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Capitol Report | Spring 2023

Ready for the 2024 CPA License Renewal?

The key to the next license renewal period is preparation—now’s the time to update your continuing professional education records and contact information.
Marty Green, Esq. Senior VP and Legislative Counsel, Illinois CPA Society

Just as we’re finally getting over the huge hurdle of the extended 2021 CPA license renewal period, the next cycle is right around the corner. As a reminder, CPA licenses are good for a three-year period, and your current CPA license will expire on Sept. 30, 2024. Due to the extenuating circumstances that occurred during the last renewal period, I wanted to provide some food for thought early enough for Illinois CPAs to prepare for the road ahead.

As you may recall, the 2021 CPA license renewal was of crisis proportion. In fact, some are still working through the process of getting their licenses renewed, reinstated, or issued a new license from that year. Why? Well, typically, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) sends licensees renewal notices three months prior to the license expiration deadline (i.e., Sept. 30). Unfortunately, that year IDFPR’s legacy IT enterprise system failed to send this notice and, as a result, renewal notices were significantly delayed. Further complicating matters, when the notices were finally transmitted there was chaos caused by a shadowed resetting of licensees’ online passwords. These circumstances created enormous barriers to the online renewal process, necessitating the Division of Professional Regulation (DPR) director to extend the expiration of CPA licenses to Dec. 31, 2021, followed by a second extension to Jan. 31, 2022.

While the IT hurdles were incrementally mediated over time, the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) Government Relations team communicated with IDFPR leadership on the expiration extension and its impact on continuing professional education (CPE) deadline requirements since the earlier proclamation from the DPR director didn’t include an extension of CPE completion. It’s important to note that when renewing your professional license, marking the box that you’ve completed the required CPE is attesting to the fact that you’ve completed all your CPE requirements as of the date that you electronically annotated the box in the online portal versus completing the CPE by the expiration date of your license.

What does all this mean moving forward, and how does it impact your 2024 CPA license renewal? As professionals who deal with numbers and analytics, you’ve probably realized that this license cycle has been shortened due to the extended expiration of your 2021 license renewals. Therefore, you’ll need to take a closer look at your CPE records and the hours you claimed during the extended renewal period. Be mindful of whether you claimed CPE hours earned beyond Sept. 30, 2021. If you did, you can’t double count those hours toward the 120 required hours for the 2024 license renewal period.

As part of your preparation, you should also make sure the IDFPR has a current and lasting email address as part of your licensure record. As with the two previous renewal periods, IDFPR will be sending renewal notices, along with other formal communications, via email to the address they have on file. As a reminder, an email address of record for licensees is required by the Illinois Public Accounting Act.

Lastly, a bit of good news—Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s state operating budget for fiscal year 2024 included a $10 million appropriation for the support of a new IDFPR licensing system. You read that correctly—the state is procuring an entirely new licensing system! Secretary Mario Treto Jr. reached out to ICPAS last winter to discuss the department’s plan to retire its legacy IT enterprise system and transition it to an entirely new system. ICPAS President and CEO Geof Brown, CAE, and I have met with the secretary to discuss IDFPR’s plans for bringing the new system online and the potential impact it may have on licensees. Other professional associations regulated by IDFPR are also lobbying for more information to be provided to stakeholders.

Overall, we’re grateful to Gov. Pritzker and IDFPR’s leadership for their commitment to modernizing the state’s professional regulation and licensure services. As always, we’ll continue to keep you informed of these developments—focusing on this conversion remains our top priority.

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