GAO Revises Government Auditor CPE Requirements During Pandemic

 – May 7, 2020
GAO Revises Government Auditor CPE Requirements During Pandemic

Given concerns raised about auditors’ ability to complete CPErequirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) took steps today to allow for more time and flexibility to complete such requirements. The extension allows for more time to obtain hours needed to fulfill the requirements of the 2018 generally accepted government auditing standards, also known as the “Yellow Book.” GAO has posted an alert on its website that provides more information on several flexibilities to help auditors meet their CPE requirements.

“GAO is keenly aware of the wide-ranging impact of the coronavirus on people’s lives,” said Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO.  “The new flexibilities announced today are intended to help auditors maintain the highest standards in their work, while accommodating the new realities of daily life, whether it’s working from home or caring for family members.”

Under the Yellow Book, auditors must complete at least 80 hours of continuing education every two years. Under the announced changes, GAO is providing a six-month grace period to obtain CPEs, as well as a waiver of the 20-hour annual CPE requirement depending on the reporting period. Also, to the extent to which auditors are able to earn extra CPEs in one year, they will be able to carry them over to the next year. GAO’s alert provides details on the periods to which these flexibilities apply along with examples to clarify relevant situations.  These changes do not apply to the continuing education requirements of other professional organizations or licensing bodies.