California CPE Requirements for CPAs
CPE Reporting Period
For CA CPAs, your reporting period is biennial ending on the last day of your birth month. It ends every odd or even year based on your year of birth. Your reporting date will be every odd numbered year if your birth year is an odd numbered year, and every even year if your birth year is in an even numbered year.
Person A born June 15th 1979
Person B born June 15th 1980
Person A’s reporting date is June 30th every odd year (2023, 2025, 2027, etc)
Person B’s reporting date is June 30th every odd year (2022, 2024, 2026, etc)
CPA License Renewal Date
Biennial of the last day of your birth month every odd or even year based on year of birth. Your license renewal and CPE reporting deadlines will occur on the same date.
How Many CPE Hours do I Need per year?
In California, CPAs are required to attain at least 80 CPE hours every two years. At least 40 of these hours must be Technical Studies, a maximum of 40 of the 80 total hours can be Non-Technical.
Additionally, each year all California CPAs are required to attain at least 20 CPE hours with a minimum of 12 of these hours made up of Technical Content.
CPE Ethics Requirement
A minimum of 4 hours of professional ethics content is required in each two year period.
A two hours board approved Regulatory Review course is due every six years, and requires a minimum score of at least 90% to pass.
How do I report completion of CPE Hours?
CPAs are required to fill out a CPE reporting worksheet when they go to renew their license. They must provide information on all CPE courses completed within the two years preceding your license expiration date including; course titles, proper codes, dates of completion, CPE hours, and provider names.
When do newly licensed CPAs become subject to CPE Requirements?
Newly licensed CPAs are required to complete CPE requirements immediately, on a prorated basis. The method for calculating the total CE hours you need in your first period is 20 hours for every six months period of active status. If you are required to complete less than 80 CPE hours in your first period, you are not required to complete the 4 hours of ethics.
Here are a few examples of the amount of CE hours a newly licensed CPA would need in their first reporting period:
Date of License Issuance Birth Date First Reporting Date First Period CPE Hours Req’d
January 1, 2022 January 1, 1990 January 31, 2024 80
January 1, 2022 July 1, 1990 July 31, 2022 20
January 1, 2022 January 1, 1991 January 31, 2023 40
January 1, 2022 July 1, 1991 July 31, 2023 60
Does California allow Nano Learning for CPE?
No, you aren’t permitted to use courses completed through Nano Learning and Blended Learning to fulfill your California CPE requirements.
How Much of your total CPE hours can be self-study?
100% of your total CPE hours can be completed through self study. All self study exams require a minimum of a 70% passing grade.
Can I rollover extra CPE hours?
No, California CPAs are not permitted to roll over extra CPE hours to future years.
Does California have CPE Reciprocity?
California does not have CPE reciprocity. Credits used to fulfill CPE requirements in a CPAs home state cannot be used to fulfill California CPE requirements.
Does California have any Field Specific CPE Requirements?
- Government Auditing: If the individual engages in planning, directing, conducting substantial portions of field work, or reporting on financial or compliance audits of a government agency, 24 hours of government CPE are required.
- Accounting & Auditing: If the individual engages in planning, directing, approving, performing substantial portions of the work, or reporting on an audit, review, compilation or attestation services on a non-governmental entity, 24 hours of A&A are required.
- Fraud: For licensees who are subject to the A&A or Government CE requirement, an additional 4 hours of fraud CE, related to the detection and/or reporting of fraud in financial statements, is required. The fraud CE is part of the 80 hours of CE required for license renewal, but not part of the 24-hour A&A or government CE requirement.
- Preparation Engagement: If you only performed preparation engagements as your highest level of service, 8 hours of CE courses on preparation engagements or accounting and auditing are required.
- Technical: A minimum of 50% (at least 40 hours) must be in technical subject areas such as accounting, auditing, taxation, consulting, financial planning, professional conduct and ethics, computer and information technology and specialized industry or government practices related to public accounting skills.
- Non-Technical: A Maximum of 50% (40 hours) can be Non-Technical content, subject including communication skills, sales, marketing, motivation, negotiation, and office management.
Approved Subject Areas
California does not accept CPE from the following subject areas: personal growth, self-realization, spirituality, personal health and/or fitness, sports and recreation, foreign languages and cultures.
State Board Contact Info:
California Board of Accountancy
2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833-3291
Board Statutes: https://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/about/laws-and-rules.shtml