Florida CPA Requirements for Continuing Education

Florida's CPE Requirements for CPAs

Most people who have built careers in professional business are familiar with the topic of continuing education, as it helps to inform regarding changes to industries and sharpen skills that might otherwise lack definition. Businesspersons who are certified with a professional organization, who maintain a designation, are generally required to meet continuing education requirements on a regular basis, stretched out over a set length of time. One accrediting organization, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), certifies over 430,000 individuals. However, since each state is governed by a state board, the Florida Board of Accountancy is responsible for dictating the specific requirements for resident CPAs in their jurisdiction. As such, CPAs in Florida are required to renew their licenses every three years, and must complete a total of 80 hours per recertification period.

Since the variance in requirements between states can cause confusion and frustration during the license renewal process, it is important for CPA residents in Florida to become familiar with the unique stipulations for their specific jurisdiction. The table below highlights the primary recertification limitations and deadlines for Florida.

Florida CPA CPE Requirements and Recertification Deadlines

License Renewal Date CPE Reporting Period Total CPE Hours Self-Study Credit Limitations
December 31, biennially July 1 - June 30, biennially 80 Hours None

Subject Area Requirements

During each two-year recertification cycle, 4 of the required 80 hours must be in Professional Ethics, including a review of Chapters 455 and 473 of Florida Statutes and the related administrative rules. If the required 4 hours are completed within two modules, then all hours must be taken from the same provider.

Any licensee who conducts audits controlled by the Government Auditing Standards, 2007 Revision or the Rules of the Auditor General, Chapter 10.550 must complete at least 24 hours of Governmental CPE in the reporting period for Florida. Furthermore, 8 hours in Accounting-related and/or Auditing-related subjects are required no matter the professional field of the licensee.

Credit Limitations and Calculation

For CPAs in the state of Florida, there exist limitations and prohibitions for certain programs or events, listed as follows:

  • Credits obtained from courses in basic mathematics or elementary accounting will not be accepted by the Florida Board
  • No more than 20 hours maximum will be accepted for any courses or programs dealing with behavioral subjects
  • Business meetings, social functions or committee services are not accepted as a viable method for earning CPE credits in Florida
  • Writing or publishing materials is not a Board-approved method for earning CPE credits, no matter the subject
  • Sponsors of self-study programs in the areas of accounting, auditing and technical business subjects must be approved by NASBA's Quality Assurance Service

In the state of Florida, CPAs who provide formal instruction or presentations can obtain CPE credits. In this case, credit is equal to two times the length of the presentation (50-minute hours) for the first presentation, one times presentation length for the second presentation, and no credit for each subsequent presentation. However, repeat instruction of material that is substantially altered can be considered a first presentation.

CPAs who are active students in an accredited college or university can claim CPE credit for their courses, so long as the subject material is approved by the state Board. This credit is calculated at a rate of 15 CPE hours for each semester credit hour (for example, 45 CPE credits for a 3-hour college course). For quarter hours, credit can be obtained at a rate of 10 CPE credits. For college or university courses which are not worth academic credit, each classroom hour will equal one qualifying hour.

For all forms of approved continuing education, Florida CPAs can obtain credits in half-hour increments if so desired.

Exemptions

Florida CPAs who do not meet the requirements by June 30th in the year they are meant to renew their license will automatically be granted an extension (termed the "grace period") until September 15th of the same year, provided the individual completes an additional 8 hours of continuing education in the areas of accounting and/or auditing. A secondary extension can be granted until December 31st of the same year, so long as the CPA completes an additional 16 hours of continuing education in the areas of accounting and/or auditing.

So long as services are not offered to any parties, CPAs who fall into the following categories are considered exempt from the continuing education requirements:

  • Retirees
  • Individuals who are currently unemployed
  • Members who have willfully and temporarily left the workforce
  • Licensees who have listed their formal status as "inactive"

Wavers can also be requested for the continuing education requirements for the following reasons, to be approved by the Board:

  • Health complications
  • Active-duty military service
  • Extreme natural disasters (in accordance with Florida Board policies)
  • Other similar circumstances

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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