Alabama CPE Requirements for CPAs
A common method for proving credibility and demonstrating experience in business is to earn a certification or designation through an accrediting organization, most of which require a certain amount of continuing professional education during a licensing period to renew membership. Continuing professional education comes in many forms, and the requirements differ greatly from one organization to another, and even within some organizations like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), can differ immensely by state. For example, CPAs in Alabama are regulated by the state Board of Accountancy and must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education per year in order to maintain their licensed status.
Because the requirements different from one location to another, it is important for CPAs in Alabama to stay aware of and up-to-date on the state requirements imposed by the Board. The table below highlights the primary recertification limitations and deadlines for Alabama.
|License Renewal Date||CPE Reporting Period||Total CPE Hours||Self-Study Credit Limitations|
|September 30 annually||October 1 – September 30 annually||40 hours||Limited to 50% of total required hours|
Subject Area Requirements
For every annual recertification period, licensees in the state of Alabama must complete at least 8 hours of continuing professional education in the subjects of Accounting and Auditing, although there are no further regulations on subject areas.
Credit Limitations and Calculation
In the state of Alabama, there exist certain limitations on credit amounts garnered from various forms of continuing professional education. Courses centered around behavioral or personal development topics are limited to 12 hours per annum. Nano-Learning is limited to 25% of the total required hours. Authoring and publishing material is an acceptable method for obtaining CPE but is limited to 50% of the total hours, and credit hours for authoring such material is determined by the Board. Self-study in any form is limited to 50% of total hours. Attending technical meetings is limited to 8 of the 40 hours.
CPAs who present instructional material are able to claim credit for doing so, where credit is equal to two times presentation, and no credit is offered for preparation of a program. Group programs and blended learning programs must be a minimum of one hour, but credit may be earned in one-fifth or one-half increments after the first full hour is earned.
CPAs who are active participants in a college or university class can earn 15 CPE credits per semester hour successfully completed, and 10 CPE credits for each quarter hour.
The partial credit policy dictates that half credits may be earned after the first full hour of credit has been obtained. Self-study programs must be a minimum of one-half credit initially, but credit may be earned in one-fifth or one-half hour increments after the first full hour is earned. Nano-learning is earned in one fifth credit hour increments.
Other Policies and Exemptions
A licensee seeking renewal of an annual permit in the state of Alabama shall be deemed to have met the CPE requirements of this state by meeting the CPE requirements for renewal of a certification in the state in which the licensee’s principal place of business is located. If a licensee’s principal place of business has no CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate, the licensee must comply with all the CPE requirements for renewal of an annual permit in Alabama.
Licensed CPAs who fall into the categories listed below have no requirement to meet any continuing professional education stipulations as dictated by the AICPA:
- Retired members who offer no services to third parties
- Unemployed members who offer no services to third parties
- Members who have temporarily and willfully left the workforce, who offer no services to third parties
- Members who have formally and willingly listed their status as “inactive”, who offer no services to third parties
Waivers can also be requested by CPAs for the following bases, in order to receive exemption from the continuing professional education requirements:
- Health complications
- Active-duty military service
- Extreme natural disasters (in accordance with Alabama policies)
- Other similar circumstances which might prevent a member from completing their CPE requirements
Additional CPE Resources for CPAs
Article written by Braden Norwood