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Yellow Book Continuing Professional Education

Please note: Information contained on this page is subject to change without notice. For complete and current information, refer to the U.S. Government Accountability Office website.

General information

Yellow Book CPE requirements:

as outlined by the Government Accountability Office

These requirements are outlined in the GAO’s Guidance on GAGAS Requirements for Continuing Professional Education

Each auditor performing work in accordance with GAGAS should complete, every 2 years, at least 24 hours of CPE that directly relates to government auditing, the government environment, or the specific or unique environment in which the audited entity operates. Auditors who are involved in any amount of planning, directing, or reporting on GAGAS audits and auditors who are not involved in those activities but charge 20 percent or more of their time annually to GAGAS audits should also obtain at least an additional 56 hours of CPE (for a total of 80 hours of CPE in every 2-year period) that enhances the auditor’s professional proficiency to perform audits. Auditors required to take the total 80 hours of CPE should complete at least 20 hours of CPE in each year of the 2-year periods. Auditors hired or initially assigned to GAGAS audits after the beginning of an audit organization’s 2-year CPE period should complete a prorated number of CPE hours.

Please note: Auditors must use professional judgment when determining and documenting if a seminar qualifies for Yellow Book in accordance with the Government Accountability Office, Government Auditing Standards, 2018 Revision and Guidance on GAGAS Requirements for Continuing Professional Education.

Can CPE taken on taxation subject matter be used to fulfill Yellow Book CPE requirements?

  • Effective January 1, 2004, the GAO has deleted taxation from the list of subjects that always satisfy the 80-hours every two years requirement.
  • Instruction in topics that may meet CPE requirements of licensing bodies or professional organizations no longer automatically satisfy the 80-hour CPE requirement. Any CPE for GAGAS must be in subjects that "directly enhance the auditor's professional proficiency to perform audits and/or attestation engagements."
  • Most tax services are not related to the subject matter of audits performed under GAGAS and therefore do not qualify for satisfying GAGAS requirements. There are some exceptions if taxation relates to an objective of an audit conducted under GAGAS. You must clearly document the rationale for including such taxation training as part of your GAGAS CPE requirement. 

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