Citation of Rules and Purpose
These rules may be cited and referred to as the "Public Accountancy Continuing Education Rules." They are subject to amendment, modification, revision, supplement, repeal or other change by appropriate action in the future. The purpose of these rules is to require all certified public accountants and all public accountants registered under the Massachusetts Public Accountancy Act to comply with continuing education requirements. This rule encompasses registered staff accountants in public practice. The Board anticipates that registrants will maintain the high standards of the profession in selecting quality educational programs to fulfill the continuing education requirement.
The Continuing Education Rules become effective July 1, 1979.
During the two-year period immediately preceding re-registration, applicants for biennial permit renewal who will engage in "public practicd must complete 80 hours of acceptable continuing education, except as otherwise provided by the Board. Effective for all licenses expiring on or after June 30, 2007, four hours of acceptable continuing education shall be in the area of professional ethics. Although 80 hours acquired in one of the two years covered by the registration period qualifies a registrant for the two-year period, no carryover is permitted from one two-year period to another Only class hours or the equivalent (and not student hours devoted to preparation) will be used to measure the hours of continuing education submitted by individual candidates to the Continuing Education Committee, appointed by the Board.
Programs Which Qualify
- The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program qualifies as acceptable continuing education is that it be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of a registrant in public practice. It will be left to each individual registrant to determine the course of study to be pursued. Thus, the auditor may study accounting and auditing, the tax practitioner may study taxes, and management advisory services practitioner may study subjects related to such practice.
- The following are deemed to qualify as acceptable continuing education programs, provided the standards outlined in Rule 15D (3) are maintained:
- Professional development programs of national and state accounting organizations.
- Technical session at meetings of national and state accounting organizations and their chapters.
- University or college courses:
- Credit courses - each semester hour credit shall equal 15 hours toward the requirement.
- Non-credit courses - each classroom hour will equal one qualifying hour
- Programs in other organizations (accounting, industrial, professional, etc.)
- Other organized educational programs on technical and other practice subjects.
- In order to qualify under Rule 15D (2) a program must:
- require attendance,
- be at least one class hour (50-minute period) in length
- be conducted by a qualified instructor or discussion leader,
- require a maintained record of attendance, and
- require a written outline to be retained.
- Formal correspondence or other individual study programs which provide evidence of satisfactory completion will qualify with the amount of credit to be determined by the Continuing Education Committee. The Continuing Education Committee will not approve any program of learning that does not offer sufficient evidence that the work has actually been accomplished.
- Credit for one hour of continuing education will be awarded for each hour completed as an instructor or discussion leader to the extent that the particular activity contributes to the professional competence of the registrant as determined by the Continuing Education Committee.
- Credit may be awarded for published articles and books. The amount of credit so awarded will be determined by the Continuing Education Committee.
Control and Reporting
Candidates for biennial permit renewal must provide a signed statement, under penalty of perjury, supported by documentation disclosing the following information pertaining to the educational programs submitted for qualification under the Public Accountancy Continuing Education Rules:
- school, firm or organization conducting course,
- location of course,
- title of course or description o, content,
- dates attended, and
- hours claimed.
The Committee on continuing education will verify on a test basis, information submitted by registrants. If a Continuing Education Statement submitted by an applicant for biennial permit renewal as required by this Rule is not approved, the applicant shall be so notified and he may be granted a period of time by the Continuing Education Committee in which to correct the deficiencies noted.
The Continuing Education Committee will make exception from the Public Accountancy Continuing Education Rules where:
- reasons of health, certified by a medical doctor, prevent compliance by the registrant,
- the registrant is on extended active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
- other good cause exists.
No exception shall be made solely because of age.
The Board shall establish a biennial fee not to exceed $20.00 for processing and maintaining registrants for Continuing Education Statements and other related documents.