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CPE Frequently Asked Questions

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How many CPE credits do I need to take each year?


Based on the new Accountancy Reform Law, the continuing professional education (CPE) reporting year has changed. Beginning January 1, 2009, the CPE reporting year will run from January 1 through December 31. During that period, you can choose to complete 40 hours of general CPE in the following recognized areas of study: accounting, advisory services, auditing, ethics, specialized knowledge and applications, or taxation, or 24 hours of concentrated CPE in one of the following areas of study: accounting, auditing, or taxation.

For more information, visit the NYSSCPA website (www.nysscpa.org) or the New York State Education Department (NYSED) website at http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/.

I am a CPA in Industry do I need to take CPE?

Yes, the new Accountancy Reform Law, signed by Gov. David A. Paterson on January 27, 2009, makes sweeping changes to the state’s regulations for the accounting profession, including requiring CPAs using their professional skills or competencies in private industry to complete CPE courses. The new law took effect on July 26, 2009. All New York-licensed CPAs and public accountants will need to register with the SED, unless they file a statement for inactive status declaring that they are not practicing public accountancy or using their CPA title. As a registered CPA, you must complete 40 hours of general studies or 24 hours of concentrated study in one recognized area of study during each calendar reporting year.

For more information, go to http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/cpalaw.htm.

How many credits in ethics do I need to take in a year?

You need to complete 4 hours of ethics CPE every three years, starting with your first license registration renewal on or after September 1, 2001. You will then have the full three-year period to complete the 4 hours of ethics CPE. Please note the following:

The 4 hours of ethics CPE are included in your 40 or 24 hours of required CPE for licensing. Persons completing the 24 hours of CPE in one of the concentrated areas must complete their 4 hours of ethics CPE requirement in that area, or take a 4-hour general ethics course in addition to their 24-hour concentration.

Members who do not know their triennial registration period can find it on the NYSED Office of the Professions’ website at www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm

What types of Chapter-run programs qualify for CPE?

In order to meet the New York State mandatory CPE requirements, the program must be in one or more of the following subject areas: accounting, advisory services, auditing, specialized knowledge and applications, or taxation. These programs should contribute to the professional competence of the participants. They should impart important information, skills, and techniques that will enable the practitioner to better serve his or her  client and function in his industry.

When must I submit a request for a Chapter CPE program?

Chapter programs of 1 to 3 credits are submitted at least four weeks prior to the program date. A Development Standards Form must be submitted to the Chapter Relations Manager for review and approval. A course may not be promoted to the membership until it has been approved for CPE credit and assigned a course code number. Please note: A copy of the speaker bio and the program outline should be submitted along with the form.

Where can I find the Development Standards Form?

The Development Standards Form can be found on the NYSSCPA website. It is located on the Chapter homepage, or you may contact your Chapter Relations Manager.

Can I post a save-the-date for a CPE course on the Chapter website before receiving a course code?

No, the program must be officially scheduled and approved by the FAE before the program can be advertised to the membership and general public. This includes the Chapter newsletters, website, and mailers.

What documents are provided for the administration of a CPE course?

The following documents are sent by e-mail to the sponsoring committee prior to the course. These documents should be completed and returned to the Chapter Relations Manager no later than two weeks following the presentation of the program:

   •    Roster/Sign-in Sheet

   •    Technical Review Form

When and what documents should I return to the Society after the program?

You should return the following documents no later the 2 weeks after the program date: the Roster/Sign-in Sheet, the Technical Review Form, and the evaluations. Additionally, the Chapter should also submit a copy of the presentation materials.

Who signs the Technical Review Form?

For programs under 3 CPE credits, the technical review may be conducted by a Chapter representative who has expertise in the subject area and who is someone other than the preparer. The form is signed by the reviewer. If there is no one in the Chapter with sufficient expertise in the subject, the material should be sent to the Chapter Relations Coordinator for review, prior to the program.

How do participants receive the program evaluation survey and CPE certificates?

After the program roster has been returned and reconciled, the participants will receive an e-mail instructing them to complete the program survey and download their certificates, which are posted in their account.

What if a person is not a NYSSCPA member—can they still download their certificate?

Yes, an account is created for everyone who registers with us. All records pertaining to their purchases are kept in their account, including CPE certificates and posted course materials. Program certificates can be found by clicking on the past registration tab in the CPE store. Anyone needing assistance in retrieving his or her certificate can contact Customer Service at 800-537-3635.

Can the Chapter use a different evaluation form from the one supplied by FAE?

No, the FAE evaluations are specially designed to capture the information that FAE needs to effectively evaluate its programming.

Who is responsible for delivering Chapter CPE information to FAE?

The Chapter CPE liaison/coordinator or committee representative should forward this information to the Chapter Relations Manager. Permanent records of all Chapter CPE programs will be in the Society’s office as required by the New York State Board for Public Accountancy.

