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No Change to Ethics CPE in January 2020

Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
Nov 4, 2019
CPE Classroom

The changes to ethics continuing professional education (CPE) that the New York State Board for Public Accountancy approved of in October 2018 will not go into effect in January 2020. That’s because the New York State Board of Regents has not yet approved of regulations to implement these changes. Even if the Board of Regents were to approve of the regulations at its December meeting, there would not be enough time for CPE providers to prepare for the change.

On Oct. 24, 2018, the public accountancy board voted on changes that would require New York-licensed CPAs to complete two credits of ethics CPE per year with a minimum of two NYS approved ethics every three years. Currently, CPAs need to take four hours of ethics CPE during a three calendar-year period. The board voted on an effective date of Jan. 2, 2020 for the changes. (For more information on the changes, and to read about the NYSSCPA's position, see this article.)

Since the public accountancy board voted to approve the changes last year, the Board of Regents has not acted on them. The minutes to the board’s July 31, 2019, meeting explain why: Executive Secretary Jennifer Winters “noted that … the lawyers have not worked on the regulations for the Section 70.9 and it is still pending. A new effective date will need to be selected as the date previously was January 1, 2020 and that will not allow for enough time to implement the new rules and notify the licensees and sponsors.” Following the board’s meeting on Oct. 23, 2019, Winters confirmed that the changes will not go into effect in 2020.

Law requiring CPE for newly licensed CPAs to go into effect in January

During the public accountancy board’s Oct. 23 meeting, Winters said that she does expect the Board of Regents, at its December meeting, to vote on regulations that will implement the law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last December, eliminating the exemption from CPE for newly licensed CPAs. She said that the Board of Regents may vote on an emergency basis, given that the law states that it is to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. (For more information on the law, and to read about the NYSSCPA's position, see this article .)

The Trusted Professional will report on the Board of Regents’ actions after its meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 9–10.

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