All Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for every 3-year reporting period. This is a regulation by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
CPE is necessary for every CPA to boost their knowledge base in a dynamic and ever-changing business world. Finding time and energy for CPE in a tight schedule could be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll provide tips that will help you survive CPE.
1. Don’t procrastinate CPE
It’s easy to overlook your CPE credits for work, family and other priorities only to start rushing to meet the deadlines. Procrastinating your CPE will make things more stressful and prevent you from learning and enjoying other benefits of CPE credits. Fit in a few hours every day over an extended period of time rather than long, difficult hours close to deadline periods.
2. Use a variety of course models
CPE course models include webinars, self-study courses, conferences, seminars etc. It’s advisable that you consider a variety of course models to make your learning experience more enjoyable. But if a particular model suits you better, you should opt for that model alone. You can try the different models out and find one that best suits you. For example, self-study courses are better for those that wish to study on their own on off-hours while seminars are excellent for CPAs that want to network with other CPAs.
3. Make up your mind on what you want from your CPE credits
Before you begin a CPE program, it’s best that you think about what you want to get from the program. There are a lot of benefits to be obtained from CPE. Think about your future career path and use that as the most important guideline in making your choice. Some CPAs earn CPE credits merely for the credentials they can earn with it. Some need these credits to broaden their professional horizon. Others need CPE credits to focus on a particular accounting field. Take your time and decide what you want. This will help to keep you motivated all through and also help you to select the right courses and providers.
4. Go for CPE courses in packages
Go for courses in packages rather than individual courses. You can save money this way. CPE providers like surgentcpe provide courses in packages. Check out these packages and go for the ones that will give you true value for your money.
5. Research the CPE provider
There are several authorized CPE providers available. Take your time in selecting the right provider. There are few cases where credits earned from programs by some providers are not accepted in certain states. Ensure that the credits you plan to earn will be accepted by your state board. Ensure that the CPE providers you go for are well-versed in the topics that they teach.
6. Delegate work to subordinates
It’s hard for a lot of CPAs to find time for CPE. They are often burdened with work. However, this burden can be lightened by delegating work to others. You may have junior colleagues who are yearning for a chance to prove themselves. Try them out. You shouldn’t be so overburdened with work that you don’t have time for CPE. You only need to spend time reviewing what they have done.
7. Include CPE courses that will help you run a business
The ultimate goal of most accountants is to get to top-level managerial positions. Try to include CPE courses that focus on the management and running of a business. These courses can help you to run CPA firms in the future.
8. Keep records of your CPE credits
Keep well-documented records of your CPE credits. These records are good for references and to also help you recollect where you took certain courses, so that you can take other courses there.
These eight tips will make things easier for you, and help you survive Continuing Professional Education. Don’t neglect any of them.