State CPE Requirements

State Board Website:

California State Board Website

License Renewal Deadline:

Last day of birth month in odd or even year corresponding to the odd or even year of birth

CPE Reporting Period:

Biennial on the last day of birth month in odd or even year corresponding to the odd or even year of birth

Total CPE Hours Required:

80 hours

Minimum CE Hours per year:

20 hours yearly minimum | twelve (12) hours yearly minimum in technical subjects.

Ethics Requirements:

• Four (4) hours of ethics must be completed in the 2-year period immediately preceding license expiration.
• Ethics courses must be at least one hour in length, if a course is covering multiple subjects, the ethics component must be at least one hour in length.
• A two (2) hour, board approved, Regulatory review course is due every 6 years.

Credit Limitations:

• Ethics: Courses must be at least one hour in length or, if part of a course covering multiple subjects, have an Ethics component that is at least one hour in length.
• Instruction: The maximum credit for instructors is 50%. Credit for repeat presentations is only allowed if the program material has substantially changed.
• Nontechnical subjects: Subject areas such as behavioral ethics, business management and organization, communications and marketing, computer software and applications, personal development, personnel/human resources and production are limited to 50% max.
• Published materials: The maximum credit for writing articles/books/instructional materials/Uniform CPA exam questions is 50% of the total requirement. Credits for authorship/publications are acceptable as long as the publisher is not under control of the licensee.
• Self-study: Courses must have an interactive delivery method. Self study courses designed to meet the Regulatory Review requirement must have a final exam and be passed with a score of 90 or above to receive credit toward that requirement.
• Fields of Study: This jurisdiction has a rule(s) placing limitations on certain subject areas or requiring a certain number of credits within a certain subject area or group of subject areas. Confirmation with the Board of the impact of the changes included in the new Fields of Study document, which went into effect September 1, 2016, is included in this analysis.
• Technical Reviewer: Credit is allowed on an hour-for-hour basis for performing a technical review of instructional materials for any continuing education program which meets the requirements of subsection (a)(1), Section 88.1 and Section 88.2.

Other Subject Area 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 the individual only performed preparation engagements as their highest level of service, 8 hours of CE specific to preparation engagements or accounting and auditing are required.
• Technical: A minimum of 50% (at least 40 hours) of technical subjects are due each reporting period, with a minimum of 12 hours in technical subjects due each year. Such as accounting, auditing, fraud, taxation, consulting, financial planning, business law, economics, management services, statistics, Board-approved professional conduct and ethics course, computer and information technology (except for word processing) and specialized industry or government practices related to public accounting skills.

Other State Policies:

• California does not accept CE in the following subject areas: personal growth, self-realization, spirituality, personal health and/or fitness, sports and recreations, foreign languages and cultures, etc.
• California accepts CPE credits for programs offered by NASBA sponsors
• Learning or teaching the use of accounting software qualifies as general CE in the technical subject area but not as credit for accounting and/or auditing.