include 2 hours in ethics.
 
If your principal place of business is located in another state, you may satisfy the CPE requirements in Kentucky by indicating that you are meeting the requirements in the state in which your principal place of business is located.  If the state in which your principal office is located has no CPE requirement for renewal, you must comply with all CPE requirements for renewal of the license in this state.  
 

Acceptable Courses and Documents 

Prior approval of courses and/or providers is not required for the program to qualify for CPE credit.  Programs qualify for CPE only if the following criteria is met by the course provider:
   
  •  An outline of the program is prepared in advance and preserved
  • The program is at least one (1) CPE hour in length (50 minutes) excluding meals and breaks
  • The program is conducted by a qualified instructor.  A qualified instructor is one whose background, training or experience makes it appropriate for them to lead discussion in
        the subject matter.
  • A record of registration or attendance is maintained by the sponsor
  • A course completion document is provided to the attendees which must contain the following:
Name of the licensee 
Title of course
Field of study
Dates attended
Number of CPE hours awarded
Program sponsor and signature
  
  • To be considered a completion document, a computerized printout must contain the information listed above. Documents with handwritten information are not eligible as completion documents.  

The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific course qualifies as acceptable continuing professional education shall be whether it is a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of an individual licensed to practice as a certified public accountant in this state. The following fields of study shall be considered acceptable if the courses satisfy all of the criteria established above: 
 
1. Accounting and finance   2. Auditing   3. Taxation   4. Business management services   5. Information technology   6. Business communications   7. Statistics   8. Ethics  
9. Economics   10.  Business law   11. Securities   12. Marketing   13. Specialized areas of industry that contribute directly to the professional competence of a licensee.
 
Programs that deal with the following subject areas shall not be considered accepable continuing education:

1. Personal growth or development   2. Self-realization   3. Spirituality   4. Personal health or fitness   5. Sports and recreation   6. Foreign languages or cultures
7. Any other subjects that do not contribute directly to the professional competence of the licensee.
 
The responsibility for substantiating that a particular course is acceptable and meets the requirements of the administrative regulation for CPE shall be the obligation of the licensee. Be sure courses offer a completion certificate that includes the criteria listed above.
 
CPE credits can also be obtained through the following avenues if completed during the reporting period, however, there are specific requirements and are limited in the number of eligible credits per reporting period. Please review 201 KAR 1:100 for details:
 
  •       Taking university or college courses
  •       Service as lecturer, discussion leader, or speaker 
  •       Published articles and books   
  •       Certifications and licenses (nationally organized business organization or a federal governmental entity only)    
     

CPE Waivers  

In some instances, CPAs may not be required to report CPE to renew their license.  CPAs who meet certain criteria may request a waiver from the CPE requirements.  While the Board understands that some situations are unpredictable, licensees are encouraged to submit the waiver request as soon as possible.  Do not wait until renewal time to submit the request.  Doing so can result in delays in the renewal process.  CPE waivers are eligible to be granted for the following reasons:

  • Physically or psychologically unable to complete the CPE requirements documented by a written statement from a licensed physician or other appropriate authority.

  • A severe personal hardship which has made it extremely difficult or impossible to meet the CPE requirement.  The hardship must be described in writing.  Changing employers or heavy workloads is not considered to be a severe personal hardship.

  • Completely retired from public practice and is 55 years of age or older.  Completely retired means not performing accounting services in the practice of public accounting, education, government or industry except for management of personal assets or investments.
     
In each instance, a CPE Waiver Application must be submitted along with any other necessary documentation.  If you think you qualify for a CPE waiver, download the Initial Request for CPE Waiver.pdf and submit it to the Board at least 7 working days prior to any monthly Board meeting.  You should request the waiver prior to the expiration of your license to insure your ability to continue to practice. 
 

Maintaining Records 

Licensees are responsible for insuring that completion documents are obtained, meet the guidelines as outlined above and are kept for a period of five (5) years. The Board conducts an audit for each renewal year. If selected for the audit the licensee must send completion documents to the Board office verifying their CPE was completed during their reporting period.  If completion documents cannot be provided to the Board upon request, those CPE hours will not be accepted.
 
NASBA offers a CPE tracking service to manage your CPE records. It is a free service for licensed CPAs and enrollment is strictly voluntary. The Kentucky State Board of Accountancy does not require that you use this service. For details visit cpeauditservice.nasba.org.  
 

CPE Credit Allowed 

Licensees may claim one (1) hour of CPE for each fifty (50) minutes of technical session attended.
Self-study programs qualify on an hour-for-hour basis.
For further information review 201 KAR 1:100.