Friday, May 29, 2020

Government Accountability Office logoThe auditing community has expressed concern about its ability to complete CPE requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has taken steps to allow for more time and flexibility to complete these requirements for Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) purposes. Please note that these changes only apply to CPE required by the 2018 Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book). As of May 18, 2020, the NC CPA Board has not made any changes to the annual CPE requirement as a result of COVID-19. The deadline for completing CPE to be eligible for license renewal next year (2021) is December 31, 2020.

To assist auditors, the GAO is providing the following flexibility:

  • 6-month grace period for completing CPE
  • Waiver of the 20-hour annual CPE requirement
  • Carryover of CPEs earned in this period

The alert does not remove the requirement for completion of the 80 hours of CPE (GAGAS paragraph 4.16) and the 2-year period for obtaining that CPE cannot has not changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

6-Month Grace Period for Completing CPE

For 2-year CPE periods that end February 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020, auditors who have not completed the 80-hour or 24-hour CPE requirement for the 2-year period have up to 6 months immediately following the 2-year period to make up the hours. This modifies 2018 GAGAS paragraph 4.44, which allows for a 2-month grace period.

Waiver of 20-Hour Annual CPE Requirement

Auditors are not required to complete at least 20 hours of CPE for the 1-year CPE period from February 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  This modifies 2018 GAGAS paragraph 4.17.

Carryover of CPE

From the audit organization’s 2-year period in effect beginning February 29, 2020, auditors may carryover up to 40 hours of CPE in excess of the 80-hour requirement, to the next CPE measurement period. For the 2-year period ending after December 31, 2020, CPE hours earned through December 31, 2020 may be carried over. This modifies 2018 GAGAS paragraph 4.45.

In addition, this alert provides clarification to 2018 GASAS paragraph 4.29 as to which situations can be considered if an audit organization grants an exemption from a portion of the CPE requirement. 

The COVID-19 GAGAS CPE Alert contains examples for each of the modifications listed above. A copy of the alert can be found here on the GAO website.

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