Hawaii CPA Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

  • Mar 1
Hawaii CPA Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

Hawaii CPE Requirements for CPAs

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is one of many organizations that certifies business professionals, offering prestigious titles and designations which serve to enhance licensees’ standing in their career field. A vital part of maintaining that designation, though, is the requirement to complete a specified amount of continuing professional education per recertification period, which can easily become confusing for CPAs who aren’t familiar with the stipulations for license renewal. Further complicating the issue is the fact that each state or territory has its own set of requirements, as dictated by that Jurisdiction’s Board of Accountancy.

So, to make matters simpler and less frustrating, it is important for CPAs to know the state-specific requirements for their location. Members who are residents of Hawaii are required to renew their license every two years and must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education per recertification period. The table below details several important deadlines and limitations.

License Renewal DateCPE Reporting PeriodTotal CPE HoursSelf-Study Credit Limitations
December 31 of odd yearsJanuary 1 – December 31 biennially, ending in odd-numbered years80 hoursNone

Subject Area Requirements

For CPAs in Hawaii, the sole subject requirement is to complete 4 hours of professional ethics training during each recertification period (two years).

Credit Limitations and Calculation

Instruction or presentation is a valid method for obtaining CPE credit in the state of Hawaii, with the limit being 40 hours (50% of the maximum required credits) through this method. Credit for teaching the same course in the same recertification period is awarded only once. Here, credit is given for presentation time only.

Active participation in college or university courses is a Board-approved method of continuing professional education, which is calculated as 15 CPE credits per semester hour and 10 CPE credits per quarter hour. Non-credit university courses are worth 1 CPE hour for each hour of class participation.

The maximum credit allowed for time spent as a reviewer at a formally sponsored interoffice or interfirm quality review program is 20 hours. Credit is calculated at a rate of 50% per hour spent as a reviewer.

The Board has provisions to allow for CPE credit hours for a reviewer at a formally-sponsored interoffice or interfirm quality review program, with 50% of each hour and not to exceed 20 hours per recertification period.

Self-study course credit has no stated limitations by the Board.

Other Policies and Exemptions

Course providers must be one of the following:

  • A non-profit, nationally recognized accounting and auditing association
  • An accredited university or college
  • Approved by either the Hawaii Board of Accountancy or another state board of accountancy
  • Approved by NASBA’s National Registry of CPE Sponsors

Up to 40 hours earned in excess of the reporting period requirements may be earned over the next reporting period.

AICPA members who fall into the following categories are considered exempt from continuing professional education requirements:

  • Retirees who do not offer their services to other parties
  • Unemployed members who do not offer their services to other parties
  • Members who have temporarily and willingly left the workforce who do not offer services to other parties
  • Formally listed, “inactive” members who do not offer their services to other parties

Waivers can be requested for exemption by CPAs for the following reasons:

  • Complications with health
  • Issues related to military service
  • Instances of natural disaster (dictated by the Board)
  • Other circumstances which prevent timely accrual of continuing professional education credit (individually subject to Board approval)

Additional CPE Resources for CPAs



Article written by Braden Norwood