CPE or CPD: Which Continuing Education Path is Right for CPAs?

Posted by BeaconLive
CPE or CPD: Which Continuing Education Path is Right for CPAs? | BeaconLive

Accounting Firms Grow With CPE

Your accounting office needs to employ the best Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to maintain a competitive edge in the market. You need your CPAs to stay current with industry regulations, best practices, and emerging trends to do this. 


This is where Continuing Professional Education (CPE) becomes crucial. As an accounting firm manager, understanding and facilitating CPE credits for your team is beneficial and necessary.


However, CPE and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) often need clarification. CPD is a broader concept encompassing all professional learning activities. CPE specifically refers to the education required for professionals in certain fields, like accounting, to maintain their license or certification.


Ensuring your CPAs keep up with their CPE credits helps maintain professional standards and enhances your firm's reputation and service quality. 


We know that many accounting firms across the US struggle with CPE credits for CPAs, and this article will guide you on how to effectively provide CPE opportunities for your team, bolstering their skills and your firm's success.



What Is CPE vs. CPD?

CPE and CPD are both crucial in maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills in a professional field. CPE typically refers to formal education programs, often required to maintain professional licensure. 


CPD, conversely, encompasses a broader range of learning activities, including workshops, conferences, and informal learning opportunities, aimed at holistic professional growth. Both are integral to staying current and competitive in any profession.


Many companies want to know how to offer CPE credits for their accounting staff to support their team and grow their business. So, let’s take a closer look at both of these opportunities and discuss how your CPAs can benefit from both courses. 


What is CPE?

CPE  is a mandatory requirement for CPAs, and it's the method that these professionals maintain their skills and competencies throughout their careers.


CPAs must engage in approved CPE programs that meet specific criteria set by entities like the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and their respective State Board of Accountancy.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provides a vast selection of over 350 self-study CPE courses covering a wide array of topics.


What are CPE credits?

CPE credits are units of measure that quantify the effort put into professional education activities after initial certification. 


These credits are crucial for CPAs to maintain licensure, ensuring their knowledge and skills remain up-to-date with industry changes.


How to become CPE certified

CPAs can earn CPE credits through various activities contributing to their professional growth. This can include attending accredited courses, workshops, webinars, and conferences, completing self-study programs, or attending online courses throughout the year.  


It’s important to note that requirements can vary by location. For instance, Florida CPAs must complete at least 80 CPE hours every two years, including at least 4 hours of Florida-specific ethics and at least 8 hours in accounting or auditing. 


In contrast, Indiana CPAs must complete 120 hours of CPE every three years, including a minimum of 4 hours in ethics and 12 hours in accounting or auditing.


What is CPD?

CPD covers a wide range of learning activities you undertake throughout your career. These activities ensure your skills stay relevant, your knowledge of industry trends is current, and your understanding of legislative changes is up-to-date.


Engaging in CPD allows CPAs to keep up with the latest business trends. It fosters the evolution of their skills, enabling them to continue being invaluable resources for companies and organizations across all industries.


CPD is a planned process of professional development, and it is a broader concept than CPE, which targets professional knowledge and competencies. 


What are the benefits of CPD?

CPD credits are a measure of the time and effort that professionals put into their ongoing learning. These credits are earned by engaging in various learning activities contributing to professional growth and development. 


CPD credits signify a commitment to maintaining and enhancing professional competencies, crucial in fast-evolving fields like accounting.


What is accredited CPD training?

Earning CPD credits involves participating in relevant learning activities. This can range from attending workshops, conferences, webinars, and training courses, to self-study, research, and even mentoring. 


Each activity carries a certain number of CPD credits, which are usually calculated based on the duration and intensity of the learning activity. Professionals must typically accumulate a specific number of CPD credits within a set period to maintain their professional status.


Tips To Present CPE Courses

Presenting CPE courses can be a rewarding yet challenging task. The key to success lies in creating engaging, relevant, and valuable content that truly enhances the professional skills of your audience. 


It involves meticulous planning, understanding your audience's needs, and employing effective teaching methods. 


A well-executed CPE course imparts knowledge and fosters a conducive environment for professional growth and interaction among the participants.


1. Host Continuing Education Courses With In-Demand Topics

Presenting CPE courses on in-demand topics is practical because it ensures the topic is relevant to your audience and your CPAs can apply their lessons to the real world immediately. CPE for CPAs should cover topics like tax law updates, financial technology advancements, or new accounting standards. 


By focusing on important subjects, you ensure that your course remains relevant and attractive to CPAs seeking to stay abreast of industry developments and sharpen their skills in areas of high demand.


2. Partner with CE Technology Platform

Utilizing technology platforms can greatly enhance the delivery of CPE courses for CPAs. Partnering with a technology platform can facilitate a more interactive, engaging, and convenient learning experience. 


It can enable the integration of multimedia content, real-time interactions, and flexible learning schedules. Moreover, these platforms often have built-in tools to track progress and automate the certification process, making it easier to manage CPE credits.


3. Create A Captivating Enrollment Page

An engaging enrollment page is vital in attracting CPAs to your CPE courses. It should clearly outline the course objectives, content, duration, and the CPE credits that can be earned. 


Personal testimonials, instructor credentials, and simple, user-friendly registration processes can further enhance its appeal and increase enrollments.


4. Create Great CPE Course Content

Creating great CPE course content is central to delivering CPE credits. The content should be relevant, up-to-date, and tailored to the CPAs' needs. It should effectively communicate complex topics and incorporate interactive elements to facilitate learning. 


Remember, the ultimate goal is to enhance the CPAs' professional competencies and keep them abreast of industry changes and trends.


5. Provide Certificates of Completion

Many organizations want to offer continuing education credits for their staff, and giving certifications after completing CPE courses can be a strong motivator for CPAs. Certifications acknowledge the effort and time invested in the course and serve as tangible proof of the acquired knowledge and skills. 


Such certifications can enhance a CPA's professional profile and demonstrate their commitment to continuous learning and upholding industry standards, making it a valuable addition to any CPE course.


Support Your Team With CPE Training Today!

Providing certifications upon the completion of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses serves as a powerful source of inspiration for CPAs, fueling their professional growth and success with each step. 


Contact our experts at BeaconLive today to learn more about our LMS and how we can help you and your team stay updated on CPE requirements!


Topics: Accounting, Certificates, Continuing Education, Professional Development

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What is the difference between CPE and CPD for CPAs?

CPE (Continuing Professional Education) refers to the mandatory ongoing education requirements for CPAs in the United States, while CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is a broader term used internationally.

Are CPE and CPD interchangeable for CPAs?

While CPE and CPD share the common goal of professional development, they have different requirements and terminology, so they are not directly interchangeable for CPAs.

How do CPAs fulfill their CPE or CPD requirements?

CPAs fulfill their CPE requirements by participating in approved educational activities, such as seminars or courses, while CPD requirements may include a broader range of activities, such as conferences, research, or professional networking.