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New CPE regulations pass in Maryland

Posted By: Bill Sheridan on May 13, 2009 in Legislative / Regulatory&Training & CPE

Cpe MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood posted the following update recently on our sister blog, Legislative Insider. To subscribe to the blog and stay up to date on legislative activity that impacts CPAs, visit www.CPALegislativeInsider.com.

Maryland's State Board of Public Accountancy has enacted final regulations for continuing professional education (CPE). These regulations complete the most sweeping modernization of CPE in the last 25 years. The effective date of these new regulations is May 18, 2009.

The changes are as follows:

  1. CPE = CPE: This provision removes the distinction and limitations formerly imposed on interactive and self-study programs, making them equal to group study. This has the effect of counting them as equal and subject to the 80-hour carryover.

  2. Credit for teachers, discussion leaders or lecturers: Hours allowable are three hours for every hour of presentation for the first-time presentation, and one hour for every hour subsequently presented with a limit of 40 hours per reporting period (40 out of 80 required).

  3. Ethics: The State Board clarified this requirement of four hours every two years with no carryover provision.

Earlier this year, the State Board also enacted new policies that clarify and provide guidance on the topics that qualify for CPE. By adopting the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's fields of study, CPAs have more choices and flexibility in meeting their CPE requirements. This is critical to reflect the diversity of the CPA career and to help CPAs in business, industry and government maintain active licenses with CPE more relevant to their job functions.

Also included in our legislative success for 2009 are the changes in CPE requirements for our accounting educators. The MACPA sponsored Senate Bill 128, which passed and was signed into law, eliminating specific limitations on CPE credit for accounting educators. They will be subject to the new regulations listed above, specifically allowing "repeat" courses to count once during every two-year license period. The law also calrified that there is no CPE requirement for the initial license period.

In other action, the State Board enacted new regulations required to support the mobility legislation passed in 2008. These regulations expanded the definition of firm ownership to include "affiliated entities" and removed the notification requirements for "intent to practice."

This concluded an intense process that started last July and involved a State Board task force led by Terry Hancock and Ray Speciale (an educator member of the Board). Mary Beth Halpern and I testified at task force meetings and provided research about CPE and the changing CPA profession. We thank the State Board for its efforts and willingness to involve us in these important changes.

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