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CPE Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I stay near the COCPA?

The below hotels are within one mile of the COCPA and offer complimentary shuttle services.

Hyatt Regency-DTC

7800 E. Tufts Ave.
Denver, CO 80237
*Identify yourself as a COCPA member to receive the special rate of $169.00 by using this code CR53876.

Hampton Inn & Suites

5001 S. Ulster St.
Denver, CO 80237

Denver Marriott-Tech Center

4900 S. Syracuse
Denver, CO 80237

How many hours of CPE do I need to keep my certificate active? And, how does this compare with the CPE membership requirements for the COCPA?

The answer depends on the status of the CPA's certificate.

Colorado State Board of Accountancy CPE Requirements

Active Certificate

  • You must complete 80 hours of CPE over the 2-year reporting period that runs January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.
  • No more than more than 20% of CPE can be in Personal Development, as defined by the Fields of Study.
  • Additionally, four hours of the 80 must be in ethics, of which up to two hours can be in CR&R
  • 100 percent can be self-study
  • Newly licensed CPAs must take an ethics class that includes CR&R within the first six months before or after licensure
  • As of January 1, 2014, no more than 50% of CPE can be in any combination of teaching or publishing an article or book.
  • There are new record retention and documentation requirements for teaching and writing CPE programs. Please see Chapter 7 of the State Board of Accountancy rules for details.

Inactive Certificate

  • No CPE is required.

Go to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website for rules regarding reinstatement or reactivation.

COCPA CPE Membership Requirements

Adopted, March 22, 1989, and Amended, January 20, 2003, and January 17, 2013

The continuing professional education (CPE) requirements for membership in the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants shall be, that for each two-year reporting period beginning with the 1990 calendar year, all members shall demonstrate that they have completed acceptable continuing professional education.*

*Associate members who are pursuing further requirements to become a CPA or a CPA firm administrator are exempt from the membership CPE requirement, as are student, retired, honorary, and professional leave members with inactive Colorado CPA certificates.

You may also request a waiver of the COCPA CPE membership requirement if you are unable to fulfill the requirements for any of the reasons below:

  • Foreign residency - Include the country of residence, the name of your employer, your principal duties and responsibilities performed, and the reason(s) foreign residency prohibits fulfilling the requirement.
  • Health - Include the nature of your illness, the name and address of your attending physician, and the reason(s) the illness prohibits you from fulfilling the requirement.
  • Military service - Include the principal duties performed, where stationed, the name and address of your commanding officer, and the reasons military service prohibits you from fulfilling the requirement.
  • Other hardship reasons - Include the nature of the hardship and the reason(s) why it prohibits you from fulfilling the requirement.

Send your request and documentation (including your name, address, phone number, and email information) to the CPE Compliance Committee at 7887 E. Belleview Ave., Suite 200, Englewood, CO 80111. When your status changes from the one for which the exception applies, your CPE requirement begins in the calendar year following the change.

Acceptable continuing professional education is as follows:

Active Certificate with the Colorado State Board of Accountancy

  • Engaged in public practice - 80 hours
  • Not engaged in public practice - 80 hours
  • Certain Associate members in public practice - 80 hours

NEW! Members who have placed their CPA certificate/license in inactive status with a state board of accountancy and do not hold themselves out as CPAs to third parties are not required to take CPE.

Inactive Certificate with Colorado Board of Accountancy

  • Not engaged in public practice - no CPE requirement 
  • Certain Associate members not in public practice - no CPE requirement 
  • Students, certain Associate members, firm administrators, retired, and life time members - no CPE requirement

Just received your certificate? You must complete 10 hours of CPE during each full quarter remaining in the reporting period, of which no more than 20 percent shall be in Personal Development, as defined by the Fields of Study. At least two hours of CPE must be in ethics, which may be satisfied by Colorado Rules & Regulations (CR&R), if taken as described in Rule 6.3.A. Get more information here.

When someone passes the CPA Exam, he or she must take the AICPA (PE) ethics exam. How much is it, and how do I take it?

The AICPA ethics exam is a self-study book. Participants study and take the exam independently. You may take the exam online or fill out the answer sheet provided in the book and mail it in. The exam expires one year from the purchase date. COCPA will ship the material to a foreign address for an additional charge.
The Colorado State Board of Accountancy accepts applications for licensure only if the applicant has successfully passed the AICPA ethics exam.

