California CPE Requirements

CPE Information

License Renewal Date
Last day of birth month in odd or even year corresponding to the odd or even year of birth

CPE Reporting Period
Biennial on the last day of birth month in odd or even year corresponding to the odd or even year of birth

General Requirement
80 hours
20 hour yearly minimum
40 hours in technical subjects
12 hours yearly minimum in technical subjects

Ethics Requirement
Four (4) hours

Regulatory Review Requirement
A two (2) hour, board approved, Regulatory Review course is due every 6 years.

Other Subject Area Requirements

  • Government Auditing: If the individual engages in planning, directing, conducting substantial portions of field work, or reporting on financial or compliance audits of a government agency, 24 hours of government CPE are required.
  • Accounting & Auditing: If the individual engages in planning, directing, approving, performing substantial portions of the work, or reporting on an audit, review, compilation or attestation services on a non-governmental entity, 24 hours of A&A are required.
  • Fraud: For licensees who are subject to the A&A or Government CE requirement, an additional 4 hours of fraud CE, related to the detection and/or reporting of fraud in financial statements, is required. The fraud CE is part of the 80 hours of CE required for license renewal, but not part of the 24-hour A&A or government CE requirement.
  • Technical: A minimum of 50% (at least 40 hours) must be in technical subject areas such as accounting, auditing, taxation, consulting, financial planning, Board-approved professional conduct and ethics, computer and information technology (except for word processing) and specialized industry or government practices related to public accounting skills.
  • Non-Technical: communication skills, word processing, sales, marketing, motivational techniques, negotiating skills, office management, practice management and personnel management.

Credit Limitations

  • Courses designed to meet the Regulatory Review requirement must have a final exam and be passed with a score of 90% or above to receive credit toward that requirement.

First-Time Renewals

  • Only required to complete 20 hours of CE for each full six-month interval from the date the license was issued to the license expiration date.
  • If the initial license period is less than six months, no CE is required to renew the license.
  • If you are required to complete Government Auditing or A&A CE, you must complete six hours of CE in the appropriate subject matter as part of each 20 hours of general CE. Meeting the Government Auditing CE requirement is considered to have met the A&A CE requirement; however, meeting the A&A requirement is not considered to have met the Government Auditing CE requirement.
  • If fewer than 80 hours of CE is needed for license renewal, the four-hour Fraud CE and four-hour ethics education CE requirements do not apply.

Other State Policies

  • California does not accept CE in the following subject areas: personal growth, self-realization, spirituality, personal health and/or fitness, sports and recreation, foreign languages and cultures, etc.

Board Information

California Board of Accountancy
2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815-3832
Phone: (916) 263-3680
Fax: (916) 263-3675
Website: www.dca.ca.gov/cba/
Email: pbowers@cba.ca.gov
Click here for Board Statutes

CA License Renewal Handbook


Acceptable Programs of Study: California CPE requirements state: "The overriding consideration is that it be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of a licensee. It is the obligation of each licensee to select a course of study, consistent with the requirements of this section and section 88.1 and 8.2, which will contribute directly to his or her professional competence."

Accounting/auditing, taxation, management services, computer information systems, statistics, probability and quantitative applications in business, administrative practice, economics, business law, functional fields of business (finance, production, marketing, etc), specific areas of industry, environment of business (i.e. film industry, real estate) are all acceptable. Personal Development courses are acceptable if they fall in the areas of: communication skills, word processing, sales, marketing, motivational techniques, negotiating skills, office management, practice management and personnel management.

PLEASE NOTE: Since state board regulations are constantly changing, the information contained here is deemed reliable however it is not guaranteed. We encourage you to contact your state board to answer any questions and confirm or clarify any requirements listed here.