Can a Chapter co-sponsor CPE with any other organization?

No, FAE reserves the right to be the sole CPE sponsor for all programs produced by its Chapters. All CPE given at a Chapter function must be administrated under FAE’s sponsor number.

Why is FAE so concerned about how the term “sponsor” is used in relation to their programs?

FAE is committed to providing Society members with the highest-quality material and instructors at all educational events. The Board of Trustees of FAE has determined that the best way to meet this guarantee is to have sole control over CPE compliance issues; to this end, FAE reserves the right to be the sole sponsor of all its programs.

Under what circumstance can a Chapter obtain a sponsor for its programs?

The Chapter may obtain a sponsor for any portion of the program that is not CPE related—for example, the meal or the hall rental. In addition, all advertisements or signage referring to the sponsor should state that they are a contributor to or host of that portion of the program only.

Are Chapter CPE programs tax-exempt?

No, all Chapter programs, including CPE courses, are subject to sales tax.

Can the Chapter keep the profits from CPE events?

All profits from CPE events must be spent on budgeted Chapter programs within that fiscal year. However, in order to have new initiatives considered, the Chapter must file a budget amendment with the NYSSCPA comptroller, and the program must meet NYSSCPA strategic goals. Please contact your Chapter Relations Manager for further information.

What is the difference between the following options offered by FAE?

   •   $1,600 Baseline Services Package

   •   $5,500 Complete Services Package

The Baseline Services Package covers all aspects of CPE compliance and registration administration. It also includes e-mails, website postings, and listings in The Trusted Professional.

The Complete Services Package includes the above-listed administrative services, as well as the following:

•    Procurement of Venue

•    Procurement of Speakers

•    Marketing and Printing of Brochures

•    Printing, Compilation, and Shipping of Manuals

•    On-site Administration

•    Procurement of Audiovisual Equipment

•    Signage

Please note: The above fees cover administrative services only. All printing, postage, speaker expenses, and hotel rental fees will be charged separately. 

How do I let FAE know which option I have chosen?

This is done by completing the Chapter scheduling form for Chapter programs of 3 or more credits, indicating the title, the date you would like to hold the program, and which option you have selected.

How are the financial aspects of Chapter conferences handled?

FAE will process and record all the financial transactions for each program. The program is then reconciled, and all outstanding invoices are paid. The profits, if any, are then returned to the Chapter. Profits from Chapter programs can only be used for preapproved budgeted expenses. However, the chapter can submit an amended budget to cover new programs developed during the fiscal year. Please note that a copy all bills, invoices, and sponsorship funds that the Chapter receives should be forwarded to FAE to assure proper documentation and tracking of all program expenses.

What materials must the Chapter supply to FAE after a conference?

The following materials should be returned to your Chapter Relations Manager within one week of  the conference:

   •    Roster/Sign-in Sheet

   •   A Copy of the Program Manual

   •   Speakers Bios

   •   Evaluations

   •   Discussion Leader Form

   •   A Copy of All Program Expenses

If the Chapter uses FAE’s online registration process, the materials, evaluations, and course certificates will be distributed electronically.

How are CPE credit hours calculated? Is lunch included in the credit hours?

All programs are measured in terms of 50-minute contact hours. A 3-credit course will have 150 contact hours, a 4-hour CPE program will have 200 contact hours, and an 8-hour CPE program will have 400 contact hours. Announcements, lunch, and breaks cannot be counted as contact hours.

How many credits is a discussion leader entitled to?

One credit can be given to the discussion leader for every 50 minutes of presentation time. An instructor can claim up to two times the presentation time for preparation. Repeated presentations of the same material would receive no additional credit. A licensee may only claim up to 50 percent of the required CPE credits as an instructor.

How does the discussion leader obtain credits?

Speakers wishing to receive presentation credits for a Chapter’s 1- to 3-credit programs should contact the Chapter Relations Manager.

What are the qualifications of a Chapter CPE discussion leader?

Discussion leaders must meet the following requirements:

    •    Teaching/Speaking Experience

    • Previous experience teaching or conducting formal presentations to CPAs
    • Achieving satisfactory evaluation ratings as indicated by summary evaluation reports or personal reference checks

    •    Work Experience

    • Assigned to positions involving high-level supervisory or management-level skills in the subject areas being taught
    • Minimum of five years’ work experience (at all levels) in related subject areas

    •    Educational Background

    • Bachelor’s degree required and CPA or law degree preferred, depending on subject matter
    • Advance educational achievement at the master’s level and beyond is preferred

Please note the following FAE guidelines:

     •     Chapters are prohibited from hiring and/or using outside professional CPE speakers or vendors.

     •     Chapters may contract with FAE for speakers.