Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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South Dakota Board of Accountancy

Frequently Asked Questions

Within the answers to these questions, references will be made to South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 36-20B and Administrative Rule of South Dakota (ARSD) 20:75, which are the South Dakota laws and rules governing the practice of accounting in South Dakota.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Board office. We are here to provide assistance to you. Helping you understand the accountancy laws and rules governing the accounting profession helps us to promote the Board's mission of public protection.

If I am working for a licensed CPA firm, when am I required to get a certificate and/or a permit to practice?

An individual employed by a licensed firm is required to obtain a certificate within 90 days of meeting the experience requirement. There is a $50 additional fee for failing to apply for the certificate within the 90 day period allowed.

If I am not working for a licensed CPA firm, is there a deadline to apply for my CPA certificate?

The Board requires an applicant to apply for a certificate within three years from the time of passing the CPA exam. After three years the exam application expires, and exam grades are nullified, unless the applicant can show the Board good cause for not applying within the three year period.

What is the experience requirement for a license to practice?

The experience requirement is 2,000 hours of accounting experience. The experience must be completed in no less than one year and no more than three years. To perform attest functions, the experience requirement is 375 hours in compilations, audits or reviews in any combination. You are required to apply for a certificate and pass the AICPA ethics exam within 90 days of completing the experience requirement.

How do I verify these hours to the Board?

A Certificate of Experience form should be obtained from the Board office. This form should be completed by the applicant and certified by a certified public accountant.

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What is the CPE requirement for an active CPA certificate?

The holder of an active CPA certificate must comply with the 120 hour CPE requirement. A minimum of 20 hours per year must be reported, and 120 hours must be obtained in a rolling three year period.

The reporting period is from July 1 to June 30 each year, and the reporting is completed during the annual renewal.

Does the three year renewal cycle start over every three years?

No. CPE is figured on a rolling three year cycle. Each June 30, you must have a total of at least 120 hours when you add the current year just ending and the previous two years. Each year, the previous third total drops off. You always count the current year and the previous two years.

What happens if I am not able to acquire the minimum number of hours?

If you are going to be short hours, you must contact the Board office as soon as possible and explain the situation. ARSD 20:75:04:11 allows for extensions to complete CPE hours. A 90 day extension period may administratively be granted on a one time basis. If you need further extensions, you will be required to petition the Board explaining your reasons and request the period of time you feel is required to complete the CPE needed.

How do I know if a course qualifies as CPE?

ARSD 20:75:04:02 describes the general qualifying criteria of continuing professional education. It must be a program of formal learning that directly contributes to the professional competence of a licensee in the practice of accountancy. A program that promotes professional competence in the practice of accountancy is defined as one that refers to the process, methods, or principles of accounting or directly relates to the licensee's employment and is above the level of the licensee's current knowledge. The course provider should provide a completion certificate and retain an attendance sheet for four years. The Board accepts NASBA QAS and registry approved courses that are in compliance with our rules.

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What is acceptable evidence of completion of a CPE course?

ARSD 20:75:04:15

  1. For group and independent study programs, a certificate or other verification supplied by the CPE program sponsor;
  2. For self-study programs, a certificate supplied by the CPE program sponsor after satisfactory completion of an examination;
  3. For instruction credit, a certificate, program outline, or other verification supplied by the CPE program sponsor;
  4. For a university or college course that is successfully completed for credit, a record or transcript of the grade the participant received;
  5. For university or college noncredit courses, a certificate of attendance issued by a representative of the university or college;
  6. For published articles, books, or CPE programs:
    1. A copy of the publication, or in the case of a CPE program, course development documentation, that names the writer as author or contributor;
    2. A statement from the writer supporting the number of CPE hours claimed; and
    3. The name and contact information of the independent reviewer or publisher.

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Should I submit documentation when I report my hours at renewal time?

No, this is not necessary. Please keep accurate records of the CPE reported to the Board. In the event you are chosen for our annual CPE audit, you will be requested to provide documentation to substantiate your CPE claims.

If I hold a reciprocal license in South Dakota, do I have to maintain my license in the state from which I was granted the reciprocal license?

South Dakota does not require you to maintain your license in the state by which you were granted reciprocity. However, the Board highly recommends you check with the state board where you were originally licensed to ensure compliance with their licensing regulations. Some states require licensees to maintain their licenses in either an active or inactive status regardless of whether or not they live or practice in that state.

Allowing your license to lapse may subject you to fines for unpaid fees, and in some cases, you may have to re-sit for the Uniform CPA Examination to renew your license in that state at a later date.

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