General South Carolina CPE Requirements
Essentially, it could be argued that CPE is something someone in any industry could benefit from. After all, learning and continuing to hone a craft is admirable and worth the effort. Because it helps ensure that an individual is as knowledgeable as possible within their chosen field. This is also why the AICPA requires members to complete a certain amount of CPE for license renewal. However, because qualifications vary from state to state, the South Carolina CPE Requirements differ from other requirements. So, it’s important for licensees to know their specific stipulations.
In the state of South Carolina, CPAs must renew their license on a yearly basis. And during that time, they must complete 40 hours of CPE. The table below further outlines several of the primary recertification requirements.
|License Renewal Date||CPE Reporting Period||Total CPE Hours||Self-Study Credit Limitations|
|January 31 annually||January 1 – December 31 annually||40 hours||Limited to 50% of total required hours|
South Carolina CPE Subject Area Requirements
During a three-year period, South Carolina CPAs must take at least 6 hours of subjects dedicated to professional ethics. Furthermore, 2 of those hours must cover South Carolina Rules & Regulations and be Board approved. The 2-hour ethics course can be taken only once during each three-year cycle. Also, licensees can only count one 2-hour ethics course per three-year period toward their current recertification CPE goals.
Credit Limitations and Calculation
CPAs can claim CPE credit if they conduct instances of formal instruction or offer educational presentations. Also, note that credit equals two times the length of the presentation. However, credit is not available for preparation time. And furthermore, the Board will only accept repeated instruction so long as the curriculum has been substantially altered. Overall, instructor credits for teaching university, college and graduate-level courses cannot surpass 25% of the total required hours per recertification period. And no further credit will accrue for teaching introductory-level courses. Generally, credit here equals 10 hours per 3 semester hours taught. But repeated instruction will only apply for credit so long as it’s taught over two years after the last instance.
CPAs active in college or university courses can also claim credit commensurate with the length of the class being taken. Overall, licensees can obtain 15 CPEs for a semester-length course or 10 hours per quarter course. And alternatively, 1 CPE hour per qualifying classroom hour for courses not worth university credit.
Licensees can also obtain credit for authorship and publication of instructional or educational materials. However, this method may only earn up to 25% of the total hours per recertification period.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings are not an acceptable method for obtaining CPE credit unless they offer at least 50 minutes or more of continuous instruction after completion of the meal.
Participation in positive enforcement reviews assigned by the Board is limited to 16 hours per recertification period. The same is also the case for service on a qualifying peer review acceptance body.
Personal development courses are limited to 20% of the total hours required per recertification period.
Self-study credits are limited to 50% of the total required hours for the recertification cycle, and providers of self-study courses must be recognized with NASBA’s Quality Assurance Service.
CPE credit can be obtained in half-credit increments once the first full hour of continuing professional education has been completed.
No more than 10 CPE credits can be earned on any given calendar day.
Other Policies and Exemptions
A maximum of 20 credit hours may carry from one reporting period to the subsequent reporting period. Furthermore, credits earned from peer review, published materials, self-study, personal development or instruction of university/college courses are exceptions to this policy and cannot be carried.
The Board may accept a compliance report from another jurisdiction if the requirement is substantially equivalent to South Carolina’s state requirements.
CPAs in any of the following categories will automatically be considered exempt from the yearly recertification requirements so long as they refrain from offering their services to any third parties:
- Members who are currently unemployed
- Members who have temporarily left the workforce
- Officially “inactive” members
Furthermore, it is possible for active members to request waivers for exemption on the following bases:
- Health issues
- Military service
- Natural disasters (further determined by Board discretion)
- Other similar circumstances (also subject to Board determination)
Additional CPE Resources for CPAs
Article written by Braden Norwood
Last updated December 6, 2021