Illinois State CPE Requirements for CPAs

  • By Matthew Briggson
  • August 7th, 2018

Chicago is a top 5 financial center in the United States and the 11th ranked global financial center in the world. With finance comes data, decision making, compliance, and regulation. This is why so many certified public accountants call the windy city home. CPAs transitioning to Illinois for career opportunities can find it difficult and time consuming to keep up with the ever-changing CPE requirements. In this post we’ll consolidate the most important rules the Illinois State Board of Accountancy sets forth for continuing education.

General CPE Requirements
The Illinois State Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to take 120 hours of CPE every three years. The reporting period starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th. However, first time renewals are not required to comply with the 120 hour CPE requirement.  

The Illinois State Board emphasizes restrictions on the type of credit hours CPAs can earn toward the 120 requirement. CPAs have the following limitations:
*No more than 60 hours of continuing education hours from instructing/leading a course.
*No more than 80 hours of CPE from self-study courses (interactive plus non-interactive).
*No more than 60 hours of non-interactive self-study CPE.
*No more than 30 hours from publishing an article, book, or reviewing a CPE course.

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

Subject Requirements
The Illinois Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to complete 4 hours of ethics related CPE over each triennial reporting period. Encoursa offers a four hour on-demand ethics course specific to the Illinois rules for CPAs. You can view more details and sign up here:

License Renewal Date
The deadline to submit paper work to renew a license is September 30th, every three years. As part of the renewal process, CPAs must document and attest to all of the CPE hours completed in the prior three years.  

Other Board Policies
The Illinois Board only accepts CPE from institutions that are approved and licensed. The institutions must be an approved sponsor by one of the following organizations:
1. The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
2. The Illinois CPA Society/Foundation (ICPAS/F)
3. A university or college approved by its governing body to award accounting degrees
4. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
5. Members of NASBA's National Registry of CPE Sponsors
6. Members of NASBA’s Quality Assurance Service Program; and
7. All licensed CPE Sponsors. CPAs can verify that a CPE Sponsor is licensed at

Finding High Quality CPE
When it comes time to find top quality CPE that will meet the Illinois 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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