New CPE Regulations in Maryland Pass!

DSC00004 The Maryland StateBoard of Public Accountancyenacted final regulations for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) at their Board meeting today. These regulations complete the most sweeping modernization of CPE in the last twenty-five (25) years. The effective date of these new regulations is May 18, 2009

The changes are as follows:

  1. CPE = CPE - This provision removes the distinction and limitations formerly imposed on interactive & self-study programs, making them equal to group study. This has the effect of counting them as equal and subject to the 80-hour carryover.
  2. Credit for teachers, discussion leaders, or lecturers - Hours allowable are 3 hours for every hour of presentation for the first-time presentation, and one hour for every hour subsequently presented with a limit of 40 hours per reporting period (40 out of 80 required).
  3. Ethics - clarified this requirement of four hours (4) every two years with no carry over provision

In addition, earlier this year, the Board enacted new policies that clarify and provide guidance on the topics that qualify for Continuing Professional Education. By adopting the NASBA fields of study, CPAs have more choices and flexibility in meeting their CPE requirements. This is critical to reflect the diversity of the CPA career and assist CPAs in business, industry, and government maintain active licenses with CPE more relevant to their job functions. Here is a link to the topics approved.

Included in our legislative success for 2009 is also the changes in the CPE requirements for our accounting educators. MACPA sponsored SB 128 which passed and was signed into law, eliminating specific limitations on CPE credit for accounting educators. They will be subject to the new regulations listed above, specifically allowing "repeat" courses to count once during every two-year license period. The law also calrified that there is no CPE requirement for the initial license period.

In other action, the Board enacted new regulations required to support the mobility legislationpassed last year. These regulations expanded the definition of firm ownership to include "affiliated entities" and removed the notification requirements for "intent to practice".

This concluded an intense process that started last July and involved a Board task force led by Terry Hancock and Ray Speciale (educator member of theBoard). Myself and Marybeth Halpern testified at task force meetings and provided research about CPE and the changing CPA profession. We thank the Board for their efforts and willingness to involve us in these important changes.