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 odd-numbered licenses renew in July of 2021
Reporting period - CPE must be taken between January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020   
 
CPAs with even-numbered licenses renew in July of 2022
Reporting period - CPE must be taken between January 1, 2020- December 31, 2021

If the licensee fails to complete the required CPE during their reporting period, and they plan to renew their license, they should contact the board prior to the renewal period.

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:
   
  •  Records shall be kept by the sponsor for a period of 5 years
  •  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 (ex. tax, ethics, accounting)
Dates attended
Number of CPE hours awarded
Program sponsor and signature  

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   
14. Personal development (beginning with 2023 renewal - limited amount - see new REGS below).


 Programs that deal with the following subject areas shall not be considered acceptable continuing education:

1. Self-realization   2. Spirituality   3. Personal health or fitness   4. Sports and recreation   5. Foreign languages or cultures
6. 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)      
     

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.  
 
Beginning January 1, 2021 new CPE regulations will go into effect beginning with the 2023 renewals. For details visit  https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/201/001/100.pdf.

Reminder of January 1, 2021 Changes to CPE Requirements 

Beginning January 1, 2021, 50% of the CPE hours required of all licensed CPAs must be comprised of “technical standards” courses.
 
  • Technical standards courses include those with the subject matters of accounting, auditing, business law, economics, finance, information technology, management     
      services, professional ethics, statistics, securities, tax, or specialized areas of industry that contribute directly to the professional competence of a licensee.  

Beginning January 1, 2021, CPAs in public accounting firms who perform (a) attest services, as defined in KRS 325.220; or (b) compilation or preparation of financial statement engagements subject to SSARS, must complete 8 hours of CPE in the subject matter of accounting or auditing each year, for a total of 16 hours over the two-year reporting period.

Beginning January 1, 2021, CPAs required to complete 80 hours of CPE per every two-year reporting period may include up to 8 hours of personal development courses toward their requirement, and CPAs required to complete 60 hours of CPE may include up to 12 hours of  personal development courses.

  • An acceptable personal development course improves time management, leadership, team building, goal setting and similar soft skills related to working in an office or professional setting. Human resources courses also qualify under personal development hours.
     

CPAs who renew their licenses in 2023 (with a reporting period of January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022) will be the first group required to comply with these new CPE provisions.

CPAs renewing in 2022 will not be subject to these changes, but instead will proceed according to the standards in place prior to amendments to the CPE regulation.

 FAQS ON RECENT CHANGES TO KY CPE REQUIREMENTS.pdf
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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. 
 
 
If the circumstances which form the basis of the waiver change, the licensee shall notify the board within thirty (30) days from the date of the change and resume compliance with the continuing professional education requirements from the date of the change.
 
 

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.
Continuing Professional Education