CPA CPE Hours: The Ultimate Way to Excel in Your CPA Profession
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CPE or Continuing Professional Education is the means through which different types of professionals, including accountants, stay up-to-date on their respective industry’s rules and regulations while developing the qualities required in their professional lives.
Unfortunately, for many CPAs, earning CPA CPE hours has become nothing but just an obligation. Also, outdated platforms and rehashed course materials have made many of them uninterested in pursuing CPE. As a result, they focus on earning CPA CPE hours online or through offline methods just for the sake of meeting their CPE requirements.
Of course, all CPAs with an active license are likely to earn a decent income throughout their professional career, but without expanding their knowledge and skills regularly, it’s almost impossible to stay a step ahead of the competition.
Therefore, it has become necessary to consider earning CPA CPE hours an opportunity to expedite your professional growth rather than an obligation.
In this post, we’re going to discuss all the essential things you need to know about CPA CPE hours to help you excel in your professional life.
Did you know that there’re 669,130 CPAs in the country as of August 2021? The number clearly indicates how much it has become difficult today to stand out from your competitors.
Fortunately, it isn’t as much difficult as it may seem. You only need to earn your offline or online CPA CPE hours diligently while taking care of some other essential aspects such as choosing the right subjects, joining the right provider, etc.
If you’re still wondering about the importance of earning CPA CPE hours apart from meeting your CPE requirements, the following pointers should help you out.
Companies turn to CPAs because they want to be assured that their finances are being managed by an expert and trustworthy accountant. They need to know that they’re working with someone who’ll help them stay compliant and use the right and ethical processes to manage the financial aspects.
But in the world of accounting, rules, regulations, and processes undergo constant changes. Now tell us one thing, if you yourself aren’t aware of the latest occurrences in your field, would you be able to guide your clients or organization in the right direction?
This is exactly where the value of earning CPA CPE hours online or through other formats comes into the picture. It works as a solid proof of assurance for your expertise and skills. It lets your clients and company know that you can provide the right solutions to a diverse range of accounting-related issues they regularly face.
In your effort to pass the Uniform CPA Exam, you must have mastered a wide range of topics. However, the truth is when you carry out somewhat similar responsibilities for years, the skills that you don’t need to use regularly start to fade away gradually.
By choosing the right topics to earn your required CPA CPE hours, you can easily revive and polish those unused skills to improve your employability and stay ahead of the curve.
The pandemic has already brought about a critical need to equip accountants with future-centric skills. And when we talk about the future of accounting, digital transformation is going to be the focal point for accounting firms.
While lots of other areas of business have already embraced digital transformation, finance and accounting sector is still significantly relying on the same tools and technologies it has been using for years.
However, in the upcoming years, the scenario is projected to change. For instance, accounting firms will opt for a modern accounting model where all of their data and files will be stored in a safe and secure off-site location (think cloud storage). They’ll also embrace automation for repetitive, manual activities that consume lots of time and energy of today’s accountants.
Moreover, with 74% of CFOs planning to grow remote work permanently, it has become important than ever for accountants to start acquiring the relevant skills. By properly planning your CPA CPE hours today, you can pave the way for success in the future.
Undeniably, as a CPA, you’ve got solid expertise in different accounting fields. However, if you want to reach a management position quickly, you’d need to acquire a number of additional skills.
For example, business acumen is a crucial skill for CPAs in management positions. It’ll help you advise upper management and provide the team with big-picture perspectives. Leadership and time management are other two important skills required for management positions.
By selecting your fields of study thoughtfully when planning your CPA CPE hours, you can develop all these skills and more to expedite your professional growth.
When it comes to completing your required CPA CPE hours, you’ve got a large number of subjects covering many different topics to choose from. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to expand your knowledge of trending topics.
While the specific courses you want to take depend on your personal requirements and interests, you should also consider trending and important topics when planning offline or online CPA CPE hours. Here’re two such topics.
Having a solid understanding of tax laws is one of the most important qualities of expert CPAs. Almost all businesses and individuals need to pay taxes, and they frequently turn to accountants to navigate the processes.
If your core responsibilities include advising clients on tax-related matters, you can plan your CPA CPE hours around tax-related courses to enjoy this rewarding specialty. Moreover, tax reform is an inherently hot and complicated topic, meaning you’ll likely experience higher demand than accountants who don’t have much proficiency in the subject.
