Arkansas CPE Requirements for CPAs
Continuing professional education is an intrinsic requirement for many business professionals who hold prestigious titles or designations bestowed by an accrediting organization, though the requirements vary greatly between each accrediting body. Even within organizations themselves, there often exist discrepancies between various locations. When it comes to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), each state’s license renewal requirements are dictated by that location’s Board of Accountancy, and the stipulations vary as such. For licensed members of the AICPA who reside in Arkansas, there is an overall state requirement to renew their license every year, and each individual must obtain 40 hours of continuing professional education during that recertification period. The table below highlights the primary recertification limitations for CPAs based in Arkansas.
|License Renewal Date||CPE Reporting Period||Total CPE Hours||Self-Study Credit Limitations|
|January 1, annually||January 1 – December 31, annually||40 hours||Maximum of 60% of total required hours|
Subject Area Requirements
During the 36 months immediately preceding the expiration date of a license, CPAs must take 4 hours in the area of professional conduct and ethics. one hour of ethics must be on Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy specific laws and rules. This requirement may be satisfied by completing a free, web-based course via the Board’s website or attending group training taught by a Board member, Board staff member, or a designee of the Board, and will count toward the 4-hour ethics requirement. Licensees who received their initial license during the current calendar year are exempt from the ethics requirement until their first full calendar year of licensure.
Licensees in Arkansas must also complete 50% of their continuing professional education in the areas of Accounting/Attest, Accounting Ethics or Tax. Furthermore, if the licensee performs attest or compilation services, they must obtain 20% of their total hours requirement from courses dealing with Accounting/Auditing.
Programs in the following subject areas are not acceptable continuing professional education: spirituality, personal health and/or fitness, sports and recreations, or foreign language and cultures and other subjects which will not contribute directly to the professional competency of the licensee.
Credit Limitations and Calculation
In the state of Arkansas, CPAs are able to obtain continuing professional education credit for instructing or presenting accounting or auditing-related material in a formal, professional capacity. If those courses are part of an accredited college or university program, they must be upper-level, and may only be used for CPE one time in a three-year period. A lecturer or discussion leader shall be granted credit for preparation and presentation of a program for twice the number of CPE hours available to participants. For any program, repeat instruction within the same calendar year will not be valid for obtaining further credits.
CPAs can also earn credit if they are enrolled in accredited college or university courses, earned at a rate of 15 CPE credits per semester hour successfully completed and 10 CPE credits for each quarter hour taken. However, credit will not be granted for academic courses or exam review courses used to qualify to take the CPA exam or acquire the CPA certification.
Credits from independent study, self-study and authorship/publication may no exceed 60% of the total CPE hours required during any recertification period, and independent study must be approved in advance by the Board. Published articles, books or CPE programs may be eligible for self-declared credit if the material contributes to the professional competency of the licensee and was formally accepted for publication in writing prior tot he effective date of the renewal period.
Any provider offering 16 or more credits must be registered with NASBA’s National Registry, and providers offering fewer than 16 credits may register instead with NASBA’s Roster program.
Credits may be obtained in half-hour increments after the first full hour has been completed.
Other Policies and Exemptions
Licensed members of the AICPA who are described by the following categories have no requirement for continuing professional education, so long as their services are not provided to any parties:
- Members who are currently unemployed
- Members who have temporarily left the workforce and intend to return
- Members who have formally listed their status as “inactive”
A full or partial exemption from continuing professional education requirements may be allowed for the following licensees:
- An active-duty military service member outside of the State of Arkansas
- A returning military veteran within one year of his or her discharge from active duty
- The spouse of a person under either point above
In order to receive full or partial exemption, a qualifying individual must submit a written request for an exemption to the Board. There are also situational reasons for which members might apply for exemption:
- Health complications
- Extreme natural disasters (in accordance with Arkansas Board policies)
- Other similar circumstances which might prevent a member from completing their CPE requirements