MO CPE Requirements

CPE Standards & Rules

New Standards Proposed for 2020

The Missouri State Board of Accountancy, in conjunction with MOCPA, has developed proposed amendments to accountancy rule, which include that as of Jan. 1, 2020, a licensee shall complete a minimum of 40 CPE hours a year, including two hours of ethics. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, licensees in good standing will be granted a 60-day grace period (until March 1) for any CPE shortage. Upon audit, if the state board disallows any of a licensee's course hours, they will have 30 days to obtain qualifying CPE. In addition, the proposed rules include clarification on the process to allow your license to go inactive without triggering disciplinary proceedings. 

Current Rules

As the end of each year approaches, MOCPA reminds all Missouri CPAs to take a few minutes to make sure you are up to date with your CPE requirements. Current standards require at least 120 hours of CPE over the past three years, with a minimum of 20 hours each year. Missouri accountancy law also requires that each Missouri CPA take six hours of ethics CPE per reporting cycle to maintain licensure.

It is critical that all of your CPE is properly accounted for and documented. The Missouri State Board of Accountancy does CPE audits on a random, but continuous basis.

MOCPA conveniently offers transcripts to its members, which automatically lists all CPE taken with MOCPA. (You may also add in CPE taken from other sources.) Click here to view your transcript.

With the passage of the Missouri Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) in 2001, continuing professional education (CPE) became an official requirement for all licensed CPAs.

The Missouri UAA requires that to maintain a license, a CPA whether in public practice, industry, education, or government must take CPE (120 hours every three years). This law took effect August 28, 2001.

In January 2002, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) jointly announced a new Statement on Standards of Continuing Professional Education Programs (Standards) for CPE. It became the role of each state’s board of accountancy to decide whether to adopt these new Standards.

As a result, the Missouri State Board of Accountancy revised Chapter 4 (Continuing Education Requirements) of its accountancy rules, and the board adopted the new CPE Standards.

Prominent changes in the accountancy rule for CPE include:

  • Effective January 1, 2004, a minimum of twenty (20) hours of continuing professional education (CPE) is required in each calendar year.
  • Commencing on January 1, 2012, a minimum of six (6) hours of the required one hundred twenty (120) hours of CPE in a three (3) year period preceding renewal shall be in the area of ethics.

Prominent changes in the new CPE Standards include:

  • Half credit hours (25 minutes) may be counted after the first 50 minutes have been earned
  • 100 percent of CPE may be taken as self-study
  • Independent study under a CPE program sponsor qualifies for credit
  • 100 percent of CPE can be earned through teaching and instruction
  • 100 percent of CPE can be earned from writing articles for print in accounting publications

To read the full current CPE Standards, please click here.

If you have questions regarding your CPA license or CPE requirements, please contact the Missouri State Board of Accountancy at (573) 751-0012.

Governmental Auditors

Effective June 30, 2005, auditors performing work under generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS) should complete every two years:

  • At least 80 hours of CPE that directly enhances the auditors’ professional proficiency to perform audits or attestation engagements, with a minimum of 20 hours in any one year of the two-year period
  • At least 24 of the 80 hours of CPE should be in subjects directly related to the government auditing, the government environment, or the specific environment in which the audited entity operates

EXCEPTION: Auditors performing work under GAGAS who are only involved in performing field work, but are not involved in planning, directing or reporting on the audit or attestation engagement, and who charge less than 20 percent of their time annually to GAGAS audits and attestation engagements, should complete every two years:

At least 24 hours of CPE in subjects and topics directly related to the government auditing, the government environment, or the specific environment in which the audited entity operates, but are exempt from the remainder of the 80-hour CPE requirement

Effective January 1, 2004, the GAO has deleted taxation from the list of subjects that always satisfy the 80-hours every two years requirement. There are a few exceptions to the rule.

We advise members to closely read the GAO’s website for complete, up-to-date information:

American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)

To be eligible for membership in the AICPA:

From January 1, 2001 forward and for each three-year reporting period thereafter, all AICPA members shall complete 120 hours or its equivalent, of continuing professional education. Click here for the AICPA website.

Missouri State Board of Accountancy

As a condition for renewing a permit to practice, all CPAs who have held a certificate for more than three (3) years must have completed 120 hours of approved continuing professional education in the three (3) years immediately preceding their permit to practice renewal application.

An applicant whose license has lapsed shall have completed no less than 120 hours of CPE complying with these rules during a three-year period preceding the date of reapplication; or agrees to obtain the 120 hours of CPE within one year of applying for reinstatement. The applicant shall provide to the board, upon request, copies of CPE documentation verifying compliance with this requirement.

Applicants applying for their initial permit to practice in Missouri are not required to complete continuing education courses to receive their initial permits.

Applicants for renewal of a license shall attest on an application provided by the board that they have met the requirements for participation in a program of continuous learning as set forth by the Board or contained in the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs jointly approved by the NASBA and the AICPA. Responsibility for documenting the acceptability of the program and the validity of the credits rests with the applicant who should retain such documentation for a period of five years following completion of each learning activity.

There are some exceptions to this rule:

A licensee who received a license after August 28, 2001 and who is not practicing public accounting in any setting may be granted an inactive license and be exempted from the CPE requirement by the Board. The inactive licensee shall place the word “inactive”, “retired”, or “ret.” in association with their Certified Public Accountant title. The inactive licensee may return to active status upon showing evidence that they have completed no less than 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education during the three-year period preceding the request for reactivation; or agrees in writing to meet the requirement within one year of applying for reactivation.

The Board may in particular cases make exceptions to the requirements set out in Rule 4 CSR 10.4.011 for reasons of individual hardship including health, military service, foreign residence, or other good cause.

To receive a complete set of these rules call the Missouri State Board of Accountancy at (573) 751-0012 or click here.