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FAQs

General

What is the Colorado Society of CPAs (COCPA) and what does it do?

The COCPA is a not-for-profit, professional, membership association that represents Colorado CPAs at the state and national levels of government, works on the CPA profession's behalf with the Colorado State Board of Accountancy, provides continuing professional education (CPE) to Colorado CPAs, and offers a wide variety of services to COCPA members. The COCPA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, and programs and projects are carried out by member volunteers and its full-time professional staff. Its mission is to support its members in providing quality professional services to serve the public interest.

What is the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national, professional organization for all CPAs. Its mission is to provide members with the resources, information, and leadership that enable them to provide valuable services in the highest professional manner to benefit the public as well as employers and clients. In fulfilling its mission, the AICPA works with state CPA organizations and gives priority to those areas where public reliance on CPA skills is most significant. The COCPA is not affiliated with the AICPA but works closely with it on issues of national concern.

Who is the current COCPA Chair and who serves on the Board of Directors?

A complete list of the COCPA Board of Directors and Educational Foundation of the COCPA Board of Trustees is available on the COCPA website under About | Board of Directors.

How do I find the president of a specific chapter area?

A complete list of chapters, officers, and dates of events is available under the Chapter section at Member Communities | Chapters. If you don’t find what you need, e-mail Leslie O’Donnell or call her at 303-741-8611 or 800-523-9082, ext. 111.

What is the difference between the Colorado Society of CPAs and the Colorado State Board of Accountancy?

The COCPA is the state membership association for CPAs. A CPA doesn’t have to belong to the COCPA, but an individual has to be a CPA or qualify as an Associate or Student Member to be a COCPA member. The Colorado State Board of Accountancy is the state licensing and regulatory body for CPAs. An individual must be actively licensed through the State Board of Accountancy to practice as a CPA in Colorado. An individual may have an active or inactive license. An individual can only use the CPA designation if he or she has an active license. You can find out more about what is required of being a CPA on the State Board of Accountancy website.

Does the COCPA offer a resume or referral service? How does this work?

Resume Service - Members may place their resumes in the COCPA Resume Service for employment opportunities. Go to Member Events & Resources | Career Center to get started.

Referral Service: To access the COCPA Referral Service, go to Member Events & Resources | Referral Service This is a fee-based service for members.

How secure is the COCPA website?

To keep online transactions secure, the COCPA uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) key issued by Verisign or Comodo. We also follow the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants WebTrust guidelines. For more details, e-mail Eric Bishop or call him at (303) 741-8634 or (800) 523-9082, ext. 134.

What insurance plans does the COCPA offer?

The COCPA partners with insurance companies to provide members with professional liability, employment practices liability, health, disability, and long term care insurance. For more information, go to Member Benefits.

How do I get to the COCPA office?

Follow the map and directions to the COCPA Office.

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CPE

How many hours of CPE does a CPA need to keep his or her 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, 2012 to December 31, 2013 
  • No more than 16 hours may be in Personal Development. Principle-centered leadership, career planning, and time-management are examples of personal development subject matter
  • 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 of licensure

Inactive Certificate

  • No CPE is required

Certificates During Renewal

  • Ten hours for every full quarter left in the reporting period

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

COCPA CPE Membership Requirements

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

Inactive Certificate with Colorado Board of Accountancy

  • Not engaged in public practice - no CPE is required.
  • Certain Associate members not in public practice – 60 hours (The State Board does NOT require CPE for CPAs with inactive certificates.)
  • Students, certain Associate members, firm administrators, retired, and life time members – no CPE requirement

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)

How does a member register for a class offered by the COCPA?

You may register by:
  • Mail - Complete a registration form (found in the back of any Quick-Search 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, or Discover Card 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 Quick-Search.

Where are CPE classes held?

Classes are held in various Colorado locations. All classes are listed on the website, and in Quick-Search.

Where are the COCPA and 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.

What hotels are near the COCPA office?

A list of local hotels is in the CPE| General Information section.

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 the 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 approved for CPE credit?

There is no pre-approval process. Sponsors must follow Section 300, 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 college class. 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 credits to which participants would be entitled, in addition to the time for presentation. For example, for learning activities in which participants could receive eight CPE credits, 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 AICPA/NASBA Statement on Standards for CPE Programs under Standards for CPE Program Measurement #38 (Standard No. 14).

I am trying to determine whether my upcoming conference qualifies for CPE credit. The conference is two days and focused on XYZ industry.

