What Is CPE Accounting?

CPE accounting is continued professional education for accountants. Accounting is a highly specialized field. Since tax laws and regulations can change rapidly, accountants participate in continuing education programs to keep abreast of developments in laws and accounting practices. They need to be aware of the CPE requirements of the jurisdictions in which they work. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

CPE Requirements

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, each state has specific continuing education requirements accountants must follow in order to maintain their licenses. The CPA Journal states that accountants should be concerned about licensing requirements if they maintain such credentials in more than one jurisdiction.

Important Facts About CPE Accounting

Work Environment Office or classroom setting
Key Skills Accounting, Math, Reading Comprehension, Communication
Training There are no mandatory subjects or lessons for CPE, so accountants are free to choose the program that best fits their needs. Acceptable programs include courses offered by the accountant's own firm, accounting-focused conferences or conventions, and any university courses that offer CEUs (Continuing Education