CPE – Continuing Professional Education

Continuing Professional Education
Required for all Louisiana Active Certificate Holders (Licensees)

CPE Reporting Period
The current three (3) year continuing professional education (CPE) reporting period is January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, that is, the calendar years 2013 through 2015.

CPE Hours Required
In general, the CPE hours that are required depends on the date of certificate (license) issuance.

CPAs licensed prior to 2012: 120 total hours completed in the period 2013-15
CPAs licensed in 2013: 80 total hours completed in the period 2013-15
CPAs licensed in 2014: 40 total hours completed in 2013-15
CPAs licensed in 2015: 0 -none- for the 2013-15 reporting period

All other CPE requirements remain the same.  A Board-approved ETHICS course is again required for this current reporting period.  For those CPAs who perform attest services, 20% of the current CPE requirement must be in Accounting and Auditing courses.
CPAs who reinstate active certificates (from a prior year expiration) between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013 are required to complete the following:

Reinstated license in 2012: 120 total hours completed in the period 2013-15
Reinstated license in 2013: 80 total hours completed in the period 2013-15
Reinstated license in 2014: 40 total hours completed in 2013-15
Reinstated license in 2015: 0 -none- for the 2013-15 reporting period

* EXCEPTION: A small number of CPAs reinstated a license more than once since June 1999. Those CPAs are required to report 120 CPE hours for the current reporting period.

Acceptable CPE
CPE must consist of a formal program of learning, which contributes directly to a CPA’s professional knowledge and professional competence. Chapter 13 of the Board Rules (see link below) covers the CPE requirements that all licensed Louisiana CPAs and CPE sponsors must follow in order to have the CPE qualify for credit.  Sponsors and licensees should become familiar with these rules and requirements.  The Board does not have a “pre-approval” or “registration” process for sponsors and does not pre-approve CPE (with the exception of the required ethics course).  The CPE submitted by CPAs is subject to review or audit by the Board staff after the reporting period and may be disallowed if the requirements are not satisfied.  Sponsors are also subject to review.  Board personnel are knowledgable with regard to CPE, but may not always be able to provide final conclusions in advance as to the acceptability of a CPE course or sponsor. 

CPE Reporting
CPAs with active certificates, in order to renew their licenses, must complete and submit a Continuing Professional Education Reporting Form at the end of each three-year CPE Reporting period.  Licensees are required to sign an original CPE form.  The CPE Reporting Form is sent to licensees every third year, and is anticipated to be sent to licensees in November 2015 for the current 2013-15 reporting cycle.  The required CPE hours will appear in the renewal notice.

CPE Tracking (NASBA’s “Calibrate” system of reporting CPE)
CPAs who have used this service have been contacted by NASBA regarding the discontinuance of this service.

CPE Rules – [ click here to access:  CPE RULES ]
Chapter 13 of the State Board Rules covers the CPE requirements that all licensed Louisiana CPAs and CPE sponsors must follow in order to have the CPE qualify for credit.  Sponsors and licensees should be familiar and comply with these rules and requirements.

Accounting and Auditing CPE requirement
CPAs who participate anytime during the reporting cycle in attest engagement(s) (compilation, review, audit, and agreed-upon procedures) are required to complete at least 20% of their required hours in accounting and auditing subjects.  [In public accounting, this can include all financial reporting, "A&A", or attest engagement staff, managers, partners, and practitoners-in-charge of compilation(s), review(s), audit(s) or other attest engagement(s).  It excludes tax staff or personnel whose role is to assist the attest engagement staff or team in the tax computation, accrual and tax disclosure.]

CPE Ethics Course – specific requirement (revised July 2013)
Included in this 2013-15 CPE reporting period is an Ethics requirement. Those licensed CPAs who are subject to mandatory CPE for this three year cycle will have to complete an approved 4 hour ethics courses (unless they meet the exception for out of state CPAs discussed below).

  • “Louisiana Professional Ethics for CPAs” (AICPA developed)

Live and online courses offered through Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA)           
www.lcpa.org – (504) 464-1040 or (800) 288-5272

  • “Cases in Corporate Ethics:  Discussion of Real Life Conflicts” (by Executive Education, Inc.)

Live course offered through Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA)
www.lcpa.org  – (504) 464-1040 or (800) -288-5272

  • “Personal and Professional Ethics for Louisiana CPAs”  (developed by Dr. Raymond Clay)

Live course offered through Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA)
www.lcpa.org – (504) 464-1040 or (800) 288-5272

  • “Personal and Professional Ethics for Louisiana CPAs” (developed by Dr. Raymond Clay)

Online course offered through Checkpoint Learning at www.passonline.com  – (800) 563-4621

  • “Ethics Standards for Louisiana CPAs” (developed by Bisk Education)

Course offered by Bisk Education – CPEasy at www.cpeasy.com – (800) 404-7438

  • “Professional Ethics for Louisiana CPAs” (developed by SmartPros Ltd.)

