Essential Things You Need To Know About CPA CPE Self-Study

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Self-Study CPE for Busy CPAs

Once CPAs earn their professional license, many of them face a hard time in deciding how they should proceed with their CPE. There’re several options available these days – from in-person programs, webinars, and CPA CPE self-study courses to seminars, conferences, authoring journals/books, and more.

Among all these options, CPA CPE self-study courses have become the most preferred option for many CPAs. In this post, we’re going to discuss all the essential things about CPA CPE self-study online programs so that you can confidently embark on your CPE journey.

Let’s first see why a countless number of CPAs prefer taking these courses.



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Reviewing the Key Benefits of CPA CPE Self-Study Programs

To understand the advantages of taking online CPA CPE self-study courses, we need to take a detailed look at the four most popular methods of pursuing CPE. These include CPA CPE self-study programs, in-person programs, webinars, and seminars/conferences.

Here’re the pros and cons of each of them in a nutshell.

  • Self-study courses

CPA CPE self-study courses are generally far less expensive than seminars/conferences, in-person programs, and webinars. Moreover, you don’t need to travel to and from another place to earn your CPE credits.

Whether it’s early morning or late at night, you can complete these courses at your own pace. There’s no need to follow a rigid schedule to keep pace with other attendees. You can reread a section or review an example as many times as you want if you cannot absorb the material the first time.

If you choose a reputable provider like CPEthink.com, you’ll be able to choose from hundreds of online CPA CPE self-study courses. It means once you’ve planned your CPE, you only need to join the right sponsor to expedite your professional growth.

When it comes to the downsides of CPA CPE self-study programs, the lack of self-discipline sometimes becomes a problem for some CPAs. However, if you’ve got enough self-motivation to excel in studies and succeed in your career, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. We’ll share a few tips on how to navigate this successfully in one of the next blocks.

  • In-person programs

In-person programs are ideal for those who learn well in a classroom environment. Not only you may learn from a good instructor and clear your doubts immediately, but also build your professional network by interacting with other attendees.

There’re two major constraints of attending in-person programs. First, you’ll have to travel to and from the program venue, which requires a significant investment of time and cost. Second, sometimes there may be a lack of sufficient knowledge transfer from the instructor to the attendees that may adversely impact your learning.

  • Webinars

Attending webinars is the second most sought-after method of earning CPE credits. You attend them at pre-defined schedules, meet the requirements, and earn credits. Similar to in-person programs, webinars let you learn the topics in a virtual classroom setting.

However, there’s one important thing you’d need to consider before finalizing webinars as your go-to option for earning CPE credits. You must actively participate in webinars to earn credits. It essentially involves being present for a specific period of time (50 minutes in a 1-hour webinar) and answering a certain number of polling questions.

Also, a poor-quality webinar or technical glitches at your end not only can obstruct your learning, but you may not be able to earn any credits due to improper participation.

  • Seminars and conferences

This is the most expensive option among the four we’ve discussed here. Still, this can be an effective option for CPAs who want to earn a significant part of their required CPE credits by attending just one event. Additionally, you’ll be able to network with other professionals in your industry that may open doors to new opportunities for you.

The high participation cost is perhaps the main downside of attending seminars/conferences. You may attend virtual seminars or conferences to eliminate your travel and other associated costs, but the participation cost is typically much higher than that of CPA CPE self-study programs.

As you can see, if you can dedicate enough time to self-study, you should go for CPA CPE self-study courses to reap the benefits of this method.

Choosing the Right CPA CPE Self-Study Courses

Perhaps you already know that you can learn many different topics and sub-topics during each reporting cycle of your CPE journey. CPE learning activities are divided in two categories – technical fields of study and non-technical fields of study, with each of these covering a large number of subjects.

Here’re three tips to consider when choosing the most effective CPA CPE self-study programs. Before we discuss them, it’s a must to get a clear understanding of your specific CPE requirements.

This is because the requirements vary from one state to another. Many state boards of accountancy also have their own rules and regulations in terms of CPE. For instance, some state boards have imposed maximum limits on the number of CPE credits that can be earned through courses on non-technical subjects. Similarly, some have a minimum number of credits that their CPAs must earn by taking courses on technical subjects. Moreover, when it comes to ethics credits, some state boards may allow their CPAs to take state-approved ethics courses only.

Let’s move on to the tips.

  • Consider your future goals

Do you want to move up the corporate ladder in your existing company quickly? Maybe you want to join an even larger organization? Or, you may want to establish and run your own accounting firm? Your chosen online CPA CPE self-study courses should be aligned with your short- and long-term career goals.

If you aren’t sure of your future goals, discussing them with a mentor will be a smart idea. If you don’t have one, you can follow talks and articles from industry leaders to understand the direction of the accounting industry and choose the courses accordingly.

