CA CPA Renewal Requirements

The state of California

  • License renewal period every 2 years.
  • 80 hours each renewal period.
  • A minimum of 20 hours each year (12 of those 20 hours must be in technical subjects). (Effective 1/1/12)

Your background

  • Accounting & Audit
    Did you plan, direct, perform a substantial portion of the work, or report on an audit, review, compilation, or attestation service on a non-governmental entity?
    Yes   No
  • Government
    Did you plan, direct, conduct substantial portions of field work, or report on financial or compliance audits of a governmental agency?
    Yes   No
  • Regulatory Review
    Are you subject to the Regulatory Review requirements? Required every 6 years.
    Yes   No

Your CPE requirements

(based on "Your Background" above)
Hours Subject
76 General [click here to see what qualifies]

For general CPE, it is your responsibility to select acceptable courses. California does not pre-approve or register providers of CE courses other than the two-hour Regulatory Review course.

Half of your 80 grand total CPE needs to be in technical subject matter.

Technical Subject Matter:
  • Auditing and Accounting
  • Computer and information technology (excluding word processing)
  • Consulting
  • Fraud
  • Financial planning
  • Ethics as defined in Section 87(b) of the CBA Regulations
  • Regulatory Review as defined in Section 87.8 of the CBA Regulations
  • Taxation
  • Specialized industry or government practices that focus primarily upon the maintenance or enhancement of the public accounting skills and knowledge needed to competently practice public accounting
4 Ethics [click here to see what qualifies]

Any ethics education course taken in a self-study format must require a 90 percent passing score in order to qualify as acceptable CE.

Course must pertain to:
  • A review of nationally recognized codes of conduct emphasizing how the codes relate to professional responsibilities
  • Case-based instruction focusing on real-life situational learning
  • Ethical dilemmas facing the accounting profession
  • Business ethics, ethical sensitivity, and consumer expectations
24 Accounting & Audit [click here to see what qualifies]
Courses related to the following:
  • Financial statement preparation and/or reporting
  • Auditing, reviews, and/or compilations
  • Industry accounting
  • Attestation or assurance services
24 Government [click here to see what qualifies]

CE must be in the areas of governmental accounting, auditing or related subjects.

Related Subjects:
  • Governmental operations
  • Governmental laws, regulations, or reports
  • Special requirements of governmental agencies
  • Subjects related to the specific or unique environment in which the audited entity operates
  • Other auditing subjects which may be appropriate to government auditing engagements
8 Fraud [click here to see what qualifies]

CE specifically related to the detection and/or reporting of fraud in financial statements

2 Regulatory Review [click here to see what qualifies]

The list of the Board-approved Regulatory Review courses is available on the CBA’s website (pdf).

# Total

Please note

  • A minimum of 40 CE hours (out of the total 80) must be in a technical subject matter.
  • Self-study courses (electronic or paper text) must be interactive to qualify as acceptable CE.
  • Live presentation and webcast courses are measured in 50-minute class hours.
  • California does not pre-approve or register providers of CE courses other than the two hour Regulatory Review course.
  • If your license is inactive, the term “inactive” must be immediately after the CPA title used.


California Board of Accountancy

2000 Evergreen St., Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815-3832

Phone: (916) 263-3680
Fax: (916) 263-3675

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