Current Requirements for CPE Credits
It's no secret that CPAs are part of a complex field that includes the accurate management of detailed financial data. Small mistakes can mean significant costs for clients and larger errors have brought down entire corporations. Refreshing skills and staying up-to-date with changes in the regulatory environment can only be accomplished with on-going development. In the accounting industry, professional education is managed through CPE credits.
Technical CPE Subject Areas
There are core subject areas that cover critical technical information used in day-to-day accounting operations. When selecting a CPE provider, examine course options on the following topics:
CPAs that specialize in narrow areas of the industry will find CPE courses related to their professional interests under "Specialized Knowledge".
Business Management CPE Subject Areas
Since many CPAs find themselves working in small firms, information on running a business can be quite valuable. High-quality CPE providers offer credit-approved courses in these areas as well. Examples include the following subjects:
- Behavioral Ethics
- Business Management and Organization
- Communications and Marketing
- Computer Software and Applications
- Personal Development
- Personnel/Human Resources
Taking the time to enhance management skills can lead to dramatic increases in a firm's bottom-line results.
State-Specific Credit Requirements
While professional organizations maintain their own CPE credit requirements, each state has specific regulations around professional education for CPAs. Some states require 40 CPE credits per year, while others require 120 over three years. Certain states allow CPE credits to be earned for teaching and others do not. There can also be differences between states on which topics must be covered through CPE study. For example, some states require CPAs to earn a certain number of business ethics CPE credits.
Understanding the number of CPE credits required to maintain state licenses, as well as the period in which the credits must be earned, is critical for keeping licenses in good standing. Visit the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) for detailed information by state.
There is a lot of flexibility in when and how CPE credits are earned, and the range of topics eligible for CPE credit is extensive. With the right provider, most CPAs find the process of earning CPE credits to be virtually painless. Surgent, a leading CPE provider, has a long list of self-study modules, webinars and on-demand learning designed to meet the needs of busy professionals.