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Chapter 20-11 CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

Rule 20-11-.01 Introduction

(1) CPAs by virtue of their training have been certificated or licensed by the Board and, therefore, are eligible to provide the public with needed professional services not otherwise available. In furnishing these services, the CPA occupies a unique position of public trust. It is essential in maintaining this trust that each accountant continuously strive to increase his or her technical skills and his or her understanding of the whole accounting body of knowledge.
(2) Pursuant to the provision of Section 43-3-19 of this Act, the Board prescribes the following regulations establishing requirements of continuing professional education to be met from time to time by CPAs and registered foreign accountants in order to demonstrate that they are continuing their professional education as a condition to continuing to practice as public accountants.

Rule 20-11-.02 Requirements

(1) An applicant for renewal of his or her individual license to practice as a CPA must have completed 80 hours of acceptable continuing professional education, of which 16 hours shall be in accounting and auditing subjects, during the two-year period immediately preceding each biennial renewal date as a condition for renewal, except as provided under paragraphs (2) and (4) below. A minimum of 20 of the 80 hours will be earned in each year.
(2) An applicant for renewal of his or her individual license to practice as a CPA who has been initially certified by this state for one year, but less than two, will have completed 40 hours of acceptable continuing professional education after the date of licensure but prior to the expiration date of his or her first license, of which at least 8 hours of continuing professional education reported shall be in accounting and auditing subjects, as a condition for renewal. An applicant who has been initially licensed as a CPA by this state for less than one year at the date of expiration of his or her first license shall not be required to have completed any hours of continuing professional education prior to that first expiration date as a condition for renewal.
(3) "Accounting and auditing courses" for purposes of this section shall be defined as follows:
(a) Accounting-related courses shall include, but not be limited to courses which enhance or develop understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, particularly as they relate to presentation of financial statements, as promulgated by authoritative literature in the United States and pronouncements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
(b) Auditing-related courses shall include, but not be limited to, courses which enhance or develop understanding of generally accepted auditing standards, particularly as they relate to reporting on financial statements (including related standards for compilation and review services) as promulgated by authoritative literature in the United States, including the Statement on Auditing Standards and the Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and standards issued by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board as well as courses related to auditing in specialized industries (e.g., governmental auditing requirements) and environments (e.g., computer systems).
(4) Up to fifteen hours of acceptable education completed during the period immediately preceding the renewal date of a license in excess of the requirements for such preceding period may be applied to satisfy the continuing professional education requirements of the following period. No carryover hours can be used to satisfy the accounting and auditing hours requirement provided for in this section.
(5) Any licensee who has attained 70 years of age is exempt from the continuing professional education requirement for renewal of his or her individual license to practice public accountancy.
(6) The Board may relax or suspend the requirements of continuing professional education for reasons of individual hardship or health of the applicant.

Rule 20-11-.03 Programs Which Qualify

(1) The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program qualifies as acceptable continuing education is that it be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of an individual licensed to practice as a CPA or a foreign accountant by this state, and which meets the minimum standards of quality of development and presentation and of measurement and reporting of credits set forth in the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education Programs published by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, or such other educational standards as may be established from time to time by the Board.
(2) Subject Matter: The following general subject matters are acceptable so long as they meet the standards specified in subsection (1):
(a) Accounting and auditing;
(b) Taxation;
(c) Management services;
(d) Computer sciences;
(e) Oral and written communications;
(f) Mathematics and statistics;
(g) Economics;
(h) Business law;
(i) Functional fields of business (e.g., finance, production, marketing, personnel relations, business management, and organization);
(j) Specialized industries (e.g., real estate, agriculture, construction and financial institutions); and
(k) Administration of an accounting practice.
(3) Subjects of study other than those listed above will be acceptable if the applicant can demonstrate to the Board that they contribute directly to his or her professional competence. The responsibility for substantiating that a particular program is acceptable and meets the requirements rests solely upon the applicant.
(4) Continuing education programs requiring class or meeting attendance;
(a) General requirements:
1. An outline of the program is prepared in advance by the program director and retained by the student;
2. The program is conducted by an individual whose formal training and experience qualify him or her as a competent instructor;
3. Hours of continuing professional education shall be calculated in one-half continuing professional education credit hour increments after the first credit hour has been earned in a given learning activity;
4. A record of registration and attendance through substantially the entire program is maintained, a copy of which is retained by the student.
(b) The following programs will qualify provided the above are met:
1. Professional development programs of recognized national and state accounting organizations;
2. Technical sessions at meetings of recognized national and state accounting organizations and their chapters;
3. University or college courses, credit courses, each semester hour credit shall equal 15 hours toward the requirement. A quarter hour credit shall equal 10 hours;
4. Noncredit courses from a college or university. Each classroom hour shall be deemed to be one hour of continuing professional education;
5. Formal organized in-firm or multi-firm education programs. Portions of meetings devoted to administration and firm matters cannot be included;
6. Programs in other recognized organizations (accounting, industrial, professional, etc.);
7. Dinner, luncheon and breakfast meetings of recognized accounting organizations may qualify if they meet the requirements of subparagraphs 1. and 2. of this Section.
(5) Formal correspondence or other individual study programs may qualify provided that they are developed and conducted by qualified individuals, require registration, and provide evidence of satisfactory completion. Programs should be pre-tested to determine average completion time, and credit shall be calculated on the basis of the average completion time.
(6) Credit may be awarded for published articles and books provided they contribute to the professional competence of the applicant. Credit for preparation of such publications may be given on a self-declaration basis up to 25% of the total hours required. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may request additional credit by submitting the article(s) or book(s) to the Board with an explanation of the circumstances which he or she feels justify a greater credit.