  • Cost of CPE courses

If you’ve already started searching for CPA CPE self-study courses, you’ve surely seen that the costs of these courses vary greatly depending on the topics and CPE sponsor. Joining a sponsor that sits on the higher side of the spectrum may require you to spend thousands of dollars in just one reporting cycle.

On the other hand, by choosing self-study subscription packages and bundled CPE courses, you can easily keep the cost within your budget. However, your exact requirements should play a vital role in choosing the subscription.

Several sponsors offer two types of CPE subscriptions. First, there’re unlimited subscriptions that will let you access their entire course catalog for a specific period of time and earn virtually an unlimited number of credits. Second, there’re subscriptions that appear with some restrictions in terms of the number of courses that you can access or the maximum number of credits that you can earn using them.

If you’re still required to earn a large number of credits, it’ll be wise to opt for an unlimited subscription. If you’ve got only some of them left to meet your CPE requirements, you should choose a subscription that lets you earn them conveniently.

  • Presence of a return policy

Regardless of the reputation of your chosen sponsor, there can be several reasons for which you may want to return a course. Therefore, it’ll be a smart decision to join a sponsor that will give you a full refund.  And when it comes to the duration of the refund policy, more is always better. For example, at CPEthink.com, we offer a 100-day, 100% money-back policy.

Making the Most of Online CPA CPE Self-Study Courses

At CPEthink.com, we continually strive to offer the best course materials so that our students can make the most of their time, effort, and money. In our continuous effort to provide you with the best CPA CPE self-study programs, we regularly receive feedback from our students and try to address their concerns.

Among all those concerns, the one we most frequently receive is that many CPAs find it difficult to continue their study diligently. So, we decided to jot down some tips from our industry experts.

  • Track your progress

If you feel that you aren’t making enough progress with the materials of your CPA CPE self-study courses, you may need to thoroughly analyze the amount of time you dedicate to them, along with your overall level of concentration and focus.

To properly analyze these things, you need to regularly track your progress and make notes on how you’re completing the materials. This’ll serve two major purposes. First, if you see that you aren’t meeting your daily quota of studies, you can try to invest more time. And second, tracking your progress will help you identify and address the issues that are interfering with your studies.

  • Have your goals written

While completing your CPA CPE self-study programs on time, earning CPE credits, and expanding your knowledge and skills are the ultimate goals of pursuing CPE, it’s a large task to accomplish. It becomes much easier if you break these goals down into small, attainable ones. Pursuing the CPE involves lots of moving parts, and hence, writing down smaller goals on your calendar will help you stay on the right track.

  • Be fully dedicated

If you aren’t fully focused on completing your online CPA CPE self-study courses, perhaps it’s time to change your mindset now. CPE isn’t an easy thing to pursue, and you’ve to be completely dedicated to making the most of it.

If you don’t have the intention of passing the courses, perhaps you’re not totally committed. Just going through the motions won’t help much in achieving the true objective of pursuing CPE. If you find it difficult to stay motivated, you should remember the reasons and benefits of doing it to reset your motivation.

  • Join a community

Sometimes, studying CPA CPE self-study online programs may become a difficult journey to complete. Without letting things become harder to handle, consider connecting with others. There’re many awesome communities of CPAs that can help. Whenever you feel it’s becoming difficult to maintain focus, you can easily connect with fellow CPAs online.

In addition to these, it’s a must to maintain a balance between your personal life and study. While it’s true that you need to adjust your priorities when pursuing CPA CPE self-study programs, you’ll also need to find ways to reduce your stress level and avoid burnout.

Things to Keep In Mind When Taking CPA CPE Self-Study Online Programs

Pursuing CPA CPE self-study programs appear with some minute yet important details that you need to keep in mind. The most important ones include:

  • You must successfully complete the exam at the end of each course to earn CPE credits and prove that you’ve gained the right amount of knowledge from it. You must secure a minimum passing score of 70% to receive your certificate of completion and credits.
  • After successful completion of an exam online, you should receive the certificate of completion. Depending on your sponsor of CPA CPE self-study courses, it may reach you instantly or within a couple of days. Be sure to save it properly and/or print it for your records.
  • If you lose or misplace the certificate, you should be able to receive another copy from your sponsor. However, the process of reissuance may need you to pay an additional fee.
  • The date of completion of a particular course may either be the date on which your sponsor receives your exam results or the date that you indicated on your answer sheet. It’s important to note that it won’t be the date on which you registered for the course.

In Conclusion

By now, you should be confident enough to start planning your CPA CPE self-study programs to advance your career. At CPEthink.com, we offer a broad range of CPA CPE self-study courses to help meet all your learning needs in one place. If we want to learn more about them or need some help in choosing the right courses, please feel free to contact us!



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