On Wednesday, June 15, 2021, the South Carolina Board of Accountancy announced that, “Due to the South Carolina State of Emergency expiring on June 7, 2021, the Board’s temporary modification of CPE requirements under Reg. 1-08(C)(1)(a) regarding Online Live Instruction has ended.”
Prior to the modification, regulations required that, “…participants engage (during the event) simultaneously through interaction with a real time instructor or discussion leader…” for the CPE course to meet the requirements of Live Instruction.
At its August 19, 2020, meeting the Board unanimously approved modification to the simultaneous interaction requirement. The modification temporarily allowed rebroadcasts of webinars to be considered “live” if the sponsor of the course agreed to provide answers to submitted questions within 48 hours of the broadcast and to provide the questions and answers to all course participants.
Since the modification SCACPA has offered some of our “live” CPE offerings in this approved modification format. As well, we went beyond 48-hour requirement with our Association policy to provide answers to questions posed during our sessions within 24 hours.
The announcement that this COVID-19 pandemic related modification was ended caught many people by surprise.
As well, it created confusion in several ways regarding its implementation. For example the announcement did not specify an effective date ending the modification allowance. The notice was made on June 15 but referenced the State of Emergency expiration on June 7. With no effective date specified the announcement, it was unclear as to the fate of courses taken under the modification and between these dates.
With the unexpected nature of the announcement, the confusion regarding implementation, and the significant impact that ending the modification would have on licensed accounting professionals (and by extension, their clients and the public at large) SCACPA CEO Chris Jenkins led an effort through the day to get clarification from the Board.
Late Wednesday the BOA posted a revised alert providing the basis for ending the modification, and added an implementation period to July 7, 2021, to help provide a smooth transition.
SCACPA would like to reiterate our thanks to our Board members, Governmental Affairs Committee members and other volunteer leaders who spent much of their day responding to member questions and reaching out to the South Carolina Board of Accountancy to create a solution.
Together we were effective in advocating for the CPA profession in South Carolina.
The full text of both Board announcements is below.
Due to the South Carolina State of Emergency expiring on June 7, 2021, the Board’s temporary modification of CPE requirements under Reg. 1-08(C)(1)(a) regarding Online Live Instruction has ended. Therefore, for a licensee to receive credit for completing Online Live Instruction, the program must be structured to allow participants to engage in real-time with the instructor or discussion leader. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Board staff at (803) 896-4770 or Contact.Accountancy@llr.sc.gov
When the South Carolina State of Emergency expired on June 7, 2021, the Board’s authority under the Governor’s Emergency Orders to relax regulatory requirements also expired. Upon expiration of the State of Emergency, live CPE instruction required a simultaneous, real-time interaction with a discussion leader or instructor, as required by Reg. 1-08(C)(1)(a)(1). However, in order to provide for an orderly transition, Live Instruction CPE course credit will be given for CPE courses scheduled under the relaxed CPE regulations prior to June 7, 2021, that are presented on or before July 7, 2021.