Date of Adoption: October 29, 1999.
Purpose: To clearly outline the standards continuing professional education courses must meet.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: New section WAC 4-25-831.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055, 18.04.105(8).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-19-043 on September 13, 1999.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: January 1, 2000.
November 9, 1999
Dana M. McInturff, CPA
What are the program standards for CPE?
(1) Qualifying program: A program qualifies as acceptable CPE for purposes of RCW 18.04.215(4) if it is a formal program of learning which contributes to the growth in the professional knowledge and professional competence of an individual in the practice of the profession. A formal program means:
• The program is at least fifty minutes in length;
• Attendance is recorded;
• Participants sign in to confirm attendance and, if the program is greater than four credit hours, participants sign out during the last hour of the program; and
• Attendees are provided a certificate of completion.
(2) Undergraduate and graduate courses: A graduate or undergraduate course qualifies for CPE credit if it meets the standards in subsections (1) and (5) of this section. For both undergraduate and graduate courses one quarter credit equals 10 CPE credit hours and one semester credit equals 15 CPE credit hours.
(3) Committee meetings: Generally, CPE credit is not allowed for attending committee meetings. A meeting qualifies for CPE credit only if it meets the standards in subsections (1) and (5) of this section.
(4) Quality assurance review: Service on the board's QAR committee, participating as a QAR team captain or reviewer, and participating on other board-approved quality or peer review committees may be considered for CPE credit as defined by board policy.
(5) Subject areas: Programs dealing with the following general subject areas are acceptable so long as they meet the standards in subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Technical subjects include:
(i) Auditing standards or procedures;
(ii) Compilation and review of financial statements;
(iii) Financial statement preparation and disclosures;
(iv) Attestation standards and procedures;
(v) Projection and forecast standards or procedures;
(vi) Accounting and auditing;
(vii) Management advisory services;
(viii) Personal financial planning;
(x) Management information services;
(xi) Budgeting and cost analysis;
(xii) Asset management;
(xiii) Professional ethics (other than those programs used to satisfy the requirements of WAC 4-25-830(3));
(xiv) Specialized areas of industry;
(xv) Human resource management;
(xvii) Business law;
(xviii) Mathematics, statistics, and quantitative applications in business;
(xix) Business management and organization;
(xx) General computer skills, computer software training, information technology planning and management;
(b) Nontechnical subjects include:
(i) Communication skills;
(ii) Interpersonal management skills;
(iii) Leadership and personal development skills;
(iv) Client and public relations;
(v) Practice development;
(vi) Motivational and behavioral courses;
(vii) Speed reading and memory building;
(viii) Negotiation or dispute resolution courses;
(c) Professional ethics with specific application to the practice of public accounting in Washington state covers the following subjects: Revised Code of Washington chapter 18.04, Washington Administrative Code chapter 4-25, and the code of professional conduct promulgated by the American Institute of CPAs.
Subjects other than those listed above may be acceptable provided you can demonstrate they contribute to your professional competence. You are solely responsible for demonstrating that a particular program is acceptable.
(6) Group programs: You may claim CPE credit for group programs such as the following so long as the program meets the standards in subsections (1) and (5) of this section:
(a) Professional education and development programs of national, state, and local accounting organizations;
(b) Technical sessions at meetings of national, state, and local accounting organizations and their chapters;
(c) Formal in-firm education programs;
(d) Programs of other organizations (accounting, industrial, professional, etc.);
(e) Dinner, luncheon, and breakfast meetings which are structured as formal educational programs;
(f) Firm meetings for staff and/or management groups structured as formal education programs. Portions of such meetings devoted to communication and application of general professional policy or procedure may qualify, but portions devoted to firm administrative, financial and operating matters generally will not qualify.
(7) CPE credit: CPE credit is allowable only for those programs taken after the issuance of the CPA certificate. Credit is not allowed for programs taken to prepare an applicant for the ethics examination as a requirement for initial certification. CPE credit is given for whole hours only, with a minimum of fifty minutes constituting one hour. For example, one hundred minutes of continuous instruction counts as two hours of CPE credit; however, more than fifty minutes but less than one hundred minutes of continuous instruction counts only as one hour CPE credit. Attendees obtain CPE credit only for time spent in instruction; no credit is allowed for preparation time.
(8) Self-study programs: Credit for self-study programs is allowed in the renewal period in which you completed the program as established by the evidence of completion provided by the program sponsor.
(a) Interactive self-study programs: The amount of credit allowed for interactive self-study is that which is recommended by the program sponsor on the basis of the average completion time under appropriate "field tests." In order to claim CPE credit for interactive self-study programs, you must obtain evidence of satisfactory completion of the course from the program sponsor.
(b) Noninteractive self-study programs: The amount of credit allowed for noninteractive self-study is one-half the average completion time as determined by the program sponsor on the basis of appropriate "field tests." To claim CPE credit for noninteractive self-study programs, you must obtain evidence of satisfactory completion of the course from the program sponsor.
(9) Instructor, discussion leader, or speaker: If you serve as an instructor, discussion leader or speaker at a program which meets the standards in subsections (1) and (5) of this section, the first time you present the program you may claim CPE credit for both preparation and presentation time. One hour of credit is allowed for each fifty minutes of instruction. Additionally, you may claim credit for actual preparation time up to two times the presentation hours. No credit is allowed for subsequent presentations. A maximum of 72 CPE credit hours are allowed for preparation and presentation during each CPE reporting period.
(10) Published articles, books: You may claim CPE credit for published articles and books, provided they contribute to your professional competence. Credit for preparation of such publications may be claimed on a self-declaration basis for up to 30 hours in a CPE reporting period. In exceptional circumstances, you may request additional credit by submitting the article(s) or book(s) to the board with an explanation of the circumstances that justify a greater credit. The amount of credit awarded for a given publication will be determined by the board.
(11) Carry-forward: CPE credit hours you complete during one period cannot be carried forward to the next period.
(12) Carry-back: CPE credit hours you complete during one period can be carried back to the previous reporting period; however, only in accordance with WAC 4-25-830(5).