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Board of Accountancy

Continuing Education Requirements


State Requirements | AICPA | NASBA QAS Sponsors | TN Society of CPA's


Continuing Education & State Requirements


Categories: Before explaining the State requirements, you must first understand the categories under which CPE credits fall. They are summarized as follows:


A - Accounting and Auditing
T - Tax
M - Management advisory services (includes financial advising)
E - Ethics

S - State Specific Ethics
O - Other (Non-Technical)


When submitting CPE documentation to the State, each course must be classified in one of the above categories. All CPE must be taken from NASBA approved CPE sponsors or State Board exempted sponsors. If you are taking a course through a NASBA-approved sponsor, the subject code should appear on the certificate of completion. A misclassification in the subject code could result in non-compliance with CPE reporting requirements. Contact the State Board at (615) 741-2550 or toll free at 1-888-453-6150 with any questions you have regarding subject codes.


IMPORTANT: ALL SELF-STUDY COURSE PROVIDERS MUST HAVE EACH COURSE QUALITY-ASSURED BY NASBA. The Board has implemented the quality assurance rule for self-study in order to insure 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 to download a list of QAS providers and courses.


Courses taken through state CPA societies such as the Tennessee Society of CPA's (TSCPA) and/or the AICPA are accepted by the Board and do not require QAS approval.


Filing 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 (category A, T M or E).
  • If performing attest services (including compilations), at least 20 of the 40 technical hours must be in the "A" 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 16 hours 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 state specific ethics taken every two year licensing period.

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 carry over CPE per reporting period. In addition, carry over hours do not contribute to the minimum 20 hour requirement nor 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.



  • Reporting is over a three year period.
  • You must have 120 hours over the three year period.
  • For new members the reporting period begins in the calendar year following your membership (For example, if you joined in 1993 your reporting period would be 1/1/94 through 12/31/96).
  • No reporting is required, but note that by sending in your dues you are representing to the AICPA that you have met these requirements.

Click here for the complete AICPA Requirements.