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            :   (CLEARINGHOUSE RULE 19-049)
An order of the Accounting Examining Board to amend Accy 2.501 (1) (a) and (2) (a) and create subch. VII of ch. Accy 2, relating to continuing professional education.
Analysis prepared by the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Statutes interpreted:
Statutory authority:
Explanation of agency authority:
Section 15.08 (5) (b), Stats., provides an examining board “shall promulgate rules for its own guidance and for the guidance of the trade or profession to which it pertains. . .”
Section 227.11 (2) (a), Stats., provides “[e]ach agency may promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any statute enforced or administered by the agency, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute . . . .”
Section 227.11 (2) (d), Stats., provides “[a]n agency may promulgate rules implementing or interpreting a statute that it will enforce or administer after publication of the statute but prior to the statute’s effective date. A rule promulgated under this paragraph may not take effect prior to the effective date of the statute that it implements or interprets.”
Section 442.083 (2) (a), Stats., as created by 2017 Wisconsin Act 88 effective December 15, 2019, provides the Accounting Examining Board “shall promulgate rules establishing continuing education requirements for renewal of licenses granted to individuals under this chapter. The rules promulgated under this paragraph may not require an individual to complete more than 80 continuing education credits during the 2-year period immediately preceding the renewal date specified under s. 440.08 (2) (a).”
A significant portion of the Board’s administrative responsibilities regarding 2017 Wisconsin Act 88 is, to the extent possible, provide advance guidance to stakeholders as to how the continuing education requirements will affect them. As the continuing education requirements provided under 2017 Wisconsin Act 88 must be established by rule, effective administration of the Act requires the Board have a rule finalized and available to stakeholders prior to the December 15, 2019 effective date of the requirements. Beginning the rules promulgation after the statute’s effective date of December 15, 2019, will lead to uncertainty about the continuing education requirement for the majority of the renewal period in which the continuing education requirement is in effect. Stakeholders will not know which courses fulfill the continuing education requirement until rules are promulgated. Under the authority provided in ss. 15.08 (5) (b) and 227.11 (2) (a) and (d), Stats., and as explicitly required by 2017 Wisconsin Act 88, the Board will promulgate rules with an effective date of December 15, 2019, to establish continuing education requirements for renewal of a license to practice as a certified public accountant in Wisconsin.
Related statute or rule:
Plain language analysis:
As required under s. 442.083 (2) (a), Stats., as created by 2017 Wisconsin Act 88 effective December 15, 2019, the rules establish continuing education requirements for renewal of a license granted to individuals under ch. 442, Stats., to practice as a certified public accountant. The requirements will be effective beginning December 15, 2019, for the license renewal date occurring on December 15, 2021.
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulation:
Comparison with rules in adjacent states:
Rules of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation address continuing education requirements for CPAs (68 Ill. Adm. Code 1420.70 and 1420.72). To renew a license, a CPA must complete 120 hours of approved continuing professional education (CPE) every 3-year renewal period. Of the 120 hours, at least 4 hours must be courses covering the subject of professional ethics.  The CPE requirements do not apply for the first renewal following the original issuance of the license. 
Approved CPE is professional development activities that are formal and informal learning opportunities contributing directly to a CPA's knowledge, ability or competence to perform professional responsibilities. The CPE must also include subject matter in one or more fields of study that address a licensee's current and future work environment, current knowledge and skills level, and desired or needed additional competencies to meet future opportunities or professional responsibilities.
CPE may be earned for verified attendance at or participation in any course or program given or approved by one of the following:
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- The Illinois CPA Society
- The Illinois CPA Foundation
- A university or college approved by its governing board in the State of Illinois, or equivalent public authority governing board if in another jurisdiction, to award accounting degrees.
- CPE sponsored by, or approved by, other states or other state CPA societies.
- A person, CPA firm, association, corporation or any other group that has been licensed and authorized by the Department to coordinate and present CPE.
- NASBA and persons, CPA firms, associations, corporations or other groups that are members of NASBA's National Registry of CPE Sponsors or Quality Assurance Service Program.
- Licensees who both reside and are licensed as a CPA in another state may satisfy the CPE requirements by complying with the CPE renewal requirements of their state of residence, provided at least 120 hours of CPE have been completed during the Illinois renewal cycle.
- Licensees must maintain CPE records for at least 6 years. The Department may periodically audit CPE course information submitted by licensees, and it is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of CPE compliance.
- A licensee may request a waiver of the CPE requirements. A request for waiver must be made prior to the renewal date.  A waiver will be granted if the Department finds from the evidence submitted that extreme hardship has been shown.
Rules of the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board address continuing education requirements for CPAs (193A IAC, Chapter 10). An applicant for renewal must complete 120 hours of qualifying continuing professional education (CPE) during the three years preceding the renewal date. Of the 120 hours, 4 hours must be devoted to ethics and rules of professional conduct. In addition, every applicant who is responsible for supervising compilation services or who signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant’s compilation report on behalf of a firm must devote a minimum of 8 hours of CPE to financial statement presentation. The CPE requirements do not apply for the first renewal date that is less than 12 months from the date of filing of the initial application for the certificate or license.
The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program qualifies as acceptable continuing education is that it be a formal program of learning that contributes directly to the professional competence of an individual certified or licensed in Iowa. A program of learning must meet all of the following requirements:
- The program must be based on clearly defined, relevant learning objectives and outcomes that clearly articulate the knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be achieved by participants.
- The program must be developed in a manner consistent with the prerequisite education, experience, and advanced preparation of the participants.
- Activities, materials, and delivery systems of the program must be current, technically accurate, and effectively designed. Providers, sponsors, or contractors must be competent in the subject matter. Competence may be demonstrated through practical experience or education.
- The program must be reviewed by qualified persons other than those who develop the program to ensure that the program is technically accurate and current and addresses the stated learning objectives. This requirement is waived for single presentations such as lectures that are given once.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.