For CPAs renewing their licenses in California, the CPE requirements have become increasingly complicated over the last years. I wrote this article to help Californian CPAs better understand their annual continued education responsibilities and maintain their active license status.
Starting with the most general requirement, all California CPAs are required to complete 80 CPE hours in the two years leading up to the applicant's renewal date, with at least 20 hours completed EACH YEAR. Meaning no cramming 80 CPE hours into the week before you apply for renewal... They're onto us.
Now of the 20 CPE hours required each year, 12 of those hours must be in technical fields defined by in Section 88(a)(1) of the CBA requirements. "Technical" is defined as accounting, auditing, fraud, taxation, consulting, financial planning, ethics (as defined by Section 87 (b), computer & IT (no word processing folks), and specialized industry or government practice training. Basically as long as the training focuses on the maintenance and enhancement of your skills, knowledge, & competency. If you notice, by fulfilling your technical requirement, you also meet the 24/80 Accounting & Auditing or Governmental requirements. Nicccce.
In addition to enacting minimum annual CPE requirements, the California Accountancy Act requires all active CPAs who perform the majority of field work on financial/compliance audits of governmental agencies (Governmental Requirement), or provide attestation services (Accounting & Auditing Requirement) to complete 24 of 80 CPE hours in fields related to financial reporting. Now if you're a sucker for efficiency like myself, you'll be able to knock out the 24/80 requirement utilizing your 12 annual "technical" hours. However, If you are subject to the 24/80 requirement, an additional 4 hours of fraud CPE is mandated each renewal period. Just to clarify, you are responsible for 4 fraud CPE hours IN ADDITION to the 24 financial reporting CPE hours completed. This will have to be done separate from your 12 annual "technical" hours.
The California Board of Accountancy also requires 4 hours of ethics CPE every renewal period. Basically, just make sure you fit some ethics courses into your 12 annual "technical" CPE hours. Also renewing CPAs are required to complete a board-approved two-hour "Regulatory Review" course every six years (based on the old ethics reporting cycle). This course covers the California Accountancy Act, California Board of Accountancy regulations, and enforcement of the Act.
If you're like me, this babushka doll of requirements makes your head spin... here's a checklist laying it all out.
80 CPE hours each renewal period -24 related to financial reporting*
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 (GSPC) consistently topping record highs during the last year, its hard not to wonder how long the stock market can remain in an uptrend. As an individual hesitant to put my minimal spare funds into equities, I found a cost-efficient way to produce valuable assets online.
After first becoming interested in owning a piece of the internet, I learned that for a small fee ($2.99-$12.99), I could register a domain name through an accredited registrar for a specified number of years. In addition, I would have the option to renew the registration before it went to open auction at the end of the term. I immediately recognized the potential of such a low-cost investment. Instead of buying one share of Google stock (GOOG), I could register over 100 domain names, each with the potential to display content, share information, and provide services.
Contrary to popular belief, the internet is not one large, synonymous platform. Beyond the explosive growth of the web during the dot-com boom, the Internet Company for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has continued to enhance competition, innovation, and consumer choice in the Domain Name System. The growth of country-code and generic top-level domains has fueled the domain registration market and increased the complexity of the internet.
Since 1985, ICANN has assigned two-letter, ccTLDs to countries, sovereign states, and dependent territories, to be developed with limited restriction on their usage. Some countries have elected to restrict registration of domain names to citizens of the country. Others have taken a free market approach and appointed the administration of their TLDs to private industry. Under the administrator, .CO Internet S.A.S, domain registration on Columbia's .co ccTLD is now universally granted and has found popularity among small businesses. Through the registration of ccTLD names, it is possible to reach any geographic, cultural, or linguistic audience worldwide.
The majority of internet users are familiar with the generic top-level domains (gTLDs) .com, .edu, .org, and .net. However, in June 2011, ICANN's Board of Directors authorized the launch of a new gTLD program meant to "encourage global participation in the technical management of the internet". 1930 total applications were accepted with a possibility for over 1300 new TLDs in the near future. Included in the plan was the implementation of internationalized domain name top-level domains (IDN ccTLDs). IDNs are a type of ccTLD which consist of language-native characters and utilize non-latin roots such as Arabic or Chinese. New IDN ccTLDs expand the linguistic base of the internet and are sure to generate future web activity in areas where English is not common. gTLDs give the internet a new flexibility, allowing for websites to organize by culture, language, interest or industry. As generic top-level domains expand the domain registration market, there is an opportunity to participate in the organization of new top-level domains and their connection to the current internet infrastructure.
The diversity of the internet allows an investor to build a web portfolio with exposure to a combination of cultures, industries, and demographics. As the world's population continues to increase the demand for online services, entertainment, and information, I encourage investment in the supply of online content through the registration of domain names.
Tyler Logsdon is a CPA and Registered Securities Representative located in Newport Beach, California. He is actively employed in the blockchain industry.
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