What Happens If I Don’t Meet My CPE Requirements?

Don’t panic if you fell short of your CPE hours this year.

Each state handles CPE noncompliance differently, with some states allowing extensions and others asking licensees to self-report.

Most of the time, a licensed CPA who fails to meet CPE requirements may face disciplinary action, including fine and penalty assessments, license suspension, and a requirement to fulfill additional CPE hours.

If you missed your CPE requirement, here’s what you can expect in your state.

Consequences of CPE Noncompliance by State

Alabama

Alabama CPAs who have not met their CPE requirements may be granted additional time to resolve their CPE deficiencies. The Alabama State Board of Accountancy may also seek disciplinary action.

Any licensee who fails a CPE audit will be automatically audited for two additional years. Failure to pass a follow-up audit may result in disciplinary action.

Alaska

Failure to meet Alaska CPE requirements may result in revocation or suspension of a CPA license. The Alaska State Board of Accountancy may also refuse to renew the CPA license.

The Board may relax or suspend CPE requirements for applicants who certify that they do not intend to engage in the practice of public accounting or in instances of individual hardship.

Arizona

The Arizona State Board of Accountancy states that disciplinary action for CPE noncompliance can range from administrative penalties to suspension.

CPAs who are deemed noncompliant will receive a notice from the Board, as well as an opportunity for a hearing. Failure to show proof of CPE compliance will result in suspension of their CPA certificate.

The Board allows CPAs up to six months from the date of suspension to reinstate their certificate. After six months, their certificate will expire.

Noncompliant CPAs will be required to pay a $50 late renewal fee, in addition to regular renewal fees, after completing their CPE hours.

Arkansas

The Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy issues a fine to CPAs who do not pass their CPE audit. Effective 2019, CPAs will also be required to make up their deficient CPE hours to better serve their profession and the public.

California

California CPAs who are unable to meet their CPE hours may request an extension from the California Board of Accountancy.

Send email to renewalinfo@cba.ca.gov and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • License number
  • Brief explanation of why you can’t meet your CPE requirements

Colorado

Licensees who are not in compliance with CPE requirements should self-report to the Colorado Board of Accountancy. Email dora_accountancyboard@state.co.us to self-report, and the Board will provide additional information.

Connecticut

Connecticut CPAs who have not met their CPE requirements must pay a late fee to the Connecticut Accountancy Board.

The late fee is calculated based on the length of time it takes to complete the required CPE hours.

Late fees are as follows:

  • $315 if 40 CPE is earned after the July 1 reporting period, but before November 1
  • $625 if 40 CPE is earned after November 1 and through December 31

CPAs who will not earn 40 CPE hours by December 31 must contact the Board at dcp.accounting@ct.gov.

Delaware

The Delaware Board of Accountancy conducts random audits to confirm compliance with CPE requirements.

If the Board determines that the licensee has not met their CPE requirements, the licensee will be notified. A hearing may be held to determine if there are any extenuating circumstances that justify the CPE noncompliance.

Licensees who do not have a justified reason for noncompliance may be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Such sanctions include issuing a letter of reprimand, suspending or revoking the licensee’s certificate, and imposing a fine of up to $10,000.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia Board of Accountancy may verify the CPE information and documentation reported by CPAs. The Board may grant additional time for CPAs who have not met their CPE requirements to cure their deficiencies.

Florida

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides guidance for CPAs who do not meet their CPE requirements by the June 30 deadline. The Florida Board of Accountancy grants two automatic extensions.

The first automatic extension ends September 15 and requires the licensee to complete an additional 8 hours of CPE in the Accounting and Auditing fields.

The second automatic extension ends December 31 and requires the licensee to complete an additional 16 hours of CPE in the Accounting and Auditing fields.

Georgia

Georgia CPAs who fail to complete their CPE requirements by the end of their renewal period will not be able to renew their license. Once their license expires, they will be required to reinstate it to regain their active status. Reinstatement will be at the discretion of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy.

Hawaii

Hawaii has not provided guidance for CPAs who have not complied with CPE requirements. Contact the Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy for information.

Idaho

Idaho CPAs who wish to renew their license will not be issued a license until they submit a CPE reporting form with supporting documentation.

Late filers must also pay penalties imposed by the Idaho State Board of Accountancy, including:

  • License renewal fee
  • Late filing fee of $100
  • CPE noncompliance fee between $100 to $300, depending on how late CPE hours are completed

Illinois

The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules states that an Illinois CPA looking to renew their license without having fully complied with the CPE requirements must submit the following:

  • Renewal application
  • Required fees
  • A statement explaining CPE noncompliance
  • A request for waiver of CPE requirements

The request for a waiver of CPE requirements must be made prior to the licensee’s renewal date.

