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Ethics CPE Regs Unchanged for 2018

Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
Feb 21, 2018

FAE Conference

New York state’s ethics continuing professional education (CPE) requirement will remain unchanged for the 2018 year because the State Board for Public Accountancy did not submit for approval proposed rule changes to the Board of Regents in 2017.

At the state board’s quarterly meeting on Jan. 17, board Executive Secretary Jennifer Winters reported that the regulations regarding the changes approved at the board’s July 2017 meeting were not yet drafted. “We weren’t able to convene the Education Committee to fully look at the ethics CPE,” she said, adding that the committee is hoping to meet before the board’s April meeting, and when it does, “we will be bringing the items forward.”

After the public accountancy board approves the ethics CPE language, it will be submitted to the Board of Regents for review as changes to Education Law regulations. But Winters pointed out that the regulatory approval process can be slow: In October 2016, the public accountancy board submitted proposed changes to Board of Regents Rules Section 29.10 (covering unprofessional conduct in the practice of public accountancy), and those changes are still under review.

“As you can see, it’s already a long time for changes we submitted, so unfortunately, [the ethics CPE changes] will go … last, [and] we don’t know when the changes will be added,” Winters said. Because of this anticipated delay, there is a possibility that the ethics CPE regulations may not even be approved this year; in that event, those regulations would not go into effect until 2020, at the earliest.

The state public accountancy board voted to change the requirements after a recent review found that half of all New York-licensed CPAs failed to meet their professional ethics CPE requirement in 2016. The board pointed to multiple reasons for the failure, but they all seemed to stem from confusion surrounding the type of ethics courses the state requires and when CPAs need to take them.

Under the new requirements, CPAs would need to earn six CPE credits in ethics every three years, up from the current four-credit requirement. Specifically, CPAs would have to earn those six credits at a rate of two ethics credits a year; however, they would be able to take a wider variety of ethics courses in order to fulfill four of those six credits, including behavioral ethics and other non–New York-focused courses.

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.