What Are CPE Ethics Courses and Why Should You Care?

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Your Ultimate Guide to CPE Ethics

Every CPA needs to follow a framework of ethical principles and standards when delivering professional services. While the accounting profession heavily relies on rules, CPAs still need to make a decent amount of professional judgment. When making this judgment, they must adhere to strict ethical guidelines to maintain client confidentiality, ensure fairness and honesty in financial reporting, and maintain public trust in the profession.

Irrespective of the state you’re licensed in, most likely, you’re required to pursue CPE ethics to fulfill your CPE requirements. However, meeting your CPE requirements shouldn’t be the only reason you need to take CPE ethics courses.

Instead, taking a CPE ethics course should have two objectives: sharpening your ethical skills and earning the required CPE ethics credits.

But to achieve these goals, you must choose the right ethics CPE courses. If you’re wondering how to do this efficiently, we’re here to show you the methods. On this page, we’ll discuss several crucial aspects of CPE ethics, from the importance of CPE ethics courses and how to select the best CPE ethics course to the benefits of taking CPE ethics courses online and more.

Let’s start with the basics.


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What Is CPE Ethics?

Almost every state has some ethics CPE requirements for its CPAs. These are mandatory requirements, meaning without fulfilling them, you won’t be able to stay compliant with your CPE requirements. Whether you take a CPE ethics course online or attend a seminar, you’ve to obtain your CPE ethics credits within the timeframe established by your state board.

Depending on your state, you may need to take different types of CPE ethics courses. This is because some states accept generic CPE programs while some others need their CPAs to take a state-specific CPE ethics course. Some states also require a mix of both.

Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to comprehend the exact CPE ethics requirements of your state board before you even start searching for accounting CPE ethics courses. Additionally, if you obtain more than the required number of credits in ethics, you may not be able to carry them forward to the subsequent license renewal period.

This may mean a waste of your time, effort, and money.

Why Taking CPE Ethics Courses Should Be Your Top Priority?

Ethical guidelines play crucial roles in accounting by helping accountants avoid harmful financial practices that may affect not only their clients but their own careers as well. In this section, we’ve jotted down the top reasons that make pursuing CPE ethics a top priority.

  • It helps you ensure compliance and avoid legal risks

By taking the right CPE ethics courses from a reputable sponsor, you get to develop a robust comprehension of accounting ethical practices. These practices are extremely important in avoiding non-compliance and legal risks.

When you follow ethical standards, you automatically start adhering to industry guidelines and regulatory frameworks. Things such as following appropriate accounting procedures, maintaining accurate financial records, ensuring complete transparency, etc. greatly help minimize the risks of legal hazards. These also help develop a culture of honest and responsible financial management.

  • It helps prevent unethical practices and fraudulent activities

When accountants become committed to following ethical accounting guidelines, they become less likely to engage in activities such as manipulation of financial data or embezzlement. By avoiding unethical behaviors, they can protect the interests of the organization and its stakeholders from financial malpractice.

  • It helps build trust and maintain financial integrity

Irrespective of the position an accountant is in their career, they’re required to present reliable and correct financial information to build public trust in the profession and maintain financial integrity.

When you comply with ethical principles such as honesty, transparency, and objectivity, it makes the financial information credible. This information greatly helps the management, stakeholders, and investors of your organization make informed decisions.

  • It helps elevate your organization’s reputation

When an organization consistently complies with ethical accounting standards, it’s perceived as responsible and trustworthy. These things can do wonders in nurturing long-term business relationships and elevating brand value.

This means when you strictly adhere to ethical guidelines, this will help your organization develop a positive perception among clients, investors, stakeholders, and the public.

  • It helps promote long-term sustainability

For any organization, maintaining a stable, ethical accounting environment is crucial to promote long-term sustainability. Strict compliance with ethical standards helps achieve financial stability and good resource management and strengthens business operations. All these factors play vital roles in achieving continuous growth.

How to Select the Best CPE Ethics Course?

If you do an online search using the phrase “CPE ethics,” you’ll see that CPE ethics courses are offered by a large number of CPE sponsors. Now the question is how can you pick the right CPE ethics course from a plethora of options?

Here’re some effective tips that should help you do this efficiently.

  • Take the course from an accredited sponsor

It’s a must to take your ethics CPE courses from a provider that has obtained proper accreditations from relevant authorities such as NASBA. Not doing this may mean that your CPE ethics credits won’t get accepted by your state board.

As mentioned above, some states require their CPAs to complete state-specific CPE ethics courses to meet their requirements. In some of those states, the CPE ethics course you take has to be approved by the board. Therefore, if your board has this requirement, double-check that your course has this approval.

  • Select a provider that has been in the industry for years

When it comes to CPE ethics courses online, they’re offered by providers with a varying range of experience in the industry. However, it’s prudent to choose a sponsor that has been operating in the industry for many years.

