A Comprehensive Guide to CPA CPE Unlimited
|The Last Self-Study CPE Website You Will Ever Need|
CPE or Continuing Professional Education is another name of the lifelong learning that every practicing CPA must pursue to keep the license active and provide competent services. It enables CPAs to improve their professional expertise by encompassing a wide range of learning activities.
To keep your CPA license active, in general, you need to earn 40 CPE credits each year. In your effort to earn those credits, you’ve to shell out a significant sum of money.
The total cost of pursuing CPE varies depending on many factors. While some of these factors are outside your control, opting for CPA CPE unlimited programs is one great way to keep the costs of CPE courses down.
If you’ve already started searching for cost-effective ways to meet CPE requirements, most likely, you’ve come across providers offering CPA CPE unlimited courses and CPA CPE unlimited subscriptions. But there’s hardly any piece of content available on the Internet that can give you detailed insights into these.
That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive post on CPA CPE unlimited programs, where you’ll get answers to all your questions related to them. Let’s start with the benefits of choosing unlimited CPE for CPAs.
There’re two major benefits of taking unlimited CPA CPE courses. The first one is cost savings and the other one is convenience. Let’s take a closer look at these.
· Cost savings
The cost of earning CPE credits depends on several factors, including your chosen learning format and CPE sponsor. The former usually plays the biggest role in determining how much you’ll ultimately need to pay.
You’re most likely aware that there’re three popular options to earn CPE credits – in-person programs, seminars and conferences, and online CPE courses. Among these options, seminars and conferences tend to be the most expensive option, with online courses being the least expensive one.
Now, when it comes to online CPE courses, mainly there’re two options you can choose from – self-study courses and webinars. Self-study CPE courses are typically less expensive than webinars.
But the costs of self-study courses vary widely depending on the topic and your chosen CPE sponsor. It means you may have to shell out thousands of dollars to meet your CPE requirements for just one renewal period, even if you take self-study courses.
In this situation, choosing CPA CPE unlimited programs proves to be the most cost-effective option to earn CPE credits. Some of the CPE sponsors that offer unlimited CPE for CPAs let you access their entire course library for a specific period of time.
You can freely choose the courses you want to take and earn a virtually unlimited number of credits. Now imagine, if you had to purchase these courses separately, how much you’d have to pay in total.
It’ll essentially be a few thousand dollars. But when you choose CPA CPE unlimited subscriptions or unlimited CPA CPE courses, you’re still able to take these courses but at a fraction of their individual costs.
When it comes to pursuing CPE, there’re many different fields of study that you can choose from. While the learning activities are divided into technical and non-technical fields, each of these comes with a wide range of topics that you can master.
In today’s cutthroat competition, it has become essential for CPAs to gain mastery in a broad range of subjects. No matter if you work for a company, run your own firm, or work independently, you’ve to be able to demonstrate exceptional professional expertise to gain a competitive edge.
Therefore, when planning your CPE, you need to equally prioritize the courses you’re required to take to meet your state board’s CPE requirements, as well as the ones that’ll help expand your professional knowledge and skills.
Now, if you take a look at the NASBA’s registry of CPE sponsors, you’ll see thousands of providers offer CPE courses. Some sponsors offer a fewer number of courses, while others boast a large course catalog.
If you choose a provider with a fewer number of course offerings, you may not be able to take all the courses required to meet your CPE requirements from it. As a result, you’ll have to find another provider to take the remaining courses.
And when it comes to switching to another sponsor, there’re several things that you’ll need to do again. First, you’ll need to ensure it has the right accreditations and has garnered enough credibility.
Second, you’ll need to check whether or not the courses are offered in your preferred learning format. And third, you’ll have to assess the cost aspect.
If you need to take a significant number of courses from the second sponsor and the courses come out to be expensive ones, it may quickly add up your total cost of CPE. Even if the costs seem to be similar to those of your first sponsor, the time-consuming hassle will be there.
However, when you choose to pursue CPA CPE unlimited from a reputable sponsor that ticks all the boxes, you’ll most likely be able to avoid this hassle.
If you do a quick online search using a phrase like “unlimited CPA CPE courses,” you’ll see that a large number of CPE sponsors offer these programs. Now, the catch is not all sponsors of CPA CPE unlimited programs or CPA CPE unlimited subscriptions offer the same or even similar features.
So, it pays to consider some important factors to make the most of your time and money. Irrespective of your objective of taking CPA CPE unlimited courses, be sure to check the following before joining a sponsor.
· Cost of CPA CPE unlimited programs
The costs of these programs vary significantly depending on the sponsor and the duration of your subscription. Some 2-year CPA CPE unlimited subscriptions may need you to pay well over $500, while others may charge much less than that.
Sponsors that offer unlimited CPE for CPAs at higher price tags typically include lots of additional features to the programs apart from a long list of self-study courses and webinars. Before you join such a provider, you need to decide whether or not you’ll need those features and a massive course catalog to choose from.
