New CPE requirements

January 1, 2021

If you need further clarification, please contact the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy at or visit

Click here to view a webinar on the new CPE Requirements and a State Board Update with Joe Donohue, Executive Director of the KY State Board of Accountancy, recorded on July 22, 2021.

View CPE requirements

Click here to view CPE requirements on the Kentucky State Boards website.

What are the new requirements?

  • Fifty percent of the eighty or sixty required CPE hours must be in technical standards courses.
  • CPAs in public accounting firms who perform attest services (defined in KRS 325.220) or compilation or preparation of financial statement engagements subject to SSARS shall complete eight hours of CPE in auditing or accounting courses each calendar year for a total of sixteen hours per reporting period.
  • CPAs with an 80-hour CPE requirement may include up to eight hours of personal development courses toward their required hours.
  • CPAs with a 60-hour CPE requirement may include up to twelve hours of personal development courses toward their required hours.

What qualifies for technical standards courses?

Technical standards courses include accounting, auditing, business law, economics, finance, information technology, management services, professional ethics, statistics, securities, tax or specialized areas of industry.

What are NOT technical standards courses?

Excluded from technical standards courses are business communications and marketing. These courses count towards the 60- or 80-hour requirement but are not technical standards courses.

What qualifies as an acceptable personal development course?

An acceptable personal development course improves time management, leadership, team building, goal setting and similar soft skills related to working in an office or professional setting. Human resources courses also qualify under personal development hours.

Who is affected?

All Kentucky licensees, including:

  • 80-hour requirement licensees
  • 60-hour requirement licensees
  • Preparers of audits, reviews, compilations or financial statements have additional requirements, regardless of their total hours needed.

Why were these changes made?

Documents prepared by some CPAs raised concerns with the Board of Accountancy over whether CPAs issuing attest reports or financial statements were aware of the changes to governing standards for these services. The Board wants to emphasize the importance of technical education. At the same time, the Board recognizes the importance of some non-technical and personal development skills and wants to provide more flexibility for CPAs’ continuing education.

When do the changes begin?

January 1, 2021

When do I have to comply?

Renewals in 2023 are required to meet the new requirements for their reporting period of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022.

What if I renew in 2022?

You will not be affected by the changes. 

What did not change?

  • CPA licenses are valid for a two-year period.
  • Odd-numbered licensees renew by August 1 in odd-numbered years and even-numbered licensees renew by August 1 in even-numbered years.
  • During the online renewal process, CPAs must verify that they completed either 60 or 80 hours of continuing professional education during the two calendar years preceding the year in which a license is renewed. For example, if a license is due for renewal on or before August 1, 2020, the two-year period runs from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019.
  • 80 hours, including 2 hours in ethics, must be completed by CPAs who worked 3,000 hours or more in a public accounting firm.
  • 60 hours, including 2 hours in ethics, must be completed by all other CPAs.

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