Who must file?


All ND CPAs and LPAs except those with “retired” status (contact the Board about this status). New CPAs: check all appropriate boxes, sign, date, and return with fee; no CPE is required in the year you’re certified.  For special circumstances such as illness, contact the Board Office.


How much CPE?

1. Those performing accounting, auditing, management or financial advisory, consulting, bookkeeping, or tax services, for a client or an employer’s client, while holding out to the public as a licensee in this state, must have completed 120 credit hours of acceptable CPE in the immediate preceding three reporting periods and at least 20 credit hours each year.  Beginning with the year ending June 30, 2022 going forward those who hold out must report 6 credits of ethics over a rolling 3-year period. 

2. All others who in any way hold out as a CPA or LPA in this state, except those on “retired” status, must have completed 120 hours in the prior 3 years and at least 20 each year. Beginning with the year ending June 30, 2022 going forward those who hold out must report 6 credits of ethics over a rolling 3-year period. 

To enter public practice, you need to meet the relevant CPE requirements and may be asked to supply evidence of familiarity with current procedures and practices in the intended service areas. A provisional permit is available with 60 credit hours.

What counts as CPE?

The main factor in determining if a program qualifies is if it is a formal program of learning which contributes directly to professional competence.  The program must also meet the following criteria:

A.  Formal programs requiring class attendance qualify if:      

  1. an outline is prepared in advance and preserved;       
  2. the program is at least 1/5th credit hour in length (10”);
  3. the program is conducted by a qualified instructor;
  4. a record of registration/attendance is maintained.           

B. Self-study programs may qualify if:

  1. a syllabus is prepared in advance and preserved; 
  2. the program is at least 1/5th credit hour in length (10”);        
  3. it is offered / administered by an appropriate sponsor;
  4. program materials are prepared by qualified authors;
  5. records of registration & completion are maintained.

CPE programs are measured in 1/5th hour increments, with 1/5th hour of credit awarded for each 10 minutes of instruction. Fractional hours in a conference may be combined into one program total.  Only class hours or self-study equivalents, and not preparation hours, are to be counted. Self-study can be counted on an hour-for-hour basis if it meets the National CPE Standards interactivity provisions. Programs offered by NASBA CPE Registry sponsors qualify if they meet ND CPE requirements; NASBA registration is not mandatory.

Limits:  Teaching will qualify for credit to the extent that it contributes to the individual’s professional competence, to a total credit limit of twice the program’s credit for participants; repetitious presentations are not to be counted.  Courses taken for college credit may receive credit at the rate of 15 hours per semester hour of credit (10 hours per quarter hour). 

All CPE reported is to be attained between July 1 and June 30 annually and reported by June 30. If CPE is attained between  July 1 and June 30 but not reported timely it is considered late. If the full amount of CPE required is not attained between July 1 and June 30 it is considered incomplete. Extensions will not be granted for incomplete CPE without Board review and disciplinary action will be considered. What does this mean? The Board can assess disciplinary action as little as taking extra CPE courses or assess fines up to $1,000 depending on the case.     


Non-resident exemption

Non-resident accountants are exempt from ND CPE requirements, if they meet their resident-state CPE requirements, provided they are considered comparable to ND.  Non-resident accountants practicing public accounting in ND must meet the public practice CPE requirements of their residence jurisdiction.  CPE details are not required; simply insert state, sign, and return form with fee. Also, you may not need a ND certificate; to investigate this, contact the Board office. 

What is public accounting?

Public accounting means: ... the performance or the offering to perform by a person or firm holding out to the public as a licensee, for a client or potential client, services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills including the issuance of reports on financial statements, but not including management advisory, financial advisory, or consulting services, bookkeeping services, or the preparation of tax returns or the furnishing of advice on tax matters unless provided by a firm with a permit ... [from ND law].

Need a firm permit?

A firm must hold an annual permit in order to practice public accounting or use the titles "CPAs", "LPAs", "CPA firm", "LPA firm", or similar titles.  If you work under your own auspices (i.e. under your own name, independent of an employer or other entity), you must have a firm permit if you use the CPA / LPA title or if you provide public accounting services.  The firm permit fee is $10; contact the Board for application.

Anything else?

Certificate holders [or applicants] and License holders are to notify the Board in writing of any revocation, suspension, issuance or denial of a certificate, permit or other recognized designation by another jurisdiction – by 30 days after occurrence.  CPAs and LPAs are to notify the Board of address changes within 30 days. Retain CPE documentation for at least 5 calendar years past the participation year. 


Random Audit

Notice: A percentage of renewal applications may be randomly selected for an audit of compliance with continuing education requirements. If selected, you must submit copies of certificates or other acceptable proof that you satisfied the continuing education requirements as you have stated on this application. You are required to save your documents so you can respond to audits. Licensees unable to comply with the audit may be subject to disciplinary action against your certificate.

Fee Schedule

License Renewal April 15 to June 30        $85.00

License Renewal July 31 to August 31        $185.00

After August 31 any license not renewed will be involuntarily relinquished.