Whether you’re a CPA or an enrolled agent (EA), you must remain updated on the latest tax rules and regulations to be able to offer expert professional services to your clients. And that’s exactly where the true value of tax CPE courses comes into the picture.
While it’s a must to fulfill your state’s CPE requirements to keep your license active, tax CPE courses for CPAs help take your knowledge and skills in tax-related matters to the next level. Providing professional tax services is a difficult yet rewarding task, and these courses are meant to help you master the intricacies of the world of tax preparation.
Unfortunately, despite the importance and complexity of the topic, there’s hardly any detailed online article that covers all the vital aspects related to CPA tax CPE courses. That’s why we decided to write this comprehensive post where you can have all your queries on the topic answered.
Let’s take a look at the basics first!
By taking a look at NASBA’s fields of study for CPE, you can see that the taxes field is divided into two categories: tax planning and tax compliance. Before delving deeper, it’s important to understand what each of these involves.
· Tax planning
Tax planning involves finding legal ways to reduce tax liability. Therefore, it requires solid knowledge of federal and state tax laws, as well as the particular tax situation of your client. In many instances, CPAs and EAs need to project personal and business tax liabilities to make effective tax planning.
· Tax compliance
Tax compliance involves taking care of the things required to file tax returns. As the term suggests, in terms of filing tax returns, the tax preparer needs to ensure that all of the client’s taxes are filed properly, its tax liabilities are paid, and the process complies with all federal, state, and local tax requirements.
By choosing in-person or online tax CPE courses based on your requirements, you’ll be able to help your clients in either or both of their tax planning and tax compliance.
The exact skills you can master by taking tax CPE courses online or offline vary depending on your chosen program. However, there’re two fundamental forms of skills that you can expect to learn by taking any online tax course.
These are technical skills and workplace skills. Here’re their brief details.
· Knowledge of the latest local, state, and federal tax laws and regulations
· Comprehension of how to calculate complicated tax information using mathematics and statistics
· Proficiency in tax preparation software and Microsoft Excel
· Verbal and written communication skills to efficiently interact with your clients and colleagues
· Attention to detail to accurately prepare tax returns and error-free documents
· Analytical and critical-thinking skills to evaluate data, reduce tax liability, and uncover fraud
· Organizational skills to keep clients’ financial information and tax-related records at your fingertips
As you gain experience as a tax accountant and continue completing tax CPE courses, you’ll likely observe that your abilities and interests gravitate toward a specific clientele or industry. However, regardless of the career path you choose, these skills will continue helping you stay a step ahead of your competitors.
While CPAs and EAs are always in demand, enhancing your tax knowledge by taking in-person or online tax CPE courses can help you enjoy a plethora of additional benefits. Here, we’ve outlined some of them.
· Greater stability
There’ll always be a need for tax accountants as long as taxes are there. There’s a continual demand for expertise in tax laws and regulations, and your services will be relevant throughout the year. Additionally, with tax reform essentially a hot topic, this field is likely to see even more demand.
· Diversified job options
As everybody is subject to tax laws, tax accountants can work in virtually any employment sector. This means tax CPE courses open up a new world of opportunities that you can choose from depending on your personal preferences.
· Making a difference
As an expert tax account, you can make a difference, and this isn’t about helping a client save some dollars on a tax return. Your knowledge and skills can help keep a family’s finances intact or keep businesses afloat. You may also work for a nonprofit organization, supporting its mission from an accountant’s standpoint.
· Lots of variety
Tax laws are much more varied than the average person may expect. From large corporations to small businesses to individuals, tax requirements vary drastically. For instance, you may work with a not-for-profit to ensure it remains compliant with state and federal tax laws and regulations, so it can maintain its tax-exempt status. Or, you may help your organization choose the right retirement plans for its employees.
· Many opportunities to grow quickly
The tax laws are challenging enough, and there’re always new regulations that you need to stay on top of. Therefore, if you enjoy working in this complex field and bolster your expertise with CPA tax CPE courses, it won’t take much time for you to climb the corporate ladder or establish your authority in the field.
Do a quick online search using something like “tax CPE courses online,” and you can see thousands of sponsors offering them. Needless to say, choosing the right one among this massive number of providers isn’t an easy task. To help you out, we’ve jotted down the key factors you must consider when finalizing the sponsor for tax CPE courses.
This block will also help you get a clear idea of what sets the team of CPEThink.com apart from its competitors.