Sponsored learning activities are measured by program length, with one 50-minute period equal to one CPE credit. One-half CPE credit increments (equal to 25 minutes) are permitted after the first credit has been earned in a given learning activity. It is beset to contact the vendor/sponsor of your upcoming conference to inquire about CPE Credit hours. Refer to the AICPA/NASBA Statement on Standards for CPE Programs under Standards for CPE Program Measurement #29 (Standard No. 12).

Did you receive my course registration?

You should receive either an emailed or mailed course registration confirmation shortly after the COCPA enters the registration. Unsure if you are registered? Call 800-523-9082.

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

• Cancellation or transfer request made six business days or more prior to the program, no fee assessed

• Cancellation or transfer request made two to five business days prior to the program, $25 fee assessed

• Cancellation or transfer request made one business day prior to the program, $50 fee assessed

• No notice of cancellation, 100 percent course fee assessed

Can I take all of my CPE in one year?

Yes.

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.

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.

Do you have a CPE catalog you can send me?

A complete course catalog is available on the COCPA website. It may be searched online, downloaded and printed, or you may call the COCPA for a copy.

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 CPE requirements for the State Board of Accountancy and the COCPA?

Click here to access the State Board of Accountancy and COCPA CPE requirements.

How do I become a CPA in Colorado?

Visit the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website for licensure/certification requirements and information.

How do I obtain reciprocity for the state of Colorado?

Visit the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website for specific qualifications and requirements.

Under what circumstances are COCPA members exempt from the COCPA CPE membership requirement? 

 You may request a waiver of the COCPA CPE membership requirement if you are unable to fulfill the requirements for any of the reasons below. Send your request and documentation (including your name, address, phone number, and e-mail 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. 

To request a waiver, please include the following information:

  • 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.

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

“Code A” and “Code B” courses have been replaced with an expanded CPE Fields of Study list to be considered while working toward your 80-hour continuing education requirement for certificate renewal in 2012. The Colorado State Board of Accountancy recognizes the following fields of study:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting (Governmental)
  • Auditing
  • Auditing (Governmental)
  • Administrative Practices
  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Business Management and Organization
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management Advisory Services
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development
  • Personnel/HR
  • Production
  • Regulatory Ethics
  • Social Environment of Business
  • Specialized Knowledge and Applications
  • Statistics
  • Taxes

Please click here to read the new Colorado State Board of Accountancy Rules, effective October 30, 2010.

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CPA Exam

Where do I find information about the exam and how do I apply?

All of the information pertaining to the CPA Exam can be found at the Uniform CPA Examination website.

What is the website address for the testing service?

The Uniform CPA Examination is delivered in a computerized format at over 300 Prometric test centers across the U.S.

What is NASBA?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) serves as a forum for the 55 boards of accountancy. Its mission is to enhance the effectiveness of state boards of accountancy. In addition to providing various programs and services to state boards, one of its main goals is to identify, research, and analyze major current and emerging issues affecting state boards of accountancy.

What is the 150-Hour Requirement?

This refers to the requirement that new CPA candidates complete 150 semester hours of education.

Does Colorado require 150 hours of education to sit for the CPA exam?

Currently, Colorado is one of the few states that requires only a bachelor’s degree (at least 120 hours) to sit for the CPA exam.

However, as of July 1, 2010, new legislation requires a baccalaureate degree and 150 hours of education for Colorado CPA candidates applying for licensure after June 30, 2015. In addition, the option for education in lieu of experience will be repealed at the same time. The legislation gives the State Board authority to set the educational requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination, which will be delineated in new rules yet to be developed and adopted.

How do I contact the Colorado State Board of Accountancy?

Visit the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website or call 303-894-7800.

What CPA exam review courses are commonly used in Colorado?

The following CPA exam review courses are used by many Colorado accounting students:

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Membership

What are the requirements and costs to become a member of the COCPA?

Why should I become a member?

The COCPA provides the opportunity to interact with your peers. It is your resource for a wide variety of information and services. The COCPA supports you through advocacy on the local and national level and keeps you informed on important issues.  The COCPA provides over 300 CPE courses each year to meet your continuing professional education needs.

Why should I renew my membership? 

Renew and continue to enjoy the benefits highlighted above.

How do I log on to the Members section of the website?

You must be a member to log into the Members section. You’ll need your username and password to do so. You can obtain a password by entering your username and clicking on “Forgot your password?” We will e-mail your password, if we have your e-mail address.

Did I pay my COCPA membership dues?

Call the COCPA office, 303-773-2877 or 800-523-9082, and a COCPA staff member will check for you.

What is Peer Review?

