While the Yellow Book has been around since 1972, it was the 1988 revision of the standards which first established specific hourly CPE requirements for auditors working on Yellow Book engagements. The genesis of the CPE requirements stems from auditing history and experience as much as anything. When auditors leave college, they typically have little or no training in areas that frequently require Yellow Book application (e.g., not-for-profit accounting and reporting; governmental accounting and reporting; single auditing; HUD auditing; and etc.). Thus, training in these increasingly complex and consistently changing areas must be obtained and maintained once someone enters the workforce.

The 2018 Yellow Book generally carries forward the CPE requirements from the 2011 Yellow Book. However, some slight relief from the requirements is provided. The 2018 Yellow Book provides that nonsupervisory auditors who charge less than 40 hours of their time annually to engagements conducted in accordance with the Yellow Book are exempted from both the 24-hour and 56-hour CPE requirements. As a reminder, the 2018 Yellow Book is effective for financial audits for periods ending on or after June 30, 2020, and early implementation is not permitted.

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