The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program or method of continuing education (CE) qualifies is that it shall be a program or method of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of an individual after the individual has been licensed to practice certified public accountancy. The Board reserves the authority to determine whether a particular course of continuing education meets the requirements of the regulations (COMAR 09.24.02.04) for qualifying CE for use by a licensee.
Licensees are required to report on the renewal application the number of CE hours they have earned. They are asked to indicate the exact number of CE hours that they have completed during their current two-year license period. Licensees can report CE that they have earned in the two years prior to the expiration date of their current license. For example, a licensee whose license period is January 2, 2016 and expires January 2, 2018, can report any CE earned between those two dates to qualify for renewal for the next two-year period through January 2, 2020.
Remember the CE reporting policy for early renewals.
Recent licensees who are renewing their licenses for the first time do not have to report any CE in order to qualify for their initial license renewal. If, however, the licensee has earned CE during the first license period, the licensee may report it on the first renewal and it will be carried forward for use with the next immediate renewal. CE earned in an individual's first license period that is not reported at the time of the first renewal is no longer valid and is ineligible to be reported as CE earned at the time of the second renewal. All licensees must report at least 80 hours of qualifying CE at the time of their second renewal.
Amending CE Reported
Licensees who want to modify the number of CE reported in a renewal application must request the amendment of CE's within 30 days of the date of the application. The request must be made in writing and include documentation for the number of CE claimed in the renewal application AND for the additional number of CE requested. All CE must have been earned in the two-year period prior to the date the renewal application was filed.
CE carried forward into the next license period
Licensees may currently carry forward up to 80 hours of qualifying CE that can be applied to the next immediate license period. For example, a person who has no CE carried forward and reports 175 CE will have the CE applied as follows: 80 CE (including 4 CE hours in professional ethics)to renew the license and 80 CE applied toward qualifying to renew the next immediate license. The 15 CE hours in excess of 156 will not be counted and are not eligible to be used in future renewal applications. CE hours in professional ethics in excess of four hours are not eligible for carry forward. Four hours of continuing education is professional ethics must be completed each license term and reported to the Board in the renewal application.
What to do if you do not have enough CE to renew as an active licensee
If you do not have a total of 80 CE hours to qualify for license renewal, there is an alternative. You can change your status to inactive on the renewal application. Your license will remain on inactive status until such time as you can report 80 hours of qualifying CE. To reinstate your license from inactive to active you can use the Board's
Activation/ Deactivation feature.
PLEASE NOTE: Maryland CPA licenses are issued for a fixed two-year period. To find out your license expiration date, look at the expiration date on your license. If you reactivate your license any time between the beginning date and end date of the license period, the CE that you reported to reactivate your license cannot be used for the next renewal. You will have to earn an additional 80 CE hours for the next renewal. Of course, if you report an excess of 80 hours of CE at the time of license reactivation, the CE hours in excess of 80 can be applied to your next immediate renewal.
CE required for reinstatement of an expired license
It is important to remember that the anniversary date of license expiration is a fixed date every two years. It cannot be changed. If you have let your license lapse and want to reinstate your license be mindful of the following:
- If you are attempting to reinstate your license more than 60 days prior to your fixed license expiration date, the CE that you report is only good for the time period remaining until that date. You will need to earn an additional 80 hours of CE in order to renew again. However, if you file a reinstatement application within 60 days of the fixed expiration date, the CE you report will be good for the next two-year license term.
- Only CE that you have earned in the two years immediately preceding the date of your reinstatement application qualifies as acceptable CE.