South Carolina Ethics CPE

What are South Carolina's specific requirements regarding Rules and Regulations Ethics CPE?

Regulation 1-08(A)(2) Each person to whom the CPE requirement applies shall complete forty (40) hours of acceptable CPE each calendar year as a condition of obtaining a renewal license.

(a) Not more than twenty (20%) percent (8 hours) of the required hours may be in personal development subjects. Personal development subjects that exceed twenty (20%) percent of the required hours shall not be available for carry‑over credit.

(b) Not more than fifty (50%) percent (20 hours) of the required hours may be in self study programs. Self study credits are not available for carry-over credit.

(c) No more than ten (10) hours of CPE can be earned in a calendar day.

(d) When a meal is scheduled during the educational period, no credit will be allowed unless the schedule provides for fifty (50) minutes of instruction after completion of the meal.

(e) Of the required hours over a three (3) year period, six (6) of the hours must be in ethics, and at least two (2) of these hours must be in South Carolina Rules and Regulations.

Where can CPE Sponsors find information regarding the requirements in creating a course?

The Board voted at its September 20, 2018 meeting to approve the NASBA Center for Public Trust as the sole author of the SC Rules and Regulations/SC Ethics course. All other SC Rules and Regulations/SC Ethics courses that were previously approved will expire on December 31, 2018. Although the NASBA Center for the Public Trust will be the sole author, they will not be offering the course directly to licensees. The Board will contact providers of the SC specific course to provide them with the contact information for the NASBA Center for Public Trust, so that providers may purchase the course content, and licensees will need to contact providers of the course. The NASBA Center for Public Trust will provide the Board with a list of providers who have purchased the course, and the Board will include this list on its website, so that licensees can choose their preferred provider.

Please call (803) 896-4770 with any questions.

What is the timeframe to complete the six hours?

All licensees must have six (6) hours of qualified ethics CPE that includes two (2) hours in a SC Board of Accountancy-approved South Carolina ethics course.

These six hours must have been earned from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021. The 2-hour ethics course can be taken only once in each 3-year cycle.

You can only count one 2-hour SC ethics course per 3-year period. December 31, 2021, is the end of the 3 year reporting period for all licensees.

The next 3-year reporting period is from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2024.

What is the requirement for licensees who obtain their original CPA license within the three year period?

New South Carolina licensees (who have never been licensed in another state) will be exempt from the Ethics CPE during the three-year period in which they are licensed. This is due to the Ethics requirement to be licensed.

What are the requirements for out-of-state licensees?

If you are a South Carolina licensee, but your principal place of business is outside of South Carolina, you may use the ethics course for that state - if that state requires an ethics course - to fulfill the South Carolina requirement. However, if a South Carolina CPA does not hold an active license in the state of his/her principal place of business, the CPA must comply with South Carolina's ethics requirement.

Is the additional six hours separate from the already required 40 Hours a year?

No, it is included within the 40 hours.

How do I report the Ethics hours?

As you obtain these courses go ahead and report them on your annual CPE report.

How will the self-study Ethics courses work when counting hours?

If you take an Ethics course via self-study, you will count the hours towards the 20 hour annual limit for self-study AND towards the six hour triennium requirement for Ethics. The suggested method to reflect that on your CPE Report is on Section B, count the hours in the Self-study column and make a mark (asterisk, X, or check mark) in the Ethics column to indicate that this course was both self-study and Ethics. Then on Section A in the summary, please remember to enter the total number of hours calculated for each of the four areas: Ethics, Personal Development, Self-Study and All Other, but do NOT double count Self-Study Ethics hours in your annual total.