CPE Competitor Hidden Truths
CPE providers make many claims about their course pricing, course quality, level of experience of their instructors, and more. Uncover the hidden truths about what they’re really offering CPAs!
You’ve heard us say this before, but it's worth repeating. CPE should provide career-enhancing information, not just credits. You made a significant investment (both in dollars and hours) to become a CPA. Sure, you need to earn CPE credits to keep your license active. But you should also think of CPE as a great way to continue building upon that investment in your career. By keeping your skills and knowledge sharp, you'll ensure that your company and your clients always get your very best!
However, not all CPE providers are able to deliver value beyond just credits, so you'll want to be sure you choose your provider carefully. To help, we've uncovered several "hidden truths" behind some common claims you'll hear from CPE course providers. Know before you decide who to spend your time and money with:
CPE content for CPAs is focused on tax and accounting, and critical updates in these areas can happen quickly. Did you know that some CPE providers, especially those that are value-based or discounted, only update their content once a year? This means that they don’t include critical updates that could have happened after publication. Surgent updates its course content at least twice a year, and when critical changes happen, we update our course material rapidly--typically within 72 hours of major news.
Statewide professional organizations for CPAs are the go-to hub of information, education, and career advancement for accounting and finance professionals. These societies often partner with highly-qualified CPE providers to offer the best possible CPE curriculum to their members. And many CPAs look to their state societies for guidance when choosing CPE course providers outside of the organization. Surgent has been a valued CPE partner of state societies for more than three decades. In fact, 48 state societies partner with Surgent for live CPE webinars, self-study courses, and live seminars. If your CPE provider isn't a top choice of your state society, you might want to find out why.
Some CPE providers take days or even weeks to deliver your CPE certificates, which could cause you to miss a deadline. Wolters Kluwer mails CPE certificates to attendees and notes a timeframe of up to 10 days. Checkpoint Learning emails their CPE certificates and promises delivery within 5 days. You invested time and money completing your CPE course. If you’re up against a deadline, you don't want to wait to receive your CPE certificate. That's why after attending a Surgent CPE course, you’ll receive notification that you can download your CPE certificate within 15 minutes.
At a time of a rapidly changing tax and accounting landscape, CPE providers need to be creating new courses to accommodate changes. Most CPE providers do not publicize the number of new courses they’ve released in a given year. Surgent is proud of our investment in innovative new content and pleased to announce that we introduced 60+ new courses in 2018.
Many CPE providers report the total number of courses they offer in terms of number of credit hours available. But what really matters is how many unique courses they offer--and how many opportunities you'll have to take those courses live. Surgent provides 1,200+ live webinars, 250+ self-study courses, and 2600+ live seminars each year.
Here are the course numbers for leading CPE providers:
Many CPE providers offer unlimited CPE courses at one flat rate. But what does unlimited include, and importantly, what does it exclude? Here’s a quick snapshot of unlimited CPE* from leading CPE providers:
Though many leading CPE providers offer live webinars, not all are equal in user experience. If you’ve registered for a CPE webinar, that means you’ve scheduled 2-8 hours of your day to attend, just as you would a live seminar. A live webinar should be a seamless recreation of a live course. Some CPE providers use outdated technology to film and deliver their live webinars, which could result in login issues and poor audio and video quality. Surgent uses state-of-the-art video equipment and top-notch webinar technology.
Check back often as we uncover more hidden truths about what CPE providers are truly offering!
Note: The information above was based on information available and updated as of 6/6/17.