CPAs who are licensed in Illinois are required to have 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credit during each three-year reporting cycle. Four of the 120 hours must be in ethics education and one hour must be in sexual harassment prevention training from an IDFPR approved continuing education provider. The Frequently Asked Questions page explains what constitutes professional ethics education. Licensees shall maintain their CPE records for not less than six years.
For Illinois licensure, there are two types of activities that qualify for CPE credit: verifiable CPE programs and non-verifiable CPE programs and activities. Learn more here.
You may be granted a waiver of the CPE Requirement under certain circumstances. See rules.
First Renewal Period
CPAs are exempt from CPE requirements for their first license renewal. This first renewal period of being free from CPE requirements runs from the time a license is issued until the next IDFPR 3-year cycle renewal. The period can range anywhere from 3 years down to several months, depending on when in the IDFPR cycle the license is issued. Renewal and payment of the licensing fee must be made, but no CPE is required to be submitted.
Subsequent Renewal Periods
Subsequent renewal periods require the licensed CPA to have the full 120 hours of CPE credit.
CPE reciprocity exempts CPAs who hold multiple state licenses from having to meet the individual CPE requirements of each state so long as the licensee meets the CPE requirements of their home state. This exemption encourages uniformity while removing unnecessary burdens that do not play a role in protecting the public interest. In addition to having met the individual requirements of their home state, they will also be required to meet the Illinois requirement for licensure of taking one hour of sexual harassment prevention training.
For more information on CPE requirements including hours, restrictions, verifiable versus non-verifiable activities, approved sponsors, visit the CPE Requirements page.