And there’s a lot more variety in tax laws, which makes the U.S. tax system more complicated than that of many other countries. For instance, the tax code is highly challenging, and there’re always new rules and regulations that you’d need to stay on top of. By brushing up on your preferred tax CPE topics, you can earn a distinguished position in your professional circle.
As we’ve mentioned in the last block, some innovative technologies are being embraced in the financial landscape. Therefore, it’ll be a smart move to focus on completing some of your CPA CPE hours online on trending technology-related topics.
Working in the cloud is gaining steady momentum because of the multitude of advantages it offers. So, by taking courses on cloud computing, not only you can strengthen your position in the industry but also prepare for the future.
Blockchain is another emerging technology that has the potential to improve the accounting profession by minimizing the costs of reconciling and maintaining ledgers and providing complete certainty over the history and ownership of assets. While it may still take some time for the technology to be fully developed and standardized, you can take blockchain-related courses to start building your knowledge.
As you can see, planning your best CPA CPE hours should involve both your present and future career goals. If you’re still unsure of how to plan your CPA CPE hours in the most effective manner, you can browse our large collection of courses to make up your mind.
Managing enough time for completing your required CPA CPE hours isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re working full time. However, you don’t need to forgo all your free time to complete the courses on time, provided you maintain the right balance between your professional life, personal life, and study sessions.
Here’re some suggestions from our experts on doing this the right way.
The essential first step is to create a realistic study plan that you can actually stick to. Knowing the sections that you’ll cover each day will help reduce unnecessary studying stress. If you already have a study plan in place, ensure to incorporate blocks of time for yourself. When blocking off time for yourself, mark off time for social and other important events if you know about them beforehand.
If you find it difficult to stick to your study plan, you may want to delegate some of your work to junior accountants or interns to free up some of your time. Once they complete the work, you can review it to ensure it meets your desired standards.
Despite the availability of different options to complete your required CPA CPE hours online or offline, self-study CPE courses are best for working CPAs. Not only are these courses cost-effective, but they also don’t need you to travel to and from another location to earn the credit hours.
You complete the course materials at your own pace, clear the final exam successfully, and receive the certificate of completion with the CPA CPE hours for the course.
This’ll be particularly useful when you’re taking self-study courses, but you actually prefer to learn in a classroom setting. This is because, with self-study courses, you don’t get the option of seeking your instructor’s help immediately if needed or discussing a topic with other learners.
By joining a popular CPA community, you should be able to reach out to other CPAs if you get stuck at something, as well as help others in their CPE journeys. Another major benefit of being part of a community is that it helps to expand your professional network that you can tap into if required.
With thousands of CPE sponsors available to choose from, it’s a must to join the right one so that you can make the most of your time, effort, and money.
Here’re some valuable tips you should consider when searching for a CPE sponsor to complete your CPA CPE hours.
It’s imperative to choose a CPE sponsor that offers a large collection of courses on trending and important topics. It’ll help to ensure that you can complete all your required CPA CPE hours online from a single provider.
You can always join multiple sponsors, but in that case, keeping track of your CPE hours may become a bit difficult. Another disadvantage is that every time you plan to join a new sponsor, you’ll have to check its accreditations, the credentials of its instructors, and the quality of its study materials. And doing all these requires you to invest a good amount of time and effort.
Perhaps you already know that pursuing CPE isn’t at all cheap. Even if you take the self-study route, joining a highly expensive sponsor may need you to shell out a large sum of money to complete the CPA CPE hours required to meet your CPE requirements for just one renewal cycle.
Therefore, try to find a reputable sponsor that has a large course catalog and offers subscription packages and bundled CPE courses. By choosing the right subscription package, you’ll be able to reduce the individual costs of the courses to a great extent. And bundled CPE courses let you buy multiple courses together at highly discounted rates.
Taking free CPE courses is an excellent way to assess a sponsor’s quality and check whether or not the course materials match your learning style. And it’ll be great if you can get CPA CPE hours with them because you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
A thoughtful and planned approach to completing your CPA CPE hours on time is instrumental to achieving success in your CPE journey. You must put intense effort into studying while maintaining your professional and personal lives. To maintain the right balance between all these, try to implement the things we’ve discussed in this post, and your CPE journey should become easier than you may think.
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