Understanding a CPE Audit

The state licensing boards require that you complete the hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in order to maintain an active Certified Public Accountant license. It is important to keep good records of all CPE courses taken. State licensing boards frequently audit renewals of CPA licensees to make sure that active professionals are meeting CPE requirements. 

Auditing a range of CPE records helps to protect the public from unqualified, incompetent, or illegal CPAs. The process for auditing CPE records is determined by the state’s board. These boards also establish the requirements for maintaining CPE records. To learn record auditing and CPE accounting visit https://cpeguide.com/product/accounting-and-business-a-brief-business-law-overview/ and become proficient in your work.

DC and PR Scheduled for CPE Audit Service | NASBA

Documentation supporting courses must be submitted within a specified timeframe, usually within 30 days if a licensee is selected to audit. CPAs should keep track of their courses to make it easier for auditors to find the information they need. What information should you keep handy for a CPE audit case? 

The CPE Certificate of Completion issued either by the course provider, sponsor, or other organization will likely contain the required information.

  • Name of the registrant
  • Sponsor or course provider
  • Title of the course
  • Hours of credit
  • Date of completion

The certificate’s information will be compared with the list of CPE courses that the licensee has submitted. Additional information may include the delivery method, the signature of the plan sponsor, as well as the address of any course or program attended.

CPE hours can be considered unacceptable if they do not meet the requirements of state boards. These are some of the most popular reasons:

  1. The course is not listed as complete by the licensee, but the supporting certificate has not been submitted.
  2. Information missing from the certificate of completion.