What to do when you receive a notice for the 2021 CPE Audit:
- Obtain your CPE Report (click here)
- Gather documentation for ALL CPE you reported for the 2021 license renewal.
- (Keep in mind: If you chose the 40-hour rule, this will include ALL courses from 2020 AND ALL ethics courses from 2020, 2019 & 2018. If you chose the 120-hour rule, this will include ALL courses from 2020, 2019, & 2018)
- Compare your documentation to the CPE Report to make sure you didn’t miss anything
- Review the documentation to make sure it meets the CPE documentation requirements, listed below.
- Submit documentation to the ASBPA. Deadline: May 20, 2021
- Scan and email to the Board in a PDF format, no Zip files (preferred method)
- OR mail it to the Board office. ATTN: CPE Audit
NEW CPE AUDIT POLICY
Effective with the 2019 CPE Audit (audit of courses submitted for the 2019 license renewal), those CPAs who fail a CPE Audit will be required to make up the hours disallowed in the audit in addition to paying a fine. For several years, the audits have resulted in fines only, but the Board believes that the profession and the public are better served by having CPAs who fail to meet the CPE standards make up the hours that were either not taken or disallowed.
Summary of CPE Documentation Requirements
CPE support documentation should be a form or certificate issued by the sponsor and should contain the following information:
- Your name as a participant (see Note 1 below)
- Name of sponsoring organization and contact information
- NASBA registration number or “Exempt” if organization is exempt
- Course title
- Dates attended and/or completed
- Number of hours obtained (based on 50-minute hour)
- Field of study for which hours were granted
- Type of instruction/delivery method (group or self-study)
- Signature of sponsor representative (written or electronic is acceptable)
Documentation lacking any of the items detailed above may result in the CPE being deemed unacceptable. Please make sure that each document you are submitting has all of the information we require.
We will not contact you for missing information.
NOTE 1: Except for sponsor's signatures, handwritten information is NOT acceptable. If any of the information is written, please contact the sponsor and have them verify the information on letterhead or in an email and send to the Board.
NOTE 2: Many “Exempt” sponsors do not include the field of study on their certificates. Please send additional information (agenda or outline) to corroborate the classification of the CPE hours.
In-Firm Documentation Requirements
If you work for a firm NOT registered with NASBA as a CPE provider, the following must be submitted for in-firm CPE hours reported:
- Course agenda and/or outline
- Name of the instructor(s)
- Biography of the instructor(s) – must include a biography for each instructor
- Verification of attendance by your firm (e.g. certificate of completion or a sign-in sheet with your name/signature)
- Field of study for the course (e.g. Accounting/Auditing, Taxation, etc.)
- Number of CPE hours obtained (based on a 50-minute hour)
- Date CPE was offered, including year
If you work for a firm that IS registered with NASBA as a CPE provider, all in-firm CPE can be verified by sending a transcript of your CPE. This transcript must be given to you and signed by your firm's CPE administrator or your firm's director. This transcript must have all required CPE certificate information. If you do not have a transcript, you may also send acceptable CPE certificates instead of normal in-firm documentation. Please note, all CPE not taken through your firm must be verified via a CPE certificate, not the CPE transcript.
NOTE 3: Except for signatures, handwritten information is NOT acceptable. If any of the information is written, please contact your firm’s CPE Coordinator and have them verify the information on letterhead or in an email and send to us.
Examples of Unacceptable Documentation
- “Circle the Minutes” forms are NOT acceptable. These are forms where you circle the minutes, total up the minutes and divide by 50 to get the CPE hours. These are considered “self-reporting” documents and are NOT acceptable third-party documentation. You must contact the provider and request a certificate or a letter confirming the completion of the CPE. This includes “Circle the Minutes” forms provided by the AICPA.
- CPE obtained from providers that are not NASBA registered or are not an exempt organization per Rule 13.4(f) is NOT acceptable. A provider’s prior NASBA registration does not ensure current NASBA certification. Please check closely for a NASBA number on your documents.
- In-firm documentation that does not have all the items required is NOT acceptable.
- Unofficial transcripts – if you are claiming CPE from colleges or universities, a print-out of a transcript is not acceptable. We must have an official transcript sent to the Board from the university. No copies – we must receive the original.
- Plane ticket stubs, receipts for payment of CPE, rosters of attendees, confirmation letters or emails of registrations, etc., are NOT acceptable.
- Any documentation that has handwritten notes that fill in missing information is NOT acceptable. For example, if the provider did not include the number of hours and you write that number in, it will not be acceptable. You must contact the provider for any missing information.
- Certificates that do not have a name are NOT acceptable. You may have received a blank certificate from the sponsor. This document is not acceptable for audit purposes. Please contact the sponsor and have them verify your attendance on letterhead or in an email sent to us.
- Screenshots of completed CPE courses are NOT acceptable. You must send verified CPE certificates from the sponsor.
Summary of Rule 13 - CPE Requirements
1. GROUP STUDY: Minimum of 8 hours based on 40-hour rule or 24 hours based on 120-hour rule is required.
2. CONTENT: For licensees engaged in the practice of public accountancy, a minimum of 16 hours based on 40-hour rule or 48 hours based on 120-hour rule shall be completed in the following: Accounting/Attest, Accounting Ethics, or Taxation. For those not engaged in the practice of public accountancy, the minimum is 8 hours under the 40-hour rule or 24 hours based on the 120-hour rule.
3. ENGAGED IN ATTEST/COMPILATIONS: If the licensee is engaged in attest or compilation functions, a minimum of 8 hours based on the 40-hour rule or 24 hours based on the 120-hour rule must be completed in Accounting/Attest.
4. ETHICS: All license holders must have at least 4 hours of Accounting Ethics in any 36 month reporting cycle. Beginning January 1, 2015, one of those hours must be the Arkansas State Board of Accountancy Laws and Rules course.
5. NEW LICENSEES: Licensees who receive their initial license during the current calendar year must obtain CPE hours prorated based upon the date of initial license. They are exempt from the ethics requirement until their first full year of licensure.
6. 120-HOUR RULE REPORTING CYCLE: January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020.
7. SPONSORS: CPE sponsors must be registered with NASBA. The certificate of completion must include the sponsor’s registry number. Professional accounting and legal organizations, accredited universities and colleges, firms, and government entities are exempt from the NASBA registry requirement.