South Carolina CPAs
image description

S.C. Ethics Requirement



In May 2012, changes to the South Carolina Board of Accountancy regulations regarding CPE ethics went into effect. However, the board made the decision to implement the changes on Jan. 1, 2013. The first three-year period will be from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015, and then every three years thereafter. For this first initial three-year period only, licensees who complete an ethics course between May 25, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012 may apply the hours toward their 2013-2015 requirements.

Below is the section of Regulation 1-08 that deals with the Ethics CPE:

(e) Of the required hours over a three (3) year period, six (6) of the hours must be in ethics, and at least two (2) of these hours must be in South Carolina Rules and Regulations.

The first three-year period will be from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2015, and then every three years thereafter.  For this first initial three-year period only, licensees who complete an ethics course between 5/25/2012 and 12/31/2012 may apply the hours toward their 2013-2015 requirement. 

New South Carolina licensees (who have never been licensed in another state) will be exempt from the ethics CPE within the three-year period they were licensed in. This is due to the ethics requirement to license.

If you are a South Carolina licensees, but your principal place of business is outside of South Carolina, you may use the ethics course for that state - if that state requires an ethics course – to fulfill the South Carolina requirement. However, if the South Carolina CPA does not hold an active license in the state of their principal place of business, the CPA must comply with South Carolina’s ethics requirement.

In 2011, the Board of Accountancy determined it would follow the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s CPE fields of study. According to NASBA, ethics courses can be classified in three areas.

Behavioral Ethics

Subjects related to the general professional ethics programs including, but not limited to:

  • Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Ethical Practice in Business
  • Personal Ethics
  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Corporate Ethics

Regulatory Ethics

This field of study deals with the necessary ethical background knowledge required to adhere to rules and regulations of state licensing bodies, other governmental entities, membership associations and other professional organizations or bodies. Creating an ethical framework is absolutely necessary to be able to sort through professional dilemmas. This curriculum covers the needs of licensees in public practice, industry and government. The listing below illustrates the primary topics in this field of study.

  • Public Interest and Responsibilities
  • General and Professional Standards
  • Licenses and Renewals
  • SEC Oversight
  • Competence - Discreditable Act
  • Advertising and Other Forms of Solicitation
  • Independence
  • Integrity and Objectivity
  • Confidential Client Information
  • Contingent Fees, Commissions and Other Considerations
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Discreditable Acts
  • Full Disclosure
  • Malpractice
  • Record Retention

Personal Development

Subjects related to the general development of personal skills including, but not limited to:

  • Principle-Centered Leadership
  • Career Planning
  • Time-Management

Note: General ethics programs are treated as personal development programs.

SCACPA Approved S.C. Ethics Courses

Professional Ethics for South Carolina CPAs courses are designed for CPAs licensed in South Carolina and cover the laws, rules and regulations that apply to licensure of accountants in the state of South Carolina and meet the two hour ethics requirement. Topics covered are:

  • South Carolina Code of Laws – Title 40
  • South Carolina Code of Regulations – Board of Accountancy
  • Application of South Carolina Accountancy Laws and Regulations

Click here for a full listing of ethics courses!

Ethics Requirements in Neighboring States

North Carolina
21 NCAC 08G .0410 - Professional Ethics and Conduct CPE

(a) As part of the annual CPE requirement, all active CPAs shall complete CPE on professional ethics and conduct as set out in 21 NCAC 08N conduct. They shall complete either two hours in a group study format or four hours in a self-study format of a course on regulatory or behavioral professional ethics and conduct. These courses shall be approved by the Board pursuant to 21 NCAC 08G .0400. This CPE shall be offered by a CPE sponsor registered with the Board, Board or with NASBA pursuant to 21 NCAC 08G .0403(a) or (b).

(b) A non-resident licensee whose primary office is in North Carolina must comply with Paragraph (a) of this Rule. All other non-resident licensees may satisfy Paragraph (a) of this Rule by completing the ethics requirements in the jurisdiction in which he or she is licensed as a CPA and works or resides. If there is no ethics CPE requirement in the jurisdiction where he or she is licensed and currently works or resides, he or she must comply with Paragraph (a) of this Rule.

View more information about ethics requirements in neighboring states.

On-Site Training Ethics Programs

Discover the advantages of customized on-site training. Quality training that perfectly fits your individual needs.  Balancing cost-effectiveness with the need to get relevant training in today's fast-paced business environment can be challenging. The South Carolina Association of CPAs offers a highly effective solution - delivering high-quality training to you when and where you want it. This provides you with a wide variety of advantages, such as convenience, cost savings, tailored content, confidentiality, and team development. To learn more click here.

CPE Reporting Deadline and Reminders

CPE should be earned annually, by December 31 and reported to the South Carolina Board of Accountancy by completing a CPE report and submitting to the Board office on or before January 31 of each year. Self-study courses are limited to 20 hours per year and cannot be carried over. There is a 10 hour cap on the number of hours an individual can earn in a day. Self-study courses must be NASBA QAS approved.

Members of SCACPA can access their CPE transcript online at, under My Membership, Manage My CPE. Personal Development is limited to eight hours per year. These hours cannot be carried over.