Carried out in conjunction with participating administering entities and overseen by the AICPA, the Peer Review Program requires CPAs to undergo a rigorous outside review of their accounting and auditing practices once every three years. This review determines whether a firm has suitable quality control policies and procedures in place and is complying with them. Peer Review focuses on the following: 

  • How the firm implements independence, integrity, and objectivity requirements
  • How personnel are managed
  • How auditing of clients is performed
  • Acceptance and continuation of clients and engagements
  • Monitoring of the firm’s work

This self-regulatory tool is designed to maintain and improve the quality of the accounting and auditing services performed by COCPA members.

What benefits do I receive as a member?

Members receive benefits such as:

  • A 30 percent discount on high quality continuing professional education courses. COCPA-sponsored courses are written by CPAs for CPAs. We keep track of the CPE you take with us. You can view it on My CPE History.
  • Obtain answers to your technical questions through the COCPA's technical support network and access to the COCPA library, including the Accounting Research Manager service.
  • Receive monthly publications, both printed and electronic, that keep you abreast of current developments in the profession. 
  • Find a job or an employee through the COCPA's CareerBank, and Resume Service.
  • Access special discounts through COCPA Member Benefits

What are the practice-monitoring requirements, and does my firm have to enroll in a practice-monitoring program?

Firms performing accounting, auditing, and attest engagements are required to enroll in a practice monitoring program.

What happens if the reviewer finds deficiencies? Does this information go to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy?

No. All results are confidential, and no information is reported to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy. 

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Licensure/Certification/Code of Conduct 

How do I become a CPA?

There are four requirements - education, passage of the Uniform CPA Examination, experience, and the AICPA ethics course:

  • You must possess a college degree in accounting or a related subject from an accredited college or university.
  • Details about applying for the CPA exam can be obtained from the CPA Exam Services.
  • The experience requirements can be found on the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website in the Rules section, Chapter 4. 
  • The AICPA Ethics Course is an 11-hour self-study course that may be taken online or through correspondence. E-mail Pamela Galey-Coleman for details on the course or call her at (303) 741-8629 or (800) 523-9082.

How do I reinstate my lapsed license?

To reinstate in an active status, if your license has expired two years or less, you will need the following:

  • 80 hours of CPE in the two years immediately preceding the application to reinstate
  • Four hours in ethics, including two hours in CR&R
  • No more than 16 hours may be in Personal Development
  • Submission of an application and fee to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy

If your license expired more than two years ago, get specific details on the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website.

How do I get reciprocity for the state of Colorado?

Detailed information on Colorado reciprocity requirements can be found on the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website or the National Association of State Board of Accountancy website.

If you hold a license, certificate, or permit in another state, you may apply for licensure by completing the Licensure Application for Reciprocity. To do so, you must submit all documentation to NASBA Compliance Services. Incomplete applications will not be processed; they will be returned to you. Once the complete application is received with all documentation, expect two to four weeks for processing. Compliance Services will review all materials, and forward your file to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy. The Board generally meets on the last Wednesday of every month and reviews licensure applications at that time.

My ex-CPA will not give me back my tax returns. What can I do?

The Colorado State Board of Accountancy Code of Professional Conduct states that upon receiving a reasonable request, a CPA should furnish to a client or former client a copy of any report, tax return, or other document issued by the CPA to or for a client during the previous five years. If a client is requesting copies of any documents from the CPA, he or she should expect to pay a reasonable cost of providing copies. If any records cannot be returned to the client promptly, the CPA should notify the client of the date the records will be returned. A CPA may not retain a client’s records in an attempt to force payment of any kind. If a client or former client believes he or she has made a reasonable and timely request and doesn't receive the documents, a complaint can be filed with the Colorado State Board of Accountancy via the Colorado State Board of Accountancy website by clicking on Complaint Process.

How do I file a complaint against a CPA?

The first step is to contact the Colorado State Board of Accountancy complaint processing site. A complaint also can be filed with the COCPA. A complaint must be submitted in writing. The complainant should address the complaint to:

 

The Chair, Professional Conduct Board
c/o COCPA
7887 E. Belleview Ave.
Suite 200
Englewood, CO 80111

The complaint is forwarded to the AICPA for investigation, and the complainant will not be informed of the outcome. All ethics procedures are confidential, except when the outcome is to admonish, expel, or suspend a member. Then, publication of such action in the AICPA’s CPA Letter is compulsory.

If someone from the public wants to dispute a bill received from a CPA, what should he or she do?

The COCPA has a fee review panel to address this issue. E-mail Terry Cervi or call her at 303-741-8610 or 800-523-9082, ext. 110 for more information.

Who do I contact at the COCPA with a specific question?

All extensions can be reached by dialing 303-773-2877 or 800-523-9082.

For a list of all staff members and their areas of expertise, go to About COCPA | COCPA Staff.

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