What is an Extension?
To maintain your CPA certification, you need to earn a certain number of continuing professional education (CPE) credits every year or every other year. However, some CPAs struggle to fit this time commitment into their busy schedules. In some cases, you can request a CPE extension to give you extra time to fulfill the requirement.
Although every jurisdiction requires continuing education for members, they differ in terms of when these education credits must be reported – in other words, when they’re due. For example, in Florida the yearly deadline is June 30th. In California, it’s every other year on the last day of your birth month.
Likewise, each jurisdiction has specific rules regarding when extensions can be requested, acceptable reasons for requesting an extension, and whether there are penalty credits required. Although specifics once again differ by state, you will need to request an extension before your jurisdiction’s CPE deadline. Often, this will coincide with your request for license renewal. Thus, it is important to get your CPE requirement sorted out before there becomes a problem with your licensure.
In a few states, you can automatically receive an extension if you complete a few extra hours of CPE. In Florida, for example, the first automatic extension ends September 15, provided the Florida CPA completes an additional 8 hours in Accounting and Auditing subjects. Therefore, the licensee would complete a total of 88 hours with at least 16 in accounting and auditing. The second automatic extension ends December 31 provided the Florida CPA completes an additional 16 hours in Accounting and Auditing subjects. Therefore, the licensee would complete a total of 96 hours with at least 24 in accounting and auditing.
In other states, you must submit a form detailing the extension or exemption you want, along with a potential fee. You’ll also need to give your reasons for making the request. For instance, here’s California’s extension/exemption request form.
To see a complete list of each jurisdiction’s extension rules, please visit the following link:
Adding an Extension
To extend a license reporting period, please follow these quick steps:
- Navigate to the Licenses section of your account
- Click the edit button on the license card
- Click Extensions along the left under the license name
- Select the reporting period to edit, enter the new expiration date and any required additional credit for this reporting period (see below for more on Punishment/Penalty credits)
- To Edit or Delete an Existing Extension, simply follow steps 1-3 above, and click Edit or Delete in the right column
Once you've added the extension date, the reporting period will be automatically adjusted on your Compliance and Report tabs, as well.
In certain states, punishment or “penalty” credits must be completed in order to satisfy the requirements of an extension. These credits are counted in addition to satisfying the regular CPE requirement.
For example, Kansas requires an additional 8 hours of CPE on top of the 80-hour requirement before the licensee’s permit to practice can be renewed. Thus, a total of 88 hours must be completed in order for the licensee to be considered compliant. The period of time to complete these hours is determined by the Kansas Board of Accountancy.
To add punishment credits:
- Follow steps 1-4 above
- Enter the number of punishment credit hours (based on state requirements)
- To adjust inputted hours, simply follow steps 1-3 above, and click Edit in the right column, or click Delete to remove
Again, once you've added the punishment credits, the reporting total will be automatically adjusted on your Compliance and Report tabs.