New Rule for Continuing Professional Education and CPAs in Georgia

The Georgia State Board of Accountancy (GSBA) has introduced amended rules regarding continuing professional education (CPE) for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Georgia. These changes aim to ensure CPAs continually enhance their technical skills and knowledge. The amendments outline specific requirements for CPE, including earning 80 credits over a two-year period, with at least 50% in technical fields and a minimum of 20 credits annually. Notably, the rule removes the Audit and Assurance (A&A) requirement and adds in a four hour ethics requirement, reflecting the evolving nature of the profession. Additionally, the rules address ethics education, exemptions for older licensees, and reporting requirements.

Bullet point explanation of the changes are as follows:

RULE 20-11-.01

  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are certified or licensed by the Board and provide professional services to the public.
  • CPAs hold a position of public trust and must continuously improve their technical skills and understanding of accounting.

RULE 20-11-.02

  • To renew their CPA license, applicants must complete 80 credits of continuing professional education (CPE) during a two-year reporting period.
  • At least 50 percent of the CPE credits must be earned in technical fields of study.
  • A minimum of 20 credits must be earned each year.
  • Different requirements apply for licensees who have been certified for less than two years or less than one year.
  • Ethics is a vital aspect of the accounting profession, and Rule 20-11-.02(3) mandates the completion of four ethics CPE credits, including one credit specific to the laws, rules, and policies of the Georgia Board.

RULE 20-11-.03 
Programs Which Qualify

  • CPE programs must be formal and contribute directly to CPAs' professional knowledge and competence.
  • Technical and non-technical fields of study are acceptable subjects.
  • Other fields of study may be accepted if they contribute directly to professional knowledge.

RULE 20-11-.04 
Controls and Reporting

  • Applicants must provide an attestation that they have met the CPE requirements.
  • Licensees must maintain records of attendance, completion and evidence of satisfactory completion for five years.
  • Records must be submitted to the Board upon request.

RULE 20-11-.05 
Calculation of CPE Credit

  • CPE credits are measured based on program length, with one 50-minute period equal to one credit.
  • Various programs and activities can earn CPE credits, including group programs, self-study, authorship, technical committee participation, etc.

RULE 20-11-.06 
CPE Reciprocity

  • Non-resident CPAs seeking license renewal in a different state can demonstrate compliance with CPE requirements by meeting the requirements of their principal place of business state.
  • If the principal place of business state has no CPE requirements, the nonresident CPA must comply with all CPE requirements of the state they are seeking renewal in.

The changes take effect in the 2024-2025 renewal period.

You can find more information on this topic in a previous article ran in the September/October 2023 edition of Current Accounts here.

Please don't hesitate to contact Don Cook, , or Paul Ziga, with questions or concerns.