Ideally, you should first decide on the courses that you want to take as part of your CPE, and then start searching the providers. If you can find a reputable sponsor that offers all those courses at relatively lower costs, why not join it?
The next thing you should consider is the duration of the unlimited CPE for CPAs. Usually, sponsors offer unlimited CPE programs with 1-year and 2-year durations. Again, your CPE planning plays a major role in choosing between these two.
If you think that you’ll be able to take your desired courses within one year, choosing a 1-year CPA CPE unlimited program will be a prudent decision. However, if you haven’t decided on the courses yet or are unsure of whether or not you’ll be to earn the required credits within one year, it’ll be best to choose a 2-year subscription.
You should also remember that in most cases, the total cost of two 1-year subscriptions will typically be higher than one 2-year subscription.
· Courses included in the program
Before you finalize a sponsor, it’s a must to thoroughly check which courses you’ll be able to access using your CPA CPE unlimited subscription. Some sponsors let you access their entire course library, while others may have some limitations depending on your chosen subscription.
Also, there’re sponsors that’ll only let you access the non-ethics courses using the subscription. It means you’ll have to purchase the ethics courses either from the same sponsor or from another one. In both instances, it’ll add up the total cost.
Therefore, it’ll be wise to choose a sponsor that’ll let you access all the courses, including ethics courses. It’ll help to ensure that you won’t exceed the budget by any means.
Unfortunately, many CPAs fail to meet their CPA requirements on time even after joining CPA CPE unlimited programs. It’s quite understandable that for busy CPAs, earning 120 CPE credits every 3-year sometimes becomes a daunting task.
But, as you already know, there’s no way around it. If you want to maintain your license’s active status, you’ve to pursue CPE.
The good news is with proper planning right from the beginning, CPE may not be that much difficult as it seems. Here’re some tips that should help you plan CPA CPE unlimited the right way.
· Understand your exact CPE requirements
CPE requirements vary from one state to another, and hence, your first step has to be to understand your requirements thoroughly. Be sure to note both your technical and non-technical CPE requirements.
Also, state accountancy boards require CPAs to earn a minimum number of CPE credits in technical subjects while allowing them to earn a maximum number of credits in non-technical subjects. If you earn more credits than the maximum limit, you may not be able to use the additional ones to meet your CPE requirements. So, you must keep this thing in mind when planning CPA CPE unlimited courses.
Instead of remembering the requirements, it’s best to maintain a spreadsheet and continue updating it with relevant details whenever you complete a course and earn credits.
· Choose the right courses
Are you planning to join a new company? Or are you trying to get a senior position in your present organization? In the case of the former, research the new company, find out the areas that it specializes in, and choose CPE courses accordingly to enhance your knowledge and skills in those areas.
If you want to move up the corporate ladder in your present company, it’s best to discuss your future options with the management and take the courses accordingly.
· Choose the right learning format
When it comes to unlimited CPE for CPAs, sponsors mainly offer two learning formats – self-study courses and webinars. See which one best fits your learning style and needs.
However, it’ll be significantly reliant on your sponsor’s offerings. If you’ve got a strong preference for a particular format, you should prioritize this factor at the time of choosing the sponsor.
· See if your company is willing to pay for your CPE
Some large organizations and accounting firms sometimes pay for their employees’ CPE, either partially or in full. Despite the cost-savings that come with CPA CPE unlimited programs, it’s always advantageous to have your company pay for your CPE.
Even if your company doesn’t apparently offer any such benefit, it’s never a bad idea to have a discussion with the management.
Now that you’ve planned your CPE and decided on the courses you want to take using CPA CPE unlimited subscriptions, it’s time to understand and follow two important things to make the most of them.
· Earn credits regularly
Never put off your CPE much longer. As you’re required to earn the CPE credits within a specified timeframe, it’s always advisable to take and complete the courses diligently to earn credits regularly.
Or else, you’ll most likely have to experience unnecessary stress when the deadline is approaching. Moreover, you won’t be able to absorb the knowledge thoroughly in such a hurry, meaning the courses won’t help in enhancing your knowledge and skills.
· Be sure to earn credits
If you take self-study courses, be sure to pass the final exam at the end of each course to earn credits. In the case of webinars, you’ve to be present for a specific period of time (50 minutes in a 1-hour webinar) and answer a certain number of polling questions to earn credits. If you don’t meet these requirements, you may not receive any credit.
While these are simple things to follow, not paying attention to them may lead to no or partial credit, any of which will lead to a waste of your time, effort, and money.
As you can see, choosing CPA CPE unlimited programs can easily be one of the best decisions of your CPA career. They help to lower the cost of your CPE dramatically and save you from the hassles of joining multiple CPE sponsors. Just be sure to keep the above tips in mind and you’ll easily be able to broaden your horizons with CPE.
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