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Society Supports Bill Eliminating CPE Exemption for Newly Licensed CPAs

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 15, 2018


In an effort to ensure newly licensed CPAs remain competent in new and emerging skill sets clients and employers have come to expect in the age of blockchain and artificial intelligence, the NYSSCPA is supporting a bill that would require newly licensed CPAs in New York to earn up to 120-credit hours of continuing professional education during the first three years of licensure.  

The legislation, A10648/S8522A, removes the current three-year exemption from mandatory CPE for new CPA licensees and would require them to earn either 24-credits a year in a concentration, such as audit or taxation; or 40-credits a year in general CPE. The current ethics CPE requirement would also apply to the newly licensed in New York, which mandates a CPA earn four credits in ethics CPE during their 3-year registration period. The bills, sponsored by Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-127) in the Assembly and by Sen. Pamela Helming (R-54) in the Senate, were introduced on May 9 and have been referred to their respective chambers' Higher Education Committees. If signed into law, the legislation would apply to any newly licensed CPA starting Jan. 1, 2020.

“As the pace of technology, the proliferation of regulations and increasing specialization accelerate, one of the greatest challenges for all CPAs is the attainment, maintenance and advancement of professional competence,” the bill memo states. “To meet this challenge and to maintain public confidence, it is critical that all CPAs remain current in accounting standards, knowledge, skills and abilities in all areas in which they provide services. It is not enough that an individual be successful in completing an accounting education and passing an exam. In a complex and complicated world, all CPAs need to demonstrate that they are taking substantive steps to maintain licensure. An unprofessional or unethical practice of accountancy causes harm to the public. Mandatory CPE for all CPAs, therefore, is all about public protection.”

The bill was one of several initiatives included in the legislative and regulatory agenda that the NYSSCPA Board of Directors approved at its Dec. 7, 2017, meeting.

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