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Professional Resources

CPE Requirements in New York State  

The information below is meant to serve as an easy reference guide for some of the commonly asked questions regarding continuing education requirements in New York State. It is not meant to replace the guidelines set forth by the New York State Education Department, and is not the final authority in answering questions about the CPE requirements. Full updated information on mandatory education requirements can be found on the NYSED site.  Contact the NYSED with any questions regarding these requirements.

Am I required to complete continuing education?

If you are a licensed CPA or PA who performs accounting, tax, financial advisory or management advisory services in New York State, for private industry, government agencies, public accounting firms, not-for-profit organizations, or academia, you are required to meet the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

When must I begin taking continuing education?

Newly licensed CPAs must adhere to the CPE requirements beginning the January 1 following their initial 3 year registration period. Requirements for CPE apply to your first full calendar year in your second registration period.

For example, if you earned your CPA license on June 1, 2012, your initial registration period ends on May 31, 2015.  You must begin to meet your CPE requirements for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2016.

How many hours of CPE must I complete?

  • You must complete 4 contact hours of acceptable professional ethics during every 3 calendar years AND
  • You must complete one of the following requirements:

    • 24 contact hours concentrated in one of the recognized subject areas OR
    • 40 contact hours in a combination of any recognized subject area

For example, you may complete 24 hours in a taxation concentration only, or 10 hours in each of taxation, accounting, auditing, and attestation for a total of 40 hours.

I no long perform services within the scope of practice in New York State or for New York State clients. Must I continue to meet the CPE requirements?

You may request an exemption from mandatory CPE requirements from the New York State Education Department (NYSED). 

Visit the SED site for more information.

How do I report completion of my CPE requirements?

  • You do not need to report your CPE compliance on an annual basis; however you do need to affirm you have met the requirements when you renew your registration.
  • The State Board for Public Accountancy conducts random audits of licensee CPE records, so make sure to maintain your records of compliance.

How long do I need to maintain my CPE records?

You must keep CPE certificates for at least 5 years and make them available to the NYSED upon request.

What ethics courses will qualify to meet the ethics requirement?

Only ethics courses approved by the NYSED will qualify to meet this requirement unless your principal place of business is outside of New York State and you are licensed in that state.

(For more information on the ethics requirement, visit the SED page)

Can I roll over extra CPE hours from one year to the next?

No. CPE requirements must be met on an annual basis and may not be transferred from one year to the next.

What is the CPE tracking year?

CPE tracking and reporting run on a standard January 1 – December 31 year.

What are the approved subject areas for CPE?

There are 7 approved subject areas. They are:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Attestation
  • Taxation
  • Advisory Services
  • Specialized Knowledge and Applications Related to Specialized Industries
  • Professional Ethics

(For more details on the approved subject areas, visit the SED page)



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