VA CPA Requirements for Continuing Education

Posted by Braden Norwood on 5/9/20 10:54 PM
Braden Norwood
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CPE Requirements for CPAs in Virginia

Continuing education is a vital component for maintaining a professional license or designation, because it certifies an individual is up-to-date with changes in their industry as well as demonstrating their professional competence and ability to provide quality service. Members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) who are located in Virginia are required to renew their license every three years, and must complete 20 hours of professional continuing education per year and 120 hours every recertification period.

Ultimately, the Virginia Board of Accountancy is responsible for determining the Virginia CPA CPE requirements, including which forms of continuing education are acceptable as means of meeting the license renewal requirements. Because the qualifications vary from state to state, it is important for Virginia licensees to recognize and understand the stipulations for their location. If not properly understood, the variance in requirements between states can cause confusion and frustration during the license renewal process. The table below highlights the primary recertification limitations and deadlines for Virginia.

CPA Virginia CPE Requirements and Recertification Deadlines

License Renewal Date CPE Reporting Period Total CPE Hours Self-Study Credit Limitations
June 30 annually January 1 - December 31 over a three-year rolling period 120 hours None

Subject Area Requirements

Each year, CPAs must complete at least 2 hours of Virginia CPA Ethics CPE. Providers offering ethics courses must register with the Board and/or have their content approved by the state Board. Licensees who release or authorize the release of reports on attest services, compilation services, or financial statement preparation services provided for persons or entities located in Virginia must complete a further 8 hours in Attest or Compilation Services each year.

Credit Limitations and Calculation

In the state of Virginia, CPAs who provide formal instruction or presentations can obtain up to 30 hours of CPE credit through this medium, where credit is equal to presentation plus preparation. Repeat instruction of the same material within a single recertification period is only accepted so long as the subject material has been substantially altered or changed.

CPAs who are actively enrolled in college or university courses can claim CPE credit hours equal to 15 CPE hours per semester hour or 10 CPE hours per quarter hour.

Licensees can obtain up to 60 hours of CPE credit in a given three-year period for successful completion of certification examinations. The Virginia Board of Accountancy will award the CPE hours for the year in which the exam was passed and the certification received.

Credits may be obtained in partial increments of any amount.

Other Policies and Exemptions

January 31 is the deadline for obtaining CPE for the previous calendar year (grace period).

A non-resident licensee may meet Virginia CPA CPE requirements by meeting the CPE requirements of their principal place of business. The principal place of business must have a CPE requirement, including an ethics requirement, to qualify.

CPAs in any of the following categories will automatically be excepted from AICPA license renewal requirements:

  • Retirees who do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who are currently unemployed and do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who have temporarily left the workforce and do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who have formally listed their status as "inactive" and do not offer services to any third parties

Furthermore, wavers can be requested by CPAs for the following bases:

  • Health complications
  • Active-duty military service
  • Extreme natural disasters (in accordance with Virginia Board policies)
  • Other similar circumstances which might prevent a member from completing their CPE requirements

Additional CPE Resources for CPAs

Topics: AICPA, CPA, cpe, continuing education requirements, license renewal, Virginia


About the Author: 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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