California CPE Requirements:

Licenses expire biennially on midnight on the last day of your birth month. The year of expiration is based upon your birth year. If you were born in an even year, your license will expire each even year. If you were born in an odd year, it will expire each odd year.

If you engage in the practice of public accountancy, you are required to hold a license in active status. As a condition of renewal in active status, you must complete at least 80 hours of CPE in the two-year period immediately preceding license expiration. A licensee renewing a license in an active status must complete a minimum of 20 hours in each year of the two-year license renewal period, with a minimum of 12 hours of the required 20 hours in technical subject matter.

Special Requirements/Limitations:

You must complete a minimum of 50 percent of the total required CPE hours in technical subjects (accounting, auditing, taxation, consulting, financial planning, professional conduct, computer and information technology except for word processing, and specialized industry or government practices that focus primarily upon the maintenance and/or enhancement of the public accounting skills and knowledge needed to competently practice public accounting).

You may claim a maximum of 50 percent of the total CPE hours in nontechnical subjects (communication skills, word processing, sales, marketing, motivational techniques, negotiation skills, office management, practice management, and personnel management).

The following subjects are not acceptable CPE: Foreign languages and cultures; personal growth, self-realization, spirituality; personal health and/or fitness, sports and recreation; and any other subjects that do not contribute directly to the licensee’s professional competence.

All licensees renewing a license in an active status are required to complete four hours of ethics education in each license renewal period and a two hour Board-approved Regulatory Review course if more than six years have lapsed since the licensee last completed a Board-approved PC&E course. The four-hour requirement can be met by taking our four-hour California Ethics course, which does not meet the two hour Board-approved Regulatory Review requirement. Follow the ethics link on our homepage to access the course.

If you plan, direct, approve, perform a substantial portion of the work, or report on an audit, review, compilation, or attestation service on a nongovernmental entity, you must complete 24 of the required 80 hours of CPE in courses related to the following: Financial statement preparation and/or reporting; audit, review, and/or compilation; industry accounting; attestation or assurance services. This CPE must be completed in the same two-year period as you perform the work.

If you plan, direct, conduct substantial portions of field work, or report on financial or compliance audits of a governmental agency, you must complete 24 of the required 80 hours of CPE in the following government audit-related courses: Governmental operations; government laws, regulations, or reports; special requirements of governmental agencies; subjects related to the specific or unique environment of the audited entity; other auditing subjects appropriate to government auditing engagements. This CPE must be completed in the same two-year period as you perform the work.

A licensee subject to the A&A or government CE requirement will need to complete an additional four hours of fraud CE specifically related to the prevention, detection and/or reporting of fraud in financial statements. The fraud CE requirement is part of the 80 hours of CPE required for license renewal but is not part of the 24-hour A&A or government CPE requirement. Our courses discussing the prevention, detection and/or reporting of fraud in financial statements are located in our Accounting and Auditing series. See Foundations in Fraud Examination; Fraud Awareness Auditing; and Fraud Overview for Accountants and Auditors.

Effective October 1, 2017, a licensee whose heighest level of service is performing preparation engagements is required to complete eight hours of preparation engagement, or accounting and auditing, continuing education and four hours of fraud CE.

There are no restrictions on the number of formal self-study CPE credits claimed in the renewal period.

Do AEG courses qualify for credit in California?

Yes. California does not pre-approve continuing education programs or sponsors (except for the two-hour Regulatory Review course) and they do not have sponsorship agreements. They will accept courses from members of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Registry and QAS sponsor approval programs. As members of both programs, our courses are accepted for credit in California.

How are our recommended CPE hours determined?

Under the Standards referenced above, our credits are based upon 1 CPE credit for every 50-minutes of study time, as determined by the average test results of CPAs pre-testing the material prior to publication.

Board contact information:

California State Board of Accountancy
2450 Venture Oaks Way.
Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833-3291
Phone: (916) 263-3680
Fax: (916) 263-3675