Indiana

If an Indiana CPA is determined to be noncompliant with the state’s CPE requirements, the Indiana Board of Accountancy will notify them with a notice of compliance. The licensee may be required to pay a penalty of up to $1,000 within 21 days of service of the notice. The licensee must also acquire the number of CPE credits needed to achieve full compliance within 6 months after service of the notice.

Licensees who do not comply with these penalties risk suspension of their license, and the Board may refuse the reinstatement of their license.

Iowa

According to the Iowa Society of CPAs, CPAs who do not meet CPE requirements may renew their license as inactive. Contact the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau for more information.

Kansas

Kansas CPAs who do not meet CPE requirements will be required to earn an additional 8 hours of CPE within a period of time specified by the Kansas Board of Accountancy. The additional CPE hours must be met before the licensee’s permit to practice can be renewed.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Board of Accountancy requests licensees to contact the Board if they have failed to earn the required CPE hours and plan to renew their license. CPAs should reach out to the Board prior to the renewal period.

Louisiana

Louisiana CPAs who have not obtained the required CPE hours should submit a letter to the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana. Licensees should explain their reasons for noncompliance and include any supporting documentation.

The Board may grant extensions or waivers to complete CPE requirements for hardship or medical reasons that are sufficiently documented.

Maine

All Maine licensees must certify they have met CPE requirements at the time of license renewal. The licensee’s certification is subject to audit. Contact the Maine Board of Accountancy for more information.

Maryland

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy may verify the CPE information and documentation submitted by a CPA. Contact the Board for more information.

Massachusetts

The Continuing Education Committee, which is part of the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy, will conduct CPE audits on a test basis. Licensees who have not met their CPE requirements will be notified. Those licensees will be granted a period of time by which to correct the deficiencies identified by the Committee.

Michigan

Michigan CPAs who do not earn sufficient CPE hours by the end of the reporting year will have to earn 4 additional CPE hours for each month of time needed to remove the deficiency.  

The Michigan Board of Accountancy may waive the additional CPE hours requirement if the licensee can show that the additional hours would present an undue hardship on the licensee.

Minnesota

Minnesota CPAs who do not meet their CPE requirements will be assessed a late processing fee of $50 for the first month of noncompliance. A $25 fee will be charged for each additional month of noncompliance until the licensee is in compliance.

To get back in compliance, licensees must complete their missing CPE hours. A licensee may carryback CPE hours earned after June 30 to satisfy the CPE requirements of a prior period.

Licensees must also notify the Minnesota Board of Accountancy in writing and include:

  • A letter stating the licensee’s intentions
  • Certificates of completion for carryback hours
  • Payment of noncompliance fees

Mississippi

Mississippi CPAs not in compliance with CPE requirements will not be permitted to register a license. Licensees who fail to report the minimum required CPE hours will be subject to disciplinary action by the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy.   

Missouri

The Missouri State Board of Accountancy may allow licensees in good standing to cure their CPE deficiencies.

If the Board has determined that a licensee has failed to comply with the annual CPE requirements, the licensee will have 30 days from the date of notice to obtain the qualifying CPE hours. The licensee must also submit a written application to the Board within the 30-day period.

Failure to meet CPE requirements and/or the fraudulent reporting of CPE requirements may be met with disciplinary action.

Montana

The Montana Board of Public Accountants will notify licensees if they have been selected for a CPE audit. The Board may grant licensees an extension to complete their CPE requirements on the basis of individual hardship, such as for health or military service reasons.

Nebraska

Nebraska CPAs who have not met the CPE requirements must write to the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy with an explanation of why the CPE hours could not be completed. Licensees must notify the Board prior to January 31. Failure to contact the Board by the deadline may result in an administrative fee or hearing before the Board.

Nevada

The Nevada State Board of Accountancy may grant additional time for licensees to correct CPE deficiencies if the Board determines CPE requirements have not been met.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire CPAs who realize they will not meet their CPE requirements may petition the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy for permission to satisfy the deficiency within a specific period of time. In some cases, a $100 administrative fee may be required for failing to meet CPE requirements.

New Jersey

The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy may subject a licensee who fails to meet CPE requirements to disciplinary action.

Licensees may submit a written request to the Board to waive their CPE requirements. The request must be submitted 60 days prior to the last day of the triennial renewal period. The Board may, in its discretion, waive CPE requirements on an individual basis, including for hardship such as health or military service.

If a waiver is granted, it will only be effective for the requested triennial period.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department randomly selects about 10 percent of individuals renewing licenses each month for a CPE audit. Contact accountancy.board@state.nm.us for more information.

New York

The New York State Board for Public Accountancy conducts random audits of CPE records every month. Failure to respond to the audit with comprehensive records may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of a license and/or fines.

North Carolina

North Carolina CPAs who are not in compliance with the annual CPE requirements may face disciplinary action from the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners. Noncompliant licensees may have their certificate forfeited for one year and be assessed with a $1,000 civil penalty.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Board of Accountancy randomly selects a percentage of renewal applicants for CPE audits. Licensees who fail to comply with the audit, including missing the required number of CPE hours, may be subject to disciplinary action against their certificate.

