South Carolina CPE Requirements for CPAs

  • Feb 3
South Carolina CPE Requirements for CPAs

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 DateCPE Reporting PeriodTotal CPE HoursSelf-Study Credit Limitations
January 31 annuallyJanuary 1 – December 31 annually40 hoursLimited to 50% of total required hours

South Carolina CPE Subject Area Requirements

During each recertification period, South Carolina CPAs must take at least 2 hours of subjects dedicated to professional ethics. However, there are no further subject area requirements.

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 only accepts repeated instruction so long as the individual has substantially altered the curriculum. 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 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 board-assigned positive enforcement reviews cannot exceed 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 Limitations

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 are automatically exempt from the yearly recertification requirements so long as they refrain from offering their services to any third parties:

  • Retirees
  • Currently unemployed members
  • 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 March 13, 2023