If you’re going to be licensed in the field of accounting, you’re going to need to focus some of your time throughout your licensing period to continuing education. While the actual time requirements for CPA’s will vary from state to state, any professional accountant who is certified has to earn Continuing Professional Education before their license is up for renewal, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. If you’re not sure how you can complete your CPE hours, here are some ideas that may help:
Complete Your Hours Online Through AICPA
One popular way to earn your Continuing Professional Education credits is to choose from the courses offered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). AICPA has an entire online source that’s full of different products and services that will help all accountants improve their skills while meeting their continuing education hours.
If you’d like to direct your own studies, you can choose from 450+ different online topics that range from experienced to an expert by completing topics through CPExpress. Instead of buying just a single class at a time, you can sign up for the online subscription which gives you unlimited access to the institute’s online CPE courses with a wide range of content and flexible learning options. As a member of the AICPA, you’ll pay $249 for unlimited CPExpress access.
Order CPE Direct Self-Study Guides
While online access is extremely convenient, not everyone wants to be tied to their computers to complete their continuing professional education. If you’d rather have a physical study guide to immerse you in new topics, you may want to consider signing up for a CPE Direct subscription.
With a Direct subscription, you’ll receive a quarterly subscription of material published in the Journal of Accountancy and study tools to help prepare you for a final exam. If you complete the maximum of 12 credits per year with CPE Direct, you could earn as much as 48 CPE credits per year! AICPA members pay $189 per quarter for the guide.
Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs
Group Training Options
Accountants can end up working alone on a typical business day. Sometimes, it’s nice to complete group training so that you can socialize with like-minded professionals. There are plenty of different group training options that are recognized by all state licensing boards. If you work for a firm, they may hold on-site training for 10 or more members of your team.
There are also 500+ live video webcasts released on-air all year and additional in-person conferences that you can attend in person for guidance and networking. Each of these options has a different price tag. You should assess your needs and your experience level before deciding. There is never a reason you shouldn’t have time to finish all of your continuing education requirements when you can subscribe in advance and finish all of the units throughout the certification period.
Accounting is an ever-changing field that will continue to become more and more complex as companies compete on a more global spectrum. To ensure that all professionals keep up with the changes after they complete their accounting degree programs, licensing boards must enforce education requirements beyond just college. Make sure you know what’s offered, compare different course delivery options, and choose the method that is convenient yet manages to appeal to you.