There are two reasons behind this. First, it takes a huge amount of hard work and commitment to maintain a position in the competitive landscape of CPE providers. So, choosing an experienced sponsor ensures that you’ll get quality content and top-tier customer support.

Second, sponsors with years of industry experience typically strive to help CPAs make the most out of their time, money, and effort. In most cases, this translates into high-quality courses at reasonable costs.

  • Ensure that the courses have been developed by experienced authors

While ethical guidelines may not change considerably over time, the way they’re presented to you may determine how well you internalize them. When accounting CPE ethics courses are developed by experienced authors, you get an assurance that the content will be easily comprehensible.

Such authors also have the ability to include several case studies and examples in the course material. Not only will these things provide you with an interesting learning experience but will also help you retain the information for a long time.

  • Choose quality courses with reasonable price tags

Almost all reputable CPE sponsors offer quality CPE ethics courses but all of them aren’t the same when it comes to their prices. You may encounter a diverse range of situations when browsing these courses from different providers.

For instance, some may need you to buy a subscription package to take their ethics CPE courses. Some sponsors may only offer generic CPE ethics programs, which means if you need to take a state-specific CPE ethics course or a combination of state-specific and generic CPE ethics courses, you’ll have to join multiple sponsors to fulfill your requirements.

If you want to avoid all these hassles completely and pursue CPE ethics efficiently, it’s best to look for a provider that offers both generic and state-specific ethics CPE courses at affordable price tags.

  • Take courses that can be accessed using a subscription package

You can always take a CPE ethics course online separately, but if you want to lower its cost, you should search for a provider that lets you access it using a subscription package. These packages essentially help CPAs take a number of courses at discounted prices.

One key benefit of using a subscription package is that you’ll be able to meet your other CPE requirements along with CPE ethics courses. This means that you won’t necessarily need to join multiple sponsors and keep track of the credits obtained from each of them.

In short, buying a subscription package should help you save a good amount of time, money, and effort, and make your CPE journey a convenient one.

Why Is It Advisable To Take Ethics CPE Courses Online?

When it comes to pursuing CPE ethics, two options have emerged as the most popular ones: online CPE ethics courses and webinars. While choosing between these ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, you should consider some vital factors before making a final decision.

Let’s take a look.

  • Online courses

If you need to have in-depth insights into different aspects of accounting ethics, there may not be any option better than taking CPE ethics courses online. Since these courses generally have several modules, it becomes easy to internalize different topics at your own pace. Depending on your provider, you may also be able to download the study materials in PDF formats, which will facilitate a smooth learning experience.

All online CPE ethics courses come with an exam at the end and you must clear it to get your credits. While clearing this exam isn’t at all difficult if you study diligently, it’ll be there with every online course.

In the context of cost, it’s extremely difficult to find a free CPE ethics course that’ll let you get credits. So, you should be prepared to spend at least a reasonable amount of money on pursuing CPE ethics if you choose to take CPE ethics courses online.

  • Webinars

Many CPAs prefer webinars over CPE ethics courses because they can internalize the topics within a short span of time while participating in a virtual classroom environment. When taking webinars, you may also be able to interact with a live instructor and fellow attendees.

Another notable thing about webinars is that they don’t need you to pass an exam to get your credits. You only need to complete some formalities to receive them.

Generally, the costs of attending webinars tend to be more than the prices of accounting CPE ethics courses. So, if you’re a cost-conscious CPA, you may want to take online courses instead of attending webinars.

You may be able to find some free webinars covering different topics associated with generic ethics. However, it’s nearly impossible to find a webinar that covers state-specific topics. Some state societies of CPAs may offer state-specific ethics webinars but you must become a member to attend them.

Things to Remember When Taking CPE Ethics Courses Online

If you’re thinking about pursuing CPE ethics online, here’re a couple of vital things you need to remember.

  • Taking online courses may not be easier than attending in-person programs

While online CPE ethics courses come with unequaled flexibility, it doesn’t necessarily mean that completing them is easier than attending an in-person program. Since you aren’t required to attend classes on specific days, you’re responsible for allocating enough time to study. This means you must be able to strike a balance between your professional and personal lives.

  • You need to have good time management skills

Time management becomes critical when you take a CPE ethics course online. You should prioritize completing topics regularly. Ideally, you should come up with a realistic study schedule at the beginning of these courses. Not only will this help you avoid procrastination but will also help you avoid unnecessary stress to obtain your required CPE ethics credits at the eleventh hour.

If you can tackle these things efficiently, taking CPE ethics courses online should help you sharpen your ethical skills and advance your career.

Wrapping Up

We hope that now you’ve got all the information you need to start pursuing CPE ethics confidently. At CPEThink.com, we offer a wide range of both generic and state-specific CPE ethics courses at affordable prices. Our courses are authored by a team of renowned CPAs to ensure you get to learn the latest information.

If you want to obtain more information about our ethics CPE courses, give us a call today!



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