Continuing Education

Tennessee State Board of Accountancy

Continuing Education & State Requirements

All Active CPA certificate holders are required to obtain CPE. The Accountancy Act of 1998 exempts inactive certificate holders from CPE.

Active CPA certificate holders must obtain:

  • 80 approved hours every two (2) years with a minimum of 20 hours in each year.
  • Of those 80 hours, at least 40 hours must be in technical subjects (as defined by NASBA’s Fields of Study).
  • If performing attest services (including compilations), at least 20 of the 40 technical hours must be in the Accounting and Auditing category.
  • If providing expert witness testimony, at least 20 hours must be in the general area in which the court deems you an expert, such as tax, auditing, etc.
  • A maximum of twenty percent (20%) of your 80-hour requirement may be obtained through the magazine reading program such as reading TSCPA journals and returning those questions for a score.
  • The Ethics requirement for license renewal is two hours of Board approved state specific ethics earned during every two year licensing period.

The CPE Fields of Study curriculum is divided into 20 subject matter areas.   The Tennessee State Board of Accountancy has aligned with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in the categorization of each field of study as technical or non-technical.  Each certificate of completion should list the field of study for credits earned.

Technical Fields Non-Technical Fields
Accounting Behavioral Ethics
Accounting (Governmental) Business Management and Organization
Auditing Communications and Marketing
Auditing (Governmental) Computer Software and Applications
Business Law Personal Development
Economics Personnel/Human Resources
Finance Production
Information Technology  
Management Services  
Regulatory Ethics  
Specialized Knowledge  
Statistics  
Taxes  

CPE must be earned through NASBA approved CPE sponsors or State Board exempted sponsors.  A licensee may request pre-approval of CPE credits from a non-registered sponsor which are industry specific or offered on a limited basis.  A request may be made once during each CPE reporting period, and for no more than sixteen (16) hours of credit. 

All self-study course providers, except those offered by the AICPA or state CPA societies, must have each course quality-assured by NASBA. The Board has implemented the quality assurance rule for self-study in order to ensure that all correspondence courses are of high quality and enhance the professional competency of all licensees. The Quality Assurance Service (QAS) Program of NASBA has been designated by the Board to establish the registration process and enforcement of QAS. Licensees may contact NASBA at www.nasba.org to download a list of QAS providers and courses.

Carry Over CPE: Excess CPE hours physically earned in one full two year reporting period (i.e. any over the 80 hour requirement) can be carried forward into the next reporting period but not beyond. Carry over is limited to 24 hours of CPE per reporting period. In addition, carry over hours do not contribute to the minimum 20 hour requirement or the 40 technical hour requirement.  No carryover education may be used by a new licensee whose initial licensing period is less than two full years.

CPE Audit

The Tennessee Board of Accountancy annually selects 10% of renewing licenses at random for an audit of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.  If chosen for audit, you are required to submit documentation of CPE credits earned in the previous two-year reporting period.

If selected for audit, you will receive notification and instructions by mail and email.  Please click here to view an example of the 2017 notification.

All Audit responses must be submitted through core.tn.gov.

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