CPE Requirements for CPAs in Wisconsin
CPE is one of the primary requirements for maintaining a professional license or designation with organizations such as the AICPA. Because it demonstrates an individual’s willingness to remain up-to-date on important trends and practices in the profession. The basic Wisconsin CPA CPE requirements stipulate renewing a license every two years. Which also includes obtaining a minimum of 20 CPE hours per year and 80 hours every renewal cycle.
Ultimately, the Wisconsin Board of Accountancy is responsible for setting the requirements for CPAs in the state. This also includes deciding the acceptable forms of CPE for meeting the licensure requirements. Because the requirements differ from other states, licensees should understand the specific rules for their CPE. The table below highlights the main responsibilities of Wisconsin licensees as well as important deadlines in the renewal process.
Wisconsin CPA CPE Requirements and Recertification Deadlines
|License Renewal Date
|CPE Reporting Period
|Total CPE Hours
|Self-Study Credit Limitations
|December 14 of odd years ($43 fee)
|December 15 – December 14 biennially
Subject Area Requirements
During each renewal cycle, at least 3 of the 80 hours must be obtained from formal learning activities dealing with ethics. And furthermore, these must meet the standard requirements for the Wisconsin Board. Additionally, licensees must earn 40 hours from other formal learning activities. However, there are no further subject area requirements.
Credit Limitations and Calculation
CPAs who provide formal instruction or give presentations may obtain CPA credit for doing so. Here, each hour of class time accounts for three hours of CPE credit.
Also, CPAs enrolled and participating in college or university courses related to accounting can claim 15 CPE hours per semester credit. However, they can alternatively obtain 10 CPE hours per quarter credit. And furthermore, for courses not worth university credit, CPE hours equal the time spent in class.
The Wisconsin Board of Accountancy further accepts credit in one-tenth increments, beginning with the first one-tenth CPE earned.
Other Policies and Exemptions
Licensees seeking to renew an initial certificate issued less than two but more than one year prior to the expiation date need only complete 40 CPE hours. Thought they still must earn 20 hours in the second year and 20 for the Formal Learning Requirement. Licensees renewing their initial certificate issued less than one year prior to the expiration are fully exempt from CPE requirements. But only for that reporting period.
A licensee currently holding an unrevoked CPA license issued by any other jurisdiction will also be considered to have met Wisconsin’s CPE requirements if they comply with the CPE licensing requirements of the state in which the other license is held.
Licensees can carry 40 CPE credits in excess of the maximum forward to a subsequent renewal period. Alternatively, they can send 12 CPE credits back from the first 12 months of a compliance period to the one immediately preceding it.
CPAs of the following kind are automatically considered fully exempt from the AICPA license renewal process and requirements:
- Retired licensees who currently offer no services
- Currently unemployed licensees who currently offer no services
- Licensees who have temporarily left the workforce, so long as they offer no services
- Licensees who have formally opted to list their status as “inactive,” who offers no services
It is also possible to request waivers for exemption for Board-approved reasons, including:
- Complications with health
- Active-duty military service
- Extreme natural disaster, also including pandemics
- Other circumstances, so determined by the Board
Additional CPE Resources for CPAs
Article written by Braden Norwood
Last updated March 13, 2023