General Puerto Rico CPA CPE Requirements
The AICPA requires CPE for its members, so that licensees do everything in their power to exhibit professionalism and expertise. This requirement also helps individuals keep up with changes in the accounting industry. And furthermore, aids them in building their knowledge and skills. However, the actual regulations vary from one location to the next. Ultimately, because a State Board of Accountancy oversees each jurisdiction. As a result, the Puerto Rico CPA CPE requirements differ from those of other locations. So, it is important for licensees to know their individual requirements.
In Puerto Rico, members of the AICPA must renew their licenses every three years. And during this period, they must also complete at least 120 hours of continuing professional education. However, that number drops to 90 hours for non-practicing CPAs. The chart below also shows some more of the general details for license renewal.
|License Renewal Date||CPE Reporting Period||Total CPE Hours||Self-Study Credit Limitations|
|December 1 triennially||August 1 – July 31 triennially||120 hours||Limited to 60% of the total required hours|
Subject Area Requirements
During each renewal cycle, at least 3 of the required credits must come from subject areas relating to Professional Ethics. For CPA practitioners, a further 40 hours must come from Accounting, Auditing and Tax. Overall, 28 hours must be Accounting/Auditing and 12 must be Tax. Or, alternatively, 28 hours must be in Tax and 12 in Accounting/Auditing. Non-practitioners must complete 30 hours in an industry-specific subject each recertification period.
Credit Limitations and Calculation
Like most locations, licensees in Puerto Rico have the option to obtain CPE credit through formal instruction opportunities. Here, first time instruction provides credit for both preparation and presentation time. However, preparation credit cannot surpass twice the length of the presentation. Furthermore, there is a limit on credit for subsequent presentations. So, they only count if the content has been altered in a way that enhances the presenter’s understanding.
CPAs can alternatively earn credit through college or university courses. Here, each semester hour of a credit course is worth 15 CPE hours. And for each credit hour of a quarter hour course, licensees can obtain 10 credits.
CPAs who supervise thesis and seminar-type graduate courses can also claim credit. But only if the work contributes to the licensee’s professional competence.
Authorship is a valid method of earning continuing professional education credits in Puerto Rico. But the licensee must have published the material and made it available to the Board. Furthermore, they may only obtain 60 credit hours through this method each recertification cycle.
Self-study credit is likewise limited to 60% of the total required hours. And furthermore, the NASBA Quality Assurance Service must approve it in order for credit to apply. Otherwise, licensees will only be entitled to half of the listed credit amount.
CPA practitioners may only obtain 24 CPE hours through communication, behavioral sciences, public relations, and sales of securities.
CPAs can only begin obtaining half-hour credit increments after earning the first full hour of CPE.
Other Policies and Exemptions
As per AICPA policy, licensees in the following categories are exempt from the basic CPE requirements for license renewal. However, they must not practice or offer their services to third parties. Otherwise, they will again be considered subject to the rules and regulations.
- Currently unemployed CPAs
- CPAs who have temporarily left the workforce
- Formally “inactive” members of the AICPA
Additional Resources for Puerto Rico CPA CPE Requirements
Written by Braden Norwood
Last updated March 13, 2023