What is CPE Reciprocity
Completion of yearly CPE requirements as a CPA can be a big stress inducer when combined with their already busy schedule. This has historically been one of the major reasons some CPAs choose not to renew their license. In the past this has been an even bigger burden if you are designated in multiple states, requiring a CPA to do at least 80 CPE hours a year.
Today, many CPAs only carry designation in one state as the current regulations allow for more transferability between states. Still for various reasons many CPAs choose to hold on to designations in multiple states. They may work in one state and live in another. They may work for a company with offices in another state or are frequently sent on assignment to another state. Beyond that, some CPAs have sentimental value to a state they were designated in and want to hold on to it.
The AICPA has tried to address these difficulties by working with many state boards to introduce a system called CPE reciprocity. This allows for a CPA to use the credits gained in their home states to satisfy the requirements in their other state of designation.
As of 2022, over 30 US states and territories have adopted some form of CPE credit transfer. Nearly all of these states that offer CPE reciprocity are full solution states. This means they allow for all credit requirements to be fulfilled out of state and transferred.
What are the Current CPE Requirements across all states
As per UAA Model Rule 6.4 (a), every US CPA is required to get at least 120 CPE credits in every three year period. The requirements per year and the amount of years in each reporting period may vary by state, but the 120 credits requirement is the minimum across all jurisdictions.
CPE Reciprocity by State:
More than half of all US states and territories have adopted some form of CPE reciprocity. Nearly all of these states offer full CPE reciprocity, there are some states with special requirements in order to qualify.
States with Full CPE Reciprocity Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, VIrgin Islands, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wyoming
States with No CPE Reciprocity
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin
States with Specific exceptions
- Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia have full CPE Reciprocity for states with an ethics requirement. This excludes states without any ethics requirement which are Alabama, Georgia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.
- In North Dakota, South Carolina, and Kansas the state board has the authority to determine whether the CPE requirements of another state are equivalent to the board’s requirements.
What if only one of the states i’m certified in has CPE reciprocity?
If only one of your designated states has CPE reciprocity, you may or may not be required to fulfill CPE Requirements for both states. Whether or not you will be required to do your CPE hours for both states depends on the rules of the states you are not actively practicing in.
Let’s look at two people who have designations in New York, which does not have CPE reciprocity and Illinois, which does. One has New York as their home state and the other has Illinois.
The CPA who lives in New York will be able to use his New York credits to fulfill the Illinois requirements as Illinois has CPE reciprocity.
The CPA who lives in Illinois will not be able to use his Illinois hours to fulfill the New York CPE requirements as New York does not have CPE reciprocity. He will be required to additionally meet all New York requirements.
CPE reciprocity is a system that alleviates a major point of stress for many American CPAs. It removes the burden of having to do CPE hours for every state a CPA is designated in. With yearly membership decreasing in the past decade, programs like this can help make the profession more attractive to future CPAs.
For further clarification on the rules and regulations of CPE reciprocity, contact your state board.
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