Ohio

The Accountancy Board of Ohio will randomly select about 20 percent of renewing licensees every year for a CPE audit. Ohio CPAs who have determined they will not meet the CPE requirements should immediately contact the Board investigator named in their CPE verification selection email. Self-reporting the CPE deficiency may prevent increasing late fees and a disciplinary hearing before the Board.

Oklahoma

Any Oklahoma CPAs who do not meet the CPE requirements must notify the CPE coordinator at the Oklahoma Accountancy Board immediately. Contact information for the CPE coordinator is provided here.

Oregon

Oregon has not provided guidance for CPAs who have not complied with CPE requirements. Contact the Oregon Board of Accountancy for information.

Pennsylvania

First-time offenders of CPE requirements will be issued a fine by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.

The fine is based on the number of deficient hours and are as follows:

  • $300 for a deficiency of 1 to 20 hours
  • $600 for a deficiency of 21-40 hours
  • $800 for a deficiency of 41-60 hours
  • $1,000 for a deficiency of 61-80 hours

Licensees who are disciplined for CPE noncompliance must make up the deficiency in CPE hours and must submit documentation of the make-up hours to the Board within 6 months of the disciplinary sanction. Failure to submit documentation of the make-up CPE hours by the deadline will result in suspension of the CPA’s license and certificate until documentation is submitted.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Board of Accountancy may perform random CPE audits. Failure to produce CPE documentation may be grounds for disciplinary action, including up to a $1,000 fine.

South Carolina

South Carolina has not provided guidance for CPAs who have not complied with CPE requirements. Contact the South Carolina Board of Accountancy for information.

South Dakota

South Dakota CPAs who will fall short of the required CPE hours must contact the South Dakota Board of Accountancy as soon as possible and explain the situation.

Licensees may be granted a 90-day extension on a one-time basis. Licensees who need further extensions must petition to the Board by explaining their reasons and requesting the period of time needed to complete the CPE requirements.

Tennessee

The Tennessee State Board of Accountancy will assess penalty CPE hours for CPAs who fail to meet the CPE requirement. Licensees may only renew their license once the CPE requirement is met.

Texas

Texas CPAs who fail to report the minimum CPE requirements to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy will be subject to suspension. Certificates may be revoked for licensees who fail to report the minimum CPE requirements for three consecutive years.

Utah

Utah CPAs who fail to meet their CPE requirements by the reporting deadline will not be allowed to renew their license until the required CPE hours have been met and reported.

The Utah Board of Accountancy may waive the CPE requirements or grant an extension for medical reasons confirmed by a qualified health care provider.  

Vermont

The Vermont Board of Public Accountancy will conduct random CPE audits to verify the information submitted by licensees. The Board may grant additional time to make up deficient CPE hours prior to taking further action if the licensee can show sufficient cause.

Virginia                                       

Virginia licensees who have not met their CPE requirements should self-report their CPE deficiency. Notify the Virginia Board of Accountancy by emailing cpe@boa.virginia.gov. Licensees should contact the Board immediately after determining their CPE deficiency.

Washington

Any Washington CPA who fails to complete their required CPE by the end of their reporting period can request an extension prior to their license expiration date. The Washington State Board of Accountancy accepts extension requests from January 1 through June 30 of the renewal period.

Individuals are limited to one CPE extension in any two consecutive CPE reporting periods (six years).

Licensees can access the extension request on their online services account through SecureAccess Washington by submitting a renewal application. Respond to the application questions and indicate that you have not met your CPE requirements. This will take you to the CPE extension request questions.

West Virginia

Licensees in West Virginia must report their CPE hours annually by January 31 of the following year.

CPAs may submit requests for an extension to complete the previous year’s CPE requirements. Extension requests should be submitted to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy by January 31 of the current calendar year. The extension request fee is $75.

Extension requests will not be granted past June 15. Licensees who submit requests after January 31 will also be charged a $150 late filing fee, in addition to the extension request fee.

Wisconsin

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Public Services, licensees who fail to meet the CPE requirements may not practice in Wisconsin as a certified public accountant until the license is renewed or restated.

Wyoming

Wyoming CPAs who will not be able to complete their CPE requirements by December 31 may request an automatic 90-day extension by emailing wycpaboard@wyo.gov. With the extension, licensees have until March 31 to complete their CPE hours.

Licensees who need more than a 90-day extension must submit a formal request to the Wyoming Board of CPAs by March 1. The request should include good cause for the extension, as well as supporting documentation.

Any extension request automatically subjects the CPA to a CPE audit.

Failure to meet CPE requirements may result in an investigation and may lead to disciplinary action, including revocation of the certificate.

Leave a Comment