Know Your CPE Credit Requirements
Attaining a CPA is a career choice generally made by people who are drawn to the intricacies of business operation, wanting to understand fully where the revenue comes from the expenses go. And, if you are already working as accountant and are looking forward to the next level, you may also want to pursue a CPA, a profession prized for its business and taxation expertise. However, the whole effort in becoming a CPA doesn’t just end at completing the qualification. Instead it's an ongoing journey whereby people who qualified CPA have to stay ahead of the latest topics by completing mandatory continuing education.
CPE Credits are the means defined by state governing bodies to direct the CPA's in attaining that continuing education. How many credits do they need to complete to successfully complete each year? On average, CPAs across the country need to complete 40 credits of average study of CPE to remain an active, licensed CPA. The credits are calculated based on the average number of minutes spent on the CPE divided by 50. That is, one CPE credit is typically earned by completing the equivalent of studying for 50 minutes on a course. Therefore, when taking in-person courses, the CPA needs to sit in a classroom for an entire day to earn 8 credits (including breaks). Self-study courses are based on a similar time commitment, but CPE CREDITS are typically computed from an average of pilot testers, or as a computation of the number of questions and the amount of text. These credit ratios are defined by NASBA or AICPA as CPE standards. However, any CPA completing CPE should contact the state board agency that regulates their CPA license to be sure of the required credit will be received. CPE credit requirements for CPA's depend on the state accounting boards and these requirements can vary from state to state. It is thus important for the CPA's to stay briefed about the CPE credit requirements of their state in advance, in order to avoid any complication later on.
Interactive self-study CPE courses will have an expiration period if they are not completed by the CPA's within 12 months of choosing them. It is strongly advised that the CPA's should keep a close check on the dates when they select a course and the date till when they are to be completed in order to avoid any chances of any course expiration.
An interesting option for CPAs is the chance to ‘pilot test’ CPE courses. Typically the CPA will receive the course for free, but they must keep track of the time spent on the course, and they must report back on any errors in the course materials. Sometimes pilot testing can be a great way to learn about the latest topics.
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