Rule 20-11-.04 Controls and Reporting

(1) An applicant for renewal of a license to practice public accountancy must provide a signed statement, under penalty of perjury, that all applicable continuing education requirements have been met.
(2) All licensees shall maintain their records confirming attendance at and completion of continuing education, including the following information:
(a) School, firm or organization conducting the program;
(b) Location of the program;
(c) Title of program or description of content;
(d) Program outline;
(e) Dates attended;
(f) Hours claimed; and
(g) Evidence of satisfactory completion.
(3) If credit for published articles and books is claimed, the following information must be maintained:
(a) Publisher;
(b) Title of publication;
(c) Description of content;
(d) Dates of publication; and
(e) Hours claimed.
(4) Records described in paragraph (2) and (3) of this section must be maintained by each licensee for five years after the completion of the program and must be submitted to the Board upon request.
(5) Evidence of satisfactory completion shall take the form of certificates of completion, attendance records, examination, transcripts, or other such independently verifiable evidence acceptable to the Board.
(6) The Board will verify on a test basis information submitted by applicants for licenses. In cases where the Board determines that the requirement is not met, the Board may grant an additional period of time in which the deficiencies may be cured.

Rule 20-11-.05 Calculation of Hours of Credit

The following standards will be used to measure the hours of credit to be given for acceptable continuing education programs completed by individual applicants:

(a) Programs requiring class or meeting attendance:
1. All programs will be measured in terms of twenty-five minute segments or one-half, contact hours. The shortest recognized program will consist of one contact hour. A contact hour is 50 minutes of continuous participation in a group program. For example, a group program lasting 75 minutes would count for one and one-half hours; however, one lasting between 50 and 75 minutes would count for only 1 hour. For continuous conferences and conventions, when individual segments are less than 50 minutes, the sum of the segments should be considered one total program. For example, five 30 minute presentations would equal 150 minutes and should be counted as 3 contact hours. Sponsors will be required to monitor group programs in order to accurately assign the appropriate number of credit hours for participants who arrive late or leave before a program is completed. Credit will be allowed for a question-and-answer period, but will not be allowed for introductions, announcements or other activity which may be a part of the program;
2. Only hours in class, or the equivalent, will be counted. No credit will be allowed for time devoted to preparation;
3. Each hour of service as a lecturer or discussion leader of an acceptable formal program allows additional credit based on actual preparation time of up to two hours of continuing professional education. However, no additional credit will be allowed for repetition of the same program;
4. Each semester hour of credit from a college or university shall be deemed to be fifteen hours, and each quarter hour of credit shall be deemed to be ten hours;
5. Each classroom hour of noncredit courses from a college or university shall be counted as one hour of continuing professional education;
6. Credit as an instructor, discussion leader or speaker will be allowed for any meeting or engagement provided that the session is one which would meet the continuing education requirements of those attending. The credit allowed for presentation by an instructor, discussion leader or a speaker will be on the basis of one hour of continuing education credit for each hour of teaching. No additional credit will be allowed for repetition of the same program.
(b) Correspondence and other individual study programs:
1. In determining the amount of credit to be allowed for specific correspondence and individual study programs, the Board will determine the equivalency of the program to a comparable seminar or comparable course for credit in an accredited educational institution;
2. Individuals claiming credit for such courses will be required to obtain evidence of satisfactory completion of the course from the program sponsor;
3. Credit will be allowed in the renewal period in which the course is completed.
(c) Preparation of articles and books:
1. Each hour devoted to preparation of articles and books shall be deemed to be one hour of continuing professional education, but limited to twenty-five percent of total hours required in any two year period unless additional credit is specifically approved by the Board.