WSR 12-13-102



[ Filed June 20, 2012, 10:48 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-04-048.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 4-30-132 What are the program standards for CPE?

Hearing Location(s): The Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport, Cascade 13 Room, 18740 International Boulevard, SeaTac, WA, on July 26, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 26, 2012.

Submit Written Comments to: Cheryl M. Sexton, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 9131, Olympia, WA 98507-9131, e-mail, fax (360) 664-9190, by July 19, 2012.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cheryl Sexton by July 19, 2012, TTY (800) 833-6388 or (800) 833-6385.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Purpose: (1) To allow continuing professional education (CPE) credit for volunteer service on the board, on board committees, or on board approved peer review committees to include credit for time preparing for committee meetings.

(2) Clarify the definition of interactive self-study programs.

Effects: (1) The award of additional CPE may encourage successful professionals to enhance their competency by these volunteer services and in turn benefit the profession.

(2) The amendment will clearly advise the regulated CPA of the program standards for interactive self-study CPE programs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: (1) Volunteers serving on the board, its committees, and on board approved peer review committees currently receive CPE credit for actual time spent on board, board committee, or board approved peer review committee activities. The activities include board meetings, committee meetings, and desk reviews. These volunteers spend many hours preparing for these activities such as, reviewing a board/committee meeting agenda package, reviewing peer review reports prior to a committee meeting, researching issues/standards related to an agenda item/report. These activities contribute to the volunteer's professional knowledge and competence. Without competent volunteers the board, board committees, and board approved peer review committees cannot succeed.

(2) The agency has found the definition to lack clarity. The amendment will provide the needed clarity to avoid any confusion/questions by the regulated CPAs.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055(7), 18.04.215(5).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.04.055(7), 18.04.215(5).

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: The Washington state board of accountancy, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Richard C. Sweeney, CPA, 711 Capitol Way South, Suite 400, Olympia, WA, (360) 586-0163.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will not have more than minor economic impact on business.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The board of accountancy is not one of the agencies required to submit to the requirements of RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a).

June 20, 2012

Richard C. Sweeney

Executive Director


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-24-009, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10)

WAC 4-30-132   What are the program standards for CPE?   (1) Qualifying program: A program qualifies as acceptable CPE for purposes of RCW 18.04.215(5) if it is a formal program of learning which contributes to the CPA's professional knowledge and competence. 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) CPE credit hours for volunteer service on the board and its committees and volunteer service on board approved peer review committees: You may receive up to ((thirty-two)) sixty-four hours of technical CPE credit each calendar year for actual time spent on board, board committee, or board approved peer review committee activities including actual time you spend preparing for committee meetings.

(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;

(ix) Taxation;

(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 4-30-134(3));

(xiv) Specialized areas of industry;

(xv) Human resource management;

(xvi) Economics;

(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; and

(xxi) Negotiation or dispute resolution courses;

(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; and

(vii) Speed reading and memory building.

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 contributes to your professional competency.

(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 in time periods after the first CPA license is issued pursuant to the authority of the board under chapter 18.04 RCW. Credit is not allowed for programs taken to prepare an applicant for the ethics examination as a requirement for initial licensure. CPE credit is given in half-hour increments only after the first full CPE credit hour has been earned. A minimum of fifty minutes constitutes one CPE credit hour and, after the first fifty-minute segment has been earned, twenty-five minutes constitutes one-half CPE credit hour. For example:

Twenty-five minutes of continuous instruction counts as zero CPE credit hour if that instruction is the first CPE course taken;

Fifty minutes of continuous instruction counts as one CPE credit hour; and

Seventy-five minutes of continuous instruction counts as one and one-half CPE credit hours.

Attendees obtain CPE credit only for time spent in instruction; no credit is allowed for preparation time unless the attendee is the discussion leader for the particular CPE segment or program.

(8) Self-study programs: Credit for self-study programs is allowed for reporting purposes on the date you completed the program as established by the evidence of completion provided by the program sponsor.

(a) Interactive self-study programs: Interactive means electronic or other delivery formats for delivery of CPE in which feedback is provided during the study of the material in a manner to validate the individual's understanding of the material. 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. Self-study CPE courses registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a Quality Assurance Service (QAS) sponsor may be accepted as interactive.

(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 seventy-two 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 thirty 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 CPE reporting period cannot be carried forward to the next period.

(12) Carry-back: As specified in WAC 4-30-134(8), CPE credit hours you complete during one CPE reporting period can be carried back to the previous reporting period only after the board has approved your extension request or has required the carry-back as part of sanctions for failure to complete required CPE.

(13) Credential examination: CPE credit may not be claimed for CPA examination review courses. You may not claim CPE credit for preparing for or taking a credential examination unless you complete a formal review course and receive a certificate of completion meeting the requirements of WAC 4-30-138. CPE credit may not be claimed for CPA examination review courses.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(7), 18.04.215(5). 10-24-009, amended and recodified as 4-30-132, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(7) and 18.04.215. 09-17-044, 4-25-831, filed 8/11/09, effective 9/11/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(7), 18.04.215(5). 05-01-137, 4-25-831, filed 12/16/04, effective 1/31/05; 01-22-036, 4-25-831, filed 10/30/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055 and 18.04.105(8). 99-23-046, 4-25-831, filed 11/15/99, effective 1/1/00.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office