· Top-notch instructors
Of course, the topics covered in online tax CPE courses are very important, but the quality of the course materials heavily depends on their instructors. As mentioned earlier, tax laws and regulations are extremely nuanced, detailed, and complex. And unless the course materials are prepared by qualified and experienced instructors, you’ll likely have a hard time to absorb the concepts.
Our tax CPE courses for CPAs are prepared by EAs and CPAs who focus their practice largely on taxes. And together, they come with decades of real-world experience, so you can be assured that your questions related to real-life situations will be answered by experts.
While it may not always be possible to evaluate an instructor’s ability before joining a course, taking a thorough look at the provider’s customer reviews is definitely a good idea to understand the quality of its instructors.
· Courses covering the latest information
Perhaps you already know that changes to the tax code are regularly implemented. It’s a must to understand these changes clearly to be able to guide your clients based on them. In fact, this is one of the most important reasons clients turn to expert tax accountants.
Therefore, it’s simply a must to join one of the tax CPE courses online providers that will help you learn the most updated information. Be sure to take a detailed look at the course catalog or course descriptions to find if the sponsor somewhere mentions that a course covers the latest updates.
To give you an idea, here’s a screenshot from our collection of tax courses. We update all the relevant courses within a reasonable timeframe from the date of the changes being made to the tax code.
If a sponsor isn’t interested in keeping up with the changes, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be to learn the latest developments in your field from it.
· Affordable pricing
While both qualified instructors and quality course materials are important, the costs of tax CPE courses are vital as well. A course taught by the industry’s best instructor covering the latest information may not be an ideal option for many CPAs and EAs if it costs a couple of hundred dollars.
So, it’s vital to ensure that the courses come at reasonable price tags. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to choose self-study tax CPE courses for CPAs, as they tend to be the least expensive among all online options. Stay away from sponsors that offer CPA tax CPE courses at surprisingly low prices as they may try to cut corners in different ways.
You may also want to search for a sponsor that offers subscription packages. By choosing one of these packages, you can lower the costs of the tax courses significantly while also being able to take other CPE courses to meet your CPE requirements.
For example, if you buy our two-year unlimited subscription package, depending on your state, you may be able to earn all your CPE credits needed to meet your requirements for an entire renewal period.
· Approval from governing bodies
Busy CPAs and EAs sometimes neglect this, but this is one of the most important aspects you need to consider when choosing a sponsor for tax CPE courses. If a sponsor doesn’t have proper approval or isn’t registered with the appropriate governing bodies, all your money, time, and effort might be a complete waste. To eliminate these problems, it’s best to ensure that the sponsor’s name is on NASBA’s National Registry of Sponsors.
If you’re a CPA, you’d generally need to earn 120 CPE credits every three years. And if you’re an EA, you’d need to earn 72 CPE credits every three-year period. When you need to report the credits in the same year, it may be a little easier. But if your state has a biennial or triennial reporting period, the task of managing the credits usually becomes a bit difficult.
Here’re some things that you can do to make the process a convenient one. Just remember to follow these every time you complete a CPE course.
· If you attend in-person tax CPE courses, you’ll receive a certificate of completion at the end of each program. Ensure to keep the original certificates of completion with you for at least five years from the dates of their completion. If you take self-study online tax CPE courses, download and print the certificates of completion as soon as they’re available, and retain them for the same duration.
· It’s important to have a proper system in place to track your CPE credits. Otherwise, it’ll be very difficult to understand how many credits you’ve already earned and how many of them you’re still required to earn. Therefore, you should maintain a designated place to keep all your certificates while having a spreadsheet or manual list to keep track of the details. Details that the list or spreadsheet should contain include the name of the CPE sponsor, the name of the course, its start and end date, and the total number of credits you earned from it.
Some professionals prefer to use an online CPE tracker to accomplish this task, but if you can maintain all the details diligently, we don’t think it’s necessary. However, if you’re maintaining a manual list and want to completely eliminate the risk of getting it lost, it’ll be a good idea to take pictures of all your CPA-related documents and send them to your personal email account.
We hope that we’ve helped you get the answers to all your queries related to tax CPE courses. If you want to talk to one of our team members regarding these courses, feel free to use any of the options available on our site.
If you want to join our online tax CPE courses right away, you can browse our course catalog. We offer the best quality, most up-to-date courses in the industry coupled with a 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee.
You will find hundreds of online Tax CPE courses on Cpethink.com. See what some of our customers who have purchased CPE on our site have said about us at https://www.cpethink.com/cpe-reviews.
Reviews are recent buyers after they have purchased and completed courses.