Essential Things You Need To Know About CPA CPE Credits

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CPA CPE Credits: Your Ultimate Option to Maintain and Enhance Professional Competence

Every CPA with an active license is required to obtain a certain number of CPA CPE credits periodically. While earning these credits may seem a simple task on the surface, it gradually becomes an uphill task over time. This is because CPAs need to keep a lot of things in mind when fulfilling their CPE requirements.

From following the guidelines set forth by your board to choosing the subjects that are aligned with your professional requirements and personal preferences, you need to consider lots of things. Even if a CPE program lets you obtain just one CPE credit for CPA, you should choose it carefully.

As a premier CPE provider, we frequently receive many questions regarding CPA CPE credits from a large number of questions. Instead of answering each of them individually, we decided to create this page where you’ll all the essential information related to these credits.

Our goal is to help you make the right decision about your each and every CPA CPE credit. This will essentially help you experience a completely stress-free CPE journey.

Let’s get started.



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What Are CPA CPE Credits?

As mentioned above, every active CPA needs to obtain a specific number of credits to fulfill the CPE requirements of their state board of accountancy. These credits are called CPE credits for CPA. These credits are calculated based on the duration of an approved learning program.

Typically, you get to obtain one CPE credit for CPA by completing a 50-minute session of such a program. If you’re thinking about how many CPE credits for CPA, generally, you’re required to obtain 120 CPA CPE credits every 3-year period.

Here’re the basic things you need to know about these credits.

  • Your license renewal period can be anything between one and three years depending on the CPE credit requirements for CPA of your state accountancy board.
  • You can receive CPE credits for CPA in both non-technical and technical subject areas. We’ll discuss this in detail in a later section.
  • Some state boards of accountancy have guidelines regarding the minimum amount of CPE credits required for CPA in technical fields of study and the maximum number of CPA CPE credits in non-technical fields of study.
  • While several learning methods are available to obtain your credits, not all state boards allow their CPAs to use each of them. So, even if a program offers just one CPE credit for CPA, ensure that the learning method is approved by your board. To verify this, read the CPA CPE credit requirements of your state accountancy board thoroughly.
  • In case you’re wondering how to submit CPE credits for CPA, it depends on your board’s guidelines. Some state boards require their CPAs to submit the details of their CPA CPE credits using a CPE tracker.

How to Ensure That Every CPE Credit for CPA Is In an Approved Field Of Study?

NASBA has identified twenty different fields of study that you can use to receive CPE credits for CPA. These fields of study are distributed into technical and non-technical subjects.

Whenever you choose a program to obtain a CPA CPE credit, make sure that its subject belongs to any of the technical or non-technical fields of study. In this section, we’ll see brief overviews of each field of study.

Technical Fields of Study

Fields of study that come under this category are designed to help CPAs improve their professional competence. These are directly associated with the accounting profession.

  • Accounting (general)

By obtaining CPA CPE credits in this field of study, you can demonstrate your knowledge of a wide variety of procedures and principles that govern the areas of accounting and financial reporting. You can learn principles and procedures related to the preparation, analysis, maintenance, and verification of financial records.

  • Accounting (governmental)

This field of study lets you gain knowledge and skills similar to those of accounting (general) field of study. However, the principles and procedures apply to governmental accounting, meaning you’ll be able to enhance your professional competence in preparing, maintaining, and verifying the financial records of governmental entities.

  • Auditing (general)

This subject area focuses on the examination of records, operations, statements, etc. of an entity or organization for a specific purpose. When earning CPE credits for CPA in this field of study, you’ll learn about various auditing procedures and standards.

  • Auditing (governmental)

When earning credits in this field of study, you’ll learn about the auditing standards and procedures that apply to governmental contracts and entities.

It’s important to note that some state boards of accountancy require their CPAs to obtain a minimum amount of CPE credits required for CPA in accounting and auditing fields of study. Therefore, you should try to ensure that your every CPE credit for CPA in these subject areas contributes toward meeting those CPA CPE credit requirements.

  • Economics

Economics focuses on subjects related to microeconomics, macroeconomics, banking, public finance, etc. Some of these are supply and demand, pricing, and economic growth.

  • Business law

Subjects that come under this field of study cover accounting practices applicable to businesses. Some relevant topics include tax issues, employment laws, and collection laws.

  • Finance

By earning CPA CPE credits in finance, you can exhibit your prowess in financial management at organizations. You’ll be able to master topics like asset management and analysis, foreign operations, quantitative analysis, and more.

  • Regulatory ethics

Every CPA needs to follow an ethical framework when delivering professional services. By mastering the topics related to this subject area, you’ll be able to avoid a diverse range of professional dilemmas efficiently.

You should note that all state boards of accountancy have specific CPA CPE credit requirements regarding regulatory ethics. If you fail to obtain the minimum amount of CPE credits for CPA in regulatory ethics, you won’t be able to comply with your board’s CPE requirements.

