Rhode Island CPA Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

  • Jun 25
Rhode Island CPA Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

Rhode Island CPE Requirements for CPAs

In the world of accounting, continuing professional education is a fact of life. Especially for licensed CPAs, who have to complete so many hours of CPE every few years in order to keep up their organizational membership status. In short, continuing education helps keep licensees up-to-date with organizational trends and important developments. And without knowledge of these things, it would be difficult if not impossible to offer the best services to clients and employers.

But because each state is governed by its own Board of Accountancy, the actual recertification requirements differ greatly from one place to another. So, it’s paramount that CPAs recognize and understand the state requirements for their particular location. In Rhode Island, CPAs are required to complete at least 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years in order to renew their license. The table below gives further information about the requirements in Rhode Island.

License Renewal DateCPE Reporting PeriodTotal CPE HoursSelf-Study Credit Limitations
June 30 trienniallyJanuary 1 – December 31 triennially120 hours80 hours maximum each recertification period

Subject Area Requirements

Licensees in Rhode Island are required to take at least 6 hours of Professional Ethics during each three-year recertification cycle, which can be counted toward the full 120-hour requirement. This can include programs devoted to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and opinions issued thereunder. Programs relating to the legal, professional or ethical codes of any authoritative organizations or accounting professional specialty organizations are also applicable as means of fulfilling the Rhode Island CPE ethics requirement.

Credit Limitations and Calculation

Instruction of educational or information presentations is one possible way for CPAs in Rhode Island to partially complete their CPE requirements. With this method, it is acceptable to earn up to 60 hours per period. Credit for this method is determined by adding the presentation time and preparation time, where prep time is limited to twice the length of the presentation itself.

Another method of earning CPE credit is through personal development and marketing opportunities, which is limited to 24 hours per cycle. Included in this are the following subject areas:

  • Business Management and Organization
  • Communications
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Personnel/HR
  • Personal Development

It is further possible to earn CPE credit for authoring and publishing relevant material. Like instruction, this method is limited to no more than 60 hours per period.

Self-study credit must be approved by the NASBA Quality Assurance Service or be interactive in nature. This method is limited to 80 hours per recertification period.

Partial credits are acceptable to the Board in any amounts.

Other Policies and Exemptions

A non-resident licensee seeking renewal of a certificate in Rhode Island shall be determined to have met the CPE requirement of the state by meeting the CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate in the state in which the licensee’s principal place of business is located by signing a statement to that effect on the renewal application for Rhode Island. Non-resident applications for renewal shall demonstrate compliance with the CPE renewal requirements of the state in which the licensee’s principal place of business is located by signing a statement to that effect on a renewal application of this state. If a non-resident licensee’s principal place of business state has no CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate, the non-resident licensee must comply with all CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate in Rhode Island.

CPAs who fall into any of the categories listed below will automatically be considered exempt from the typical recertification requirements for licensure in Rhode Island as long as they refrain from offering any services to third parties:

  • Retired individuals
  • Individuals who are currently unemployed
  • Individuals who have temporarily and willfully left the workforce
  • Individuals who have formally changed their organizational status to “inactive”

However, for members who are not in the above categories who wish to apply for exemption status, waivers are provided by the Board for reasons including:

  • Health issues
  • Military service or duty
  • Extreme natural disaster
  • Similar circumstances

Additional CPE Resources for CPAs