Pennsylvania State CPE Requirements for CPAs

  • By Matthew Briggson
  • August 6th, 2018

Between the large and historical cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and the more rural districts, Pennsylvania has a very diverse landscape with many accounting job opportunities. The Penn Center in downtown Philly is one of the largest financial districts in the United States. CPAs are consistently in high demand in Pennsylvania and many come from out-of-state for the opportunities. In this article we’ll take a look at the continuing professional education (CPE) rules and requirements CPAs need to adhere to while practicing in Pennsylvania.

General CPE Requirements
The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to complete 80 hours of CPE every two years with a minimum of 20 completed each year. The reporting period is based on the calendar year, starting on January 1st in even years and ending on December 31st in odd years.  

The Pennsylvania State Board emphasizes restrictions on the type of credit hours CPAs can earn toward the 80 hour requirement. CPAs have the following limitations in place:
*No more than 50% of the CPE hours can be obtained from instructing or lecturing for a course.
*No more than 50% of the continuing education hours can come from self-study courses.
*For non-interactive self-study programs, 50% of the “estimated completion” time calculated by the sponsor will be granted for credit.
*No more than 25% of the total CPE hours can come from publishing an article or book, or reviewing a CPE course unless the CPA sends a letter in to the Board as to why they believe they should be getting more than 25% of their total hours in this manner.

For more information about the CPE rules in the State of Pennsylvania, please see:

Subject Requirements
The Pennsylvania Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to complete 16 hours of “accounting and attestation”, 8 hours of “tax”, and 4 hours of “ethics” credits during each two year period. Encoursa offers an on-demand ethics course specific to the Pennsylvania ethics requirements. You can learn more and sign up through this link:

License Renewal Date
The deadline to submit CPe paper work to renew a license is December 31st, every odd numbered year. As part of the renewal process, CPAs must document and attest to all CPE hours completed in the prior two years.  

Other Board Policies
The Pennsylvania Board only accepts CPE from institutions that are approved and sponsored by either the Pennsylvania State Board or the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Finding High Quality CPE
When it comes time to find top quality CPE that will meet the Pennsylvania Board requirements, look no further than Encoursa. We partner with the top thought leaders in the industry to bring you CPE courses that will not only ensure you meet your continuing education requirements, but also help you advance in your career.   

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About the author
Matthew Briggson
Matthew Briggson

Matthew is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan and a co-founder of, an industry leading CPE provider for accounting and finance professionals.

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