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CPE Requirements FAQ

What you need to know about your CPE requirement

The VSCPA is committed to providing Virginia CPAs with up-to-date information on continuing professional education (CPE) requirements from the Virginia Board of Accountancy (VBOA). The below Q&A covers general CPE questions as well as questions about the Ethics CPE requirement. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the VSCPA at [email protected] or (800) 733-8272.

Question: If I am licensed in more than one state, do I need to take an Ethics course in each state?

Answer: It depends on the state in question. In Virginia, there are exemptions in place for people whose principal place of business is outside of Virginia. However, not every state has those exemptions. You'll need to contact those states' Boards of Accountancy to be sure.

Question: How do I know if the course I am taking qualifies for the Virginia Ethics requirement?

Answer: The VBOA has designated the VSCPA as the content provider for the Ethics course, starting with the 2015 course. Any instructor who teaches the course must be approved by the VBOA and must renew that approval annually.

Question: If I'm licensed in another state, do I have to take the Ethics course?

Answer: If your primary place of business and licensure is Virginia, you must take the Virginia Ethics course. If you meet the following conditions, you may maintain a Virginia license without complying with Virginia CPE (including the Ethics course): 

1) Your principal place of business is not Virginia.
2) You have a license in another state.
3) That state has a CPE requirement of at least 120 hours/3-year cycle with which you comply.

Question: Do I have to take 2 hours of Ethics CPE every year?

Answer: Yes. The Ethics course is an annual obligation if you are not CPE exempt.

Question: Does the Ethics requirement have to be fulfilled in the calendar year, or does it follow the licensing cycle?

Answer: The Ethics requirement follows a calendar year.

Question: What are Virginia's CPE requirements?

Answer: For CPAs who have not been granted Active — CPE Exempt status:

  • 120 hours every 3 years with a 20-hour minimum/year, including the Virginia-specific Ethics course. 

Question: I just passed the CPA Exam and got my license. How many hours of CPE do I need this year? When someone is newly licensed, when does his/her CPE requirement start? When does the ethics requirement start?

Answer: The CPE requirements begin the first calendar year after obtaining a license. (Example: Joe Black receives his license in July 2017. He is not required to get CPE in 2017. His CPE reporting begins Jan. 1, 2018.) The Ethics requirement begins at the same time as all other CPE.

Question: How do I reinstate my license?

Answer: Visit the Virginia Board of Accountancy website and use the online database to look yourself up. You can determine when your license expired, download the forms and find information needed to reinstate.

Question: Does Virginia put a limitation on the amount of CPE you can take online?

Answer: No. However, self-study CPE must qualify by meeting conditions outlined in the regulations. For example, there must be a method for determining you have met the learning objectives, such as an examination. The VSCPA suggests that you check the CPE section of the regulations (18-VAC-5-22-90) to make sure that self-study CPE you are interested in qualifies. Any self-study CPE offered by the VSCPA qualifies for credit.

Question: Who is responsible for keeping up with my transcripts, including those courses not offered by the VSCPA?

Answer: The individual licensee is responsible for keeping up with his/her own CPE. All CPAs may track their CPE using the VBOA CPE Tracker. Click here for more information about the VBOA/NASBA CPE Tracking System.

Question:  I have not been complying with the CPE requirement to date. How can I get caught up?

Answer:  Contact the VBOA to determine your best course of action in getting back on track.

Question: Are VSCPA in-person courses NASBA approved?

Answer: Yes. As of April 1, 2006, all public in-person VSCPA courses are NASBA approved. The VSCPA sponsor number is 108526.​

Question: I am licensed in another state, which is also my principal place of business. Do I need to comply with Virginia's CPE requirements in addition to those of primary state of licensure?

Answer: No. As long as you meet the requirements to practice under substantial equivalency and are meeting the CPE requirements in your primary state of licensure, you are considered to automatically be in compliance with Virginia with respect to all CPE requirements other the 2-hour annual Ethics requirement. For more information on the ethics requirement, see the Ethics section. Take the quiz below for more insight on your requirements.


The Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: NASBARegistry.org.

For more information regarding refund, complaint, program cancellation or other policies, visit vscpa.com/CPEPolicies or call (800) 733-8272.