Online course offered through SmartPros Ltd. at www.smartpros.com  – (914) 517-1177

  • “Ethics for Louisiana” (developed by Master CPE, LLC)

Online course offered through Master CPE, LLC at www.mastercpe.com  – (800) 957-7379

  • “Ethics for Accountants:  Louisiana” (developed by Beacon Hill Financial Educators, Inc.)

Online course offered through Beacon Hill Financial Educators, Inc. at www.bhfe.com  – (800) 588-7039

EXCEPTION:  If you are a CPA who (1) primarily practices or works outside of Louisiana, and (2) you have a valid active CPA license issued by another state board, and (3) that state board has an ETHICS continuing education requirement during 2013-2015, then you may report your completion of that ETHICS course(s) instead of one of the Louisiana specific ethics courses.

NOTE: Registrants who are registered in inactive status are exempt from the board’s CPE requirements, and accordingly are exempt from the Ethics course requirement.

CPE Credit for Teaching College Courses (added April, 04)
Credit for services as a lecturer or speaker is awarded on the first presentation only, unless a program has been substantially revised. College courses at the junior, senior or graduate level according to the applicable accredited college or university’s degree program curriculum will be allowed for continuing professional education and may be claimed repetitively since these courses are considered to be “substantially revised” due to the continual changes that need to be incorporated in a course at this level.

Curriculum will be eligible for CPE on the first presentation only. Repeat presentations are not considered to be “substantially revised”. A CPA would have to provide evidence of substantial revision for the Board to consider allowing a repeat presentation.

Personal Development CPE Limitation
Personal Development CPE hours cannot exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the required hours. Personal development is the field of study that includes self-management and self-improvement both inside and outside of the business environment.

CPE Rule §1309 F. 1
This rule now encompasses a number of other examinations –in addition to the successful completion of exams for Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). CPE credit is awarded at a rate of 5 times the length of the exam passed but is limited to 50% of the three-year requirement. The Board approved list of exams appears below:

CMA Certified Management Accountant (named in the Rule)
CISA Certified Information Systems Auditor (named in the Rule)
CFP Certified Financial Planner (named in the Rule)
CFE Certified Fraud Examiner
CIA Certified Internal Auditor
CGFM Certified Governmental Financial Manager
CGFOMCP Certified Govtl Financial Officer (LA Govtl Fin Officers Assoc.)Microsoft Certified Professional
PFS Personal Financial Specialist
Series 6 Investment Co. Products/Variable Contracts Rep. Exam
Series 7 General Securities Registered Representative
Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination
Series 65 Investment Advisor
Series 66 Financial Advisor License
AIAF/FLMI Associate, Insurance Accounting and Finance / LOMA and IIA
Consists of 5 exams: FLMI 290, FLMI 371, AIAF 112, AIAF 113, AIAF 400.
FLMI 301 Insurance Administration
FLMI 361 Accounting and Financial Reporting in Life and Health Insurance
COPAS Exams / Modules (8 sections)

Individual study programs – commonly referred to as “self-study CPE”

The Board accepts only “interactive” self-study.  “Interactive” self-study programs simulate a classroom learning process by providing ongoing responses and evaluation to the learner. The program is required to:   

  • Ask questions during the learning process to test the learner’s understanding;
  • Provide evaluative response to incorrectly answered questions; and
  • Provide reinforcement responses to correctly answered questions.

Example – On-line course that asks the learner questions throughout the program and the responses help the learner understand the material, by referring the reader back to the applicable section of the reading materials and explaining why the answer was incorrect.

Interactive self-study credit hours are based on one-hour of credit for each 50 minutes of average completion time IF the sponsor meets the current AICPA/NASBA CPE standards.  Self-study courses offered by the AICPA, courses of providers that are registered with NASBA and indicate which of their courses are interactive, and those who are Quality Assurance Service (QAS) CPE sponsors are all acceptable as “interactive” programs.

There is no limitation on the number of hours a Louisiana CPA can obtain through self-study. Of course, all CPE must consist of a formal program of learning, which contributes directly to their professional knowledge and professional competence. Therefore, magazines and reference materials do not qualify as CPE, because they are not designed as an educational program.

“Live Webcast” CPE (added Feb, 04)
Technology now allows a participant to attend a “webcast” live CPE presentation from their home or office. This type of CPE will be considered to be a “live” presentation if the program is broadcasted live and an appropriate method of attendance is determined by the vendor. The sponsor must verify the participant’s attendance throughout the course delivery in a manner acceptable to the Board. As formal live CPE programs qualify for one (1) CPE hour for each full 50 minutes of attendance, “Live Webcast CPE” may be credited in the same manner.

Inactive CPAs
CPAs who hold an inactive certificate do not have any CPE requirement and may not practice as CPAs in Louisiana. Although “CPA inactives” do not report CPE to this Board, CPE may be required of them by the AICPA to maintain membership in the association. In general, if an inactive CPA applies for reinstatement of a certificate to an active status, they will have to complete 120 hours of qualified CPE which will be allocated to the prior three year CPE reporting period, and also submit the attendance or completion certificates, and/or confirm at least one year of qualifying experience within the preceding four years. The experience must be verified by a CPA licensee. CPE will again become required and will be prorated for the CPE period in which the license is reinstated.