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    Washington D.C. CPA Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

    Washington D.C. CPE Requirements for CPAs

    Continuing education is an important aspect of many professional careers, including business, because it goes a long way toward ensuring full capability and quality in the services an individual is rendering to another party. While it might be obvious that continuing education types and requirements would differ greatly between career fields, it should also be noted that it can vary with location, even for members of the same organizations. For example, since the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is regulated by state Boards of Accountancy, the state requirements and stipulations vary from one state or territory to another.

    It is important for CPAs to remain aware of the rules and limitations set for their jurisdiction to avoid confusion and frustration when it comes to license renewal. Members of the AICPA who are located in the District of Columbia are required to renew their license every two years and must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education per recertification period. The table below highlights the primary recertification limitations and deadlines for Washington D.C.

    License Renewal Date CPE Reporting Period Total CPE Hours Self-Study Credit Limitations
    December 31 of even years January 1 - December 31 biennially 80 hours None


    Subject Area Requirements

    Each recertification period (two years), licensees in Washington D.C. must take at least 4 hours of professional ethics. There are no further subject area requirements as mandated by the District of Columbia.

    Credit Limitations and Calculation

    It is possible for licensees in D.C. to earn up to 50% (40 hours) of their needed CPE per recertification period by formally instructing or giving a presentation on topics approved by the Board. For calculation purposes, credit may be claimed for actual preparation time up to two times the class contact hours.

    Active participation in college or university courses is a Board-approved method of continuing education in D.C., calculated at 15 CPE credits per hour of a semester course and 10 CPE credits per quarter hour.

    Credit for the authorship and subsequent publication of instructional or educational materials is limited to 25% of the total required credits. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may request additional credit by submitting the publication to the Board with an explanation of the circumstances which justify a greater credit amount. The amount of credit awarded for a given publication shall be determined by the Board.

    Licensees can obtain credit for attending committee and firm meetings but is limited to 25% of the total required credits per recertification period.

    There is no set limitation or requirement for self-study credit.

    Credit may be obtained in half-hour increments.

    Credit may not be granted by the Board for subjects other than those specified in the regulations if the licensee can demonstrate that the subjects contribute to professional competence. These credits are limited to 25% of the total requirement.

    The Board shall only approve programs from organizations that are exempt (AICPA, NASBA, State Accountancy Boards, Professional Firms, Colleges and Universities, Greater Washington Society of CPAs, and any other state society) or courses from providers that are members of NASBA's National Registry of CPE Sponsors or that are QAS-approved.

    Other Policies and Exemptions

    AICPA members in the following categories are considered exempt from the license renewal requirements if they do not offer services to other parties:

    • Retired members
    • Currently unemployed members
    • Members who have temporarily left the workforce (who may return in the future)
    • Members who have formally listed their status as "inactive"

    It is also possible to request waivers for continuing professional education requirements on the following bases:

    • Health complications
    • Military service
    • Extreme natural disasters (as determined by the Board)
    • Other situations which warrant exception (subject to Board approval)

    Additional CPE Resources for CPAs

    Braden Norwood

    Braden is a proud husband and a father to a very rambunctious little boy. A few of his many interests include reading, writing music, and playing games. He is the Product Quality Manager for VTR and has been with the company since early 2017. In conjunction with his love for storytelling, he has a passion for story-based learning, believing that narrative is one of the most elementary ways humans can learn. A true nerd at heart, when not working on his premier novel, he can usually be found playing an RPG, reading comics, or watching Star Wars.

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