The COCPA accepts VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express as payment. The price per copy including sales tax is:

  • $145.30 (walk-in)
  • $155.30 (Denver)
  • $150.41 (in the Greater Denver Metro Area, including Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, etc.)
  • $148.92 (outside the Metro Area, including Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, etc.)
  • $145.00 (other states - additional fees apply to AK and HI)
  • $135.00 (other countries, plus fees for shipping)

Click here to purchase.

How do I register for a class offered by the COCPA?

You may register by:

  • Mail - Complete a registration form (found in the back of any QuickSearch issue) and mail it with a check to: COCPA, 7887 E. Belleview Avenue, Suite 200, Englewood, CO 80111
  • Phone - Call 303-773-2877 or 800-523-9082 with VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, or American Express information.
  • Fax - Fax a completed registration form with VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, or American Express information to 303-773-6344.
  • Online - Go to CPE | Course Search to search for classes. Add your classes to your shopping cart, pay, and you're done.

For discount information, including volume buying discounts, check your copy of QuickSearch.

Where is the COCPA Education Center located?

The COCPA office and education center is located in southeast Denver. The address is 7887 E. Belleview Ave., Suite 200, Englewood, CO 80111. The general location is at the intersection of I-25 and Belleview. For a map and detailed directions, go to Location and Contact Information.

What time do classes start?

Check-in for most classes begins at 8:00 a.m., and most full-day classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Specific course times are indicated in the website course catalog.

May I register at the course site on the day of the class?

Walk-in registrations are accepted if space and materials are available. Walk-ins must pay the higher, nonmember fee.

How early should I register for a class?

You are encouraged to register as early as possible to be assured a space in the class. Courses with too few registrants will be cancelled seven days before the program.

Where can I find course descriptions?

Refer to the online course catalog for detailed course descriptions. Alternatively, QuickSearch provides a brief description of up-coming courses in the current CPE season.

Can I get CPE credit for attending college courses?

Yes. You must provide a transcript for documentation of coursework completed.
1 semester hour = 15 CPE credit hours
1 quarter hour = 10 CPE credit hours

How do I get my class or conference approved for CPE credit?

There is no pre-approval process. Sponsors must follow Article III, Standards for CPE Program Sponsors, of the AICPA/NASBA Statement on Standards for CPE Programs. If you are audited by the State Board of Accountancy, you must prove the CPE sponsor meets the AICPA/NASBA requirements.

I am teaching a course. Do I get CPE credit, and if so, how much?

Instructors, discussion leaders, or speakers who present a learning activity for the first time may receive CPE credit for actual preparation time up to two times the number of CPE hours they teach. For example, for an eight hour course, instructors may receive up to 24 CPE credits (16 for preparation plus eight for presentation). For repeat presentations, CPE credit can be claimed only if it can be demonstrated that the learning activity content was substantially changed, and such change required significant additional study or research. Refer to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy Rules for documentation requirements to claim credit. Please note: no more than 50% of your CPE requirement can be fulfilled by teaching or writing. 

CPE refunds and transfers: will I get my money back?

  • Cancellation or transfer requests made six(6) business days or more prior to the program, no fee assessed.
  • Cancellation or transfer requests made two(2) to five(5) business days prior to the program, $25 fee assessed.
  • Cancellation or transfer requests made one business day prior to the program, $50 fee assessed.
  • Day of program or no notice of cancellation, 100 percent course fee assessed.

If you transfer from an in-class course to a webcast, the above policies apply. To cancel or transfer a course, please contact the Member Services department at 303-773-2877 or 800-523-9082. 

Can I take all my CPE in one year?


How many self-study hours can I take to meet the CPE requirements?

All of your CPE hours can be earned through self-study courses.

I am a member of another state society but not a member of the COCPA. Can I get the COCPA member discount?

Yes. As a one-time courtesy, you can receive the member discount. Call the Member Services department at 303-773-2877 or 800-523-9082.

How do I request specific courses for my area?

Email Rebecca Campbell or call her at 303-741-8618 or 800-523-9082, ext. 118.

How long do I need to keep my CPE certificates of attendance?

The Colorado State Board of Accountancy requires that you retain your CPE attendance records for five years.

What are the recognized fields of study by the Colorado State Board of Accountancy?

Please click here for a complete listing of the CPE fields of study accepted by the Colorado State Board of Accountancy.