insight magazine

Capitol Report | Spring 2024

Preparing for the 2024 CPA License Renewal

The 2024 CPA license renewal period is quickly approaching. Here are four steps CPAs should complete now to avoid potential delays.
Marty Green, Esq. Senior VP and Legislative Counsel, Illinois CPA Society

It’s almost time—if you’re a certified public accountant (CPA), your CPA license will expire on Sept. 30, 2024. Many of you reading this column are “survivors” of the 2021 CPA license renewal process. It was, at the very least, a crisis that ran from July 2021 to December 2022. Since then, the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) has been working with Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) leaders and the Illinois General Assembly to avoid similar circumstances and confusion for the 2024 renewal year ahead.

As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” In 2021, the CPA renewal process (along with other professions) was caught in a window of IT system failure. With ICPAS’ support, IDFPR and the General Assembly have since taken steps to address the failure by appropriating resources for the purchase of new licensing software. This will modernize the current outdated system.

As of this writing, I’m uncertain as to the impact the new system will have on individual CPA and CPA firm license renewals. We’ve all gone through IT conversions and know that even with the best laid plans, things don’t always go smoothly. However, there’s been marked improvement with the updated IDFPR website. It’s now easier to navigate and locate forms for many licensure processes. Another improvement made is to licensure processing—substantial backlogs in license application processing have been reduced. This is important since there are always licensure categories in the renewal phase, and backlogs cause inefficiencies and confusion.

Additionally, IDFPR has filled the accounting board liaison position, which is critical to the technical nature of the CPA profession. This will enable better interaction with the licensure processing unit, enforcement division, departmental counsel, agency leadership, stakeholder organizations (including ICPAS), and more importantly, licensees.

Fortunately, there’s also a new set of eyes at the IDFPR’s Division of Professional Regulation, with the appointment of Acting Director Camile Lindsay, who’s been responsive and engaging with ICPAS leadership. Notably, ICPAS has already begun communications with Lindsay and the IDFPR staff on the upcoming renewal period. Moving forward, we’ll be sending out sequenced and timely notifications on the process.

As you can see, these are all good things that’ll improve the CPA licensure renewal process this year. Importantly, CPAs are fortunate that renewals are completed online instead of being paper-based processes like many professions still are.

While there’s still plenty of runway for you to prepare for the 2024 license renewal period, we encourage you to take the following steps now to avoid potential delays:

  1. Access Your IDFPR Account: Since it’s been more than three years since the last renewal, make sure your password still works to access your account. Once you’re logged in, make sure your information is correct.
  2. Update Your Contact Information: CPA license renewals will be done online. Ensure that IDFPR has your correct and current email address, as renewal notices and instructions will be sent to the email in your records.
  3. Check Your CPE Credits: Take time to anticipate the completion of your continuing professional education (CPE) requirements at the time you renew your license (remember, it’s 120 hours, including four in ethics and one in sexual harassment prevention training). Importantly, as part of your renewal, you’re attesting that you’ve completed this requirement. There are few, narrow exceptions to the CPE requirement, such as registered CPA status or medical and military waivers.
  4. If Applicable, Complete the Peer Review Process: If you and/or your firm performed an audit, a peer review of historical financial statements or examinations of prospective financial statements during the preceding three-year period is required. Notably, this applies to both firms and sole practitioners’ individual licenses.

Typically, the renewal window opens 60 days before the expiration of licenses. Overall, I’m confident IDFPR will overcome many of the challenges encountered in 2021. As we enter another new phase into the license renewal process, I encourage you all to complete the above-mentioned preparatory steps now to avoid delays. Until then, we’ll continue to engage with IDFPR leadership and keep you informed.

Related Content:

Leave a comment