Licensure FAQ

We know how important it is for you to understand and comply with state requirements for CPE, and we want to help in any way we can!

40 for Sure! is our reminder to you that the state requires licensed CPAs to earn 40 CPE hours every year between July 1 and June 30 and then report 80 total hours of CPE at the end of the second year. We want to help you get your 40 for Sure! and have developed a set of frequently asked questions to help you better understand requirements.

 

1.
Question: ​What is the reporting deadline for CPE?
Answer: 

We have now entered into the first year of a CPE earning cycle. Year 1  (7/1/2017-6/30/2018) Year 2 will complete (7/1/2018-6/30/2019). All CPE needs to be reported to the State of Michigan by 7/31/2019.


2.
Question: I understand I am required to earn 40 hours of CPE each year, including eight hours of accounting and auditing and two hours of ethics. Can some or all of the 40 hours be fulfilled using carryover hours from the preceding one-year continuing education period?
Answer: Yes. You are allowed to carry over a maximum 40 hours of CPE, including a maximum 8 accounting/auditing CPE and 2 ethics, from one continuing education period (one year - July 1 through June 30) to the period immediately following. For example, if you carry over eight hours of CPE, you only need to complete 32 hours of CPE for the remaining continuing education period, while also ensuring you meet the accounting/auditing and ethics requirements. Remember, the state does not keep track of carry over hours, but you can use your CPE Tracker to do so.
3.
Question: Since I am required to earn or carry over 40 hours of CPE each year, does that also mean I am required to earn eight hours of accounting and auditing and two hours of ethics each year? (Carryover hours may apply.)
Answer: Yes. You are required to earn eight accounting and auditing CPE and two ethics CPE for each one-year continuing education period (July 1 through June 30). If you exceed the accounting and auditing and ethics requirements for a year, you can carry over up to a maximum eight accounting and auditing CPE and two ethics to the next continuing education period. Additional accounting and auditing and ethics CPE may be carried over as “other” hours.
4.
Question: I thought the CPE period was two years long and required 80 hours. Did the law change?
Answer: No. The Accountancy Administrative Rules define a “continuing education period” as a one-year period from July 1 through June 30. However, CPAs are required to report their earned CPE biennially.
5.
Question:  What happens if I don’t have 40 hours of CPE in the first year (even year, 2016, 2018, etc.)?
Answer: The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has always worked closely with the CPA profession to ensure compliance and to protect the public. Along those lines, if you are short of the required 40 CPE hours in the first year, you may be penalized with a fine. You would also be required to make up the hours to reach a minimum of 80 for the two-year reporting period. This emphasizes how important CPE is in ensuring a well-educated and prepared CPA workforce.
6.
Question: Assuming no prior carryover hours, if I am five hours short on CPE in the first year, but I take 45 hours in the second year for a two-year total of 80 hours, can I still be fined?
Answer: Yes. You still may receive a fine.
7.
Question: If I take 45 hours of CPE in the first year, and 35 hours in the second year, could I receive a fine for the second-year shortage?
Answer: No. You can carry over the first-year excess amount of five CPE hours to the following year. You are allowed to carry forward CPE, but not back. The requirement for eight hours of accounting and auditing and two hours of ethics still applies for each continuing education period (one year - July 1 through June 30).
8.
Question: Will there be a reasonable amount of time for a CPA to respond once they are notified that they are deficient in CPE?
Answer: Once a notice is issued, the CPA has 30 days from receipt to agree to the violation(s) and either enter into a stipulation or resolution agreement or to disagree and request a compliance conference or formal administrative hearing. If the CPA fails to respond within 30 days, LARA will proceed with formal action against the CPA.
9.

Question: I have had a serious medical issue over the last year that precluded me from earning all of my CPE for the reporting period. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: ​You need to reach out to the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs immediately at 517-373-8068. The Department may waive the requirement for additional penalty hours if the licensee is able to show the additional hours would present undue hardship. 
10.
Question: Does the 50 percent limitation for self-study also affect my CPE for the one-year continuing education period?
Answer: Yes, of the 40 hours earned in a continuing education period, the self-study portion cannot exceed 50 percent.
11.
Question: If I receive a fine, could that affect my ability to maintain a license?
Answer: If the fine is for a shortage of CPE, and you’ve made up those hours (plus any additional penalty hours) to complete the required 80 hours of CPE, the fine will not affect your ability to maintain and renew your license.
12.
Question: How do I know if something qualifies as CPE?

Answer: The Administrative Rules for Accountancy lay out the qualifications for Group Study and Self Study. You can be sure that all CPE offerings from the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants meet state requirements. Be sure to check with any third-party providers before enrolling to be sure their courses also meet our state requirements.

For more information and detail, please refer to the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website.