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An individual who applies for an initial license, holds a Virginia individual CPA license, or applies to have their license reinstated is required to obtain continuing professional education, or CPE. It is the intent of the VBOA that all CPE meet the requirements of VBOA regulations and assist the licensee in becoming a better professional.

Active CPAs must complete the required 120 CPE hours over a rolling three-year period, with a minimum of 20 hours annually. The CPE requirement also includes completing a two-hour VBOA-approved ethics course annually and eight hours of A&A courses, if applicable. The minimum hours needed for applicants who apply for licensure by the end of the first calendar-year after the calendar-year in which the CPA exam is passed is 40 hours.

Requirements for CPE are found in VBOA regulations 18VAC5-22-90 and 18VAC5-22-140

The VBOA uses a rolling three calendar-year period to determine CPE compliance. This period includes the three calendar-years prior to the current calendar-year. Licensees should not submit CPE documentation during the annual renewal process unless specifically asked to by the VBOA. However, CPE documentation must be retained for the four calendar-years preceding the current calendar-year.

The deadline for obtaining CPE for the previous year is January 31.

Any questions regarding CPE can be sent to or call (804) 482-8757.


Status Calendar year (CY) Total hours required Minimum hours required VBOA-approved ethics (included in total hours) CPE related to attest, compilation, or financial statement preparation services
(included in total hours)
Applying for initial license
License applicant CY of passing exam 0 hours 0 hours N/A N/A
1st CY after exam 40 hours 40 hours 2 hours/CY N/A
2nd CY after exam 80 hours 80 hours 2 hours/CY N/A
3rd CY (or more) after exam 120 hours 120 hours 2 hours/CY N/A
Active licensee CY of initial license 0 hours 0 hours N/A N/A
Any 3-CY reporting cycle 120 hours/
3 years
20 hours/CY 2 hours/CY 8 hours (only if releasing or authorizing release of reports)
Reinstatement of license
Inactive / Expired / Voluntarily Surrender Current CY 120 hours 120 hours 2 hours/CY N/A

The VBOA recognizes that 50 minutes of CPE participation equals 1 hour of CPE credit.

CPE requirements may be adjusted depending upon when a Virginia CPA begins or ceases to provide services to the public or to or on behalf of an employer.

Licensees who do not work and/or volunteer in positions that require the use of accounting, financial, tax or other skills deemed relevant by the VBOA may apply for the Inactive status. If not approved for this status, licensees must still comply with the CPE requirements.

CPE reciprocity

If a CPA holds an Active license in another state and their principal place of business is not located in Virginia, he or she is eligible for CPE reciprocity. If a CPA meets the CPE requirements in their home state, the VBOA will accept this as CPE compliant in Virginia. However, a CPA must take either an ethics course, of at least two hours, that conforms with the VBOA requirements or an ethics course acceptable to the board of accountancy of another state in which the CPA holds the license.

The CPA must select “CPE reciprocity” during the CPE audit process to be eligible for this exemption.

Substantial equivalency was developed to allow licensed CPAs to practice across jurisdictions more easily. Visit the NASBA website to view jurisdictions substantially equivalent to Virginia.

CPE deficiencies

A licensee can self-report a CPE deficiency by contacting the VBOA at or at (804) 482-8757, if they are deficient in completing the CPE requirements contained in 18VAC5-22-90.

Sponsors providing CPE

The VBOA does not maintain agreements with sponsors, pre-qualify sponsors or individual courses, or require a licensee to obtain CPE from specific sponsors (except for the VBOA-approved ethics course).

However, sponsors are encouraged to comply with the Statement on Standards for CPE Programs issued jointly by the AICPA and NASBA. All sponsors should be familiar with VBOA Policy #2.