  • Management services

Topics such as enterprise risk management, performance management, project management, etc. come under this field of study. It’s vital to note that NASBA’s non-technical fields of study cover a subject area called “business management & organization.”

Therefore, when obtaining a CPA CPE credit in management services, ensure that the program is recognized as a technical field of study.

  • Information technology

In this subject area, you’ll learn about cyber security, programming, networking, etc. However, if the application of the topics relates to auditing, accounting, or taxation, your CPA CPE credits will be counted under those categories.

  • Statistics

Topics associated with business statistics, probability, etc. come under this field of study. Some of these include variance analysis, hypothesis testing, and linear models.

  • Taxes

This subject area encompasses a wide range of topics associated with tax compliance and planning. You’ll be able to learn about principles related to IRS examinations, tax return preparation and review, etc.

  • Specialized knowledge

If you work in a specialized industry such as gaming, healthcare, non-profit organizations, etc., you should try to earn CPE credits for CPA in this field of study.

Non-Technical Fields of Study

While non-technical fields of study aren’t directly associated with the accounting profession, they help CPAs improve their competence in technical fields of study.

  • Behavioral ethics

This field of study helps CPAs develop the knowledge and skills required to make ethical decisions. Topics can range from personal ethics to ethical practices in business.

  • Communications and marketing

No matter the industry you work in, having good communication skill is a must. Earning CPE credits required for CPA in this subject area will help you demonstrate your proficiency in communication skills. When taking relevant courses, you’ll learn about different aspects of both verbal and written communication skills.

  • Business management & organization

This subject area covers topics related to different aspects of business management. Some of these include professional liability insurance, succession planning, and collections.

  • Computer software & applications

Obtaining CPA CPE credits in this field of study is almost a must because today’s CPAs are required to use a variety of software and applications when delivering professional services. You’ll be able to learn the basics and applications of various software programs.

  • Production

If you work in the manufacturing industry, you should focus on earning credits in this field of study. Some of the relevant topics include inventory management, operations management, scheduling, etc.

  • Personnel/human resources

This field of study encompasses topics associated with personnel and management practices. You’ll be able to learn procedures related to hiring and retention processes.

  • Personal development

Topics like time management, leadership, career planning, etc. come under this subject area. Here, it’s important to mention that some state boards of accounting don’t accept credits obtained in this field of study. So, before earning any CPA CPE credit in a relevant program, be sure to check the CPE credit requirements for CPA of your state accountancy board.

Earning CPA CPE Credit: Reviewing the Best Methods

Now that you’ve developed a clear comprehension of the fields of study that you need to focus on when earning CPA CPE credits, it’s time to figure out the best way to get CPE credits for CPA.

We often receive questions like “how to get CPE credits for CPA?” The answer is there are several methods to obtain credits. The best method to receive CPE credits for CPA should depend on your individual learning style and preferences.

In this block, we’ll discuss the most common learning methods to earn credits to help you make an informed decision.

  • Online programs

Mainly, there are two types of online programs that you can attend to obtain CPE credits required for CPA. These are self-study courses and webinars. With self-study courses, you can earn your credits at your own pace. On the other hand, live webinars are conducted at specific times and dates. So, you’ll need to schedule your time accordingly.

Self-study programs often tend to be the most cost-effective method to obtain CPA CPE credits. However, depending on the guidelines of your board, you may not be able to obtain all your CPE credits needed for CPA license renewal.

However, if you want to obtain CPA CPE credits online, be sure to join a well-reviewed and cost-effective sponsor. This will help you earn the credits in a hassle-free manner and within your budget. If you can join a provider that offers subscription packages, your CPE cost will be even lower.

  • In-person programs

Some reputable organizations offer in-person programs to help CPAs have face-to-face interaction with others and fulfill their CPA CPE credit requirements. Just note that the costs of attending these programs are generally significantly higher than the cost of earning CPE credits for CPA online. This means if you’re searching for cheap CPE credits for CPA, attending in-person programs may not be the best option for you.

However, one notable benefit of attending these programs is that you’ll be able to expand your professional network quickly.

  • Conferences and seminars

There are two types of seminars and conferences you can choose from: physical and virtual. The costs of participating in virtual conferences are usually lower than that of physical ones. But obtaining CPA CPE credits through conferences requires a significant CPE budget. Therefore, unless you have that budget or your organization doesn’t pay the cost of your CPE, you shouldn’t choose this method.

The ability to obtain several CPE credits for CPA in one go is perhaps the biggest benefit of attending seminars and conferences. Additionally, you’ll be able to meet and interact with CPAs from different industries and eminent speakers and instructors.

Parting Thoughts

We hope that now you’ve got a clear comprehension of all the vital things related to CPA CPE credits. Since pursuing CPE is a costly affair, you should keep the above things in mind when choosing a CPE program, even if you get just one CPE credit for CPA by completing it.

If you want to get more information about how the team at CPEThink.com can help you receive CPE credits for CPA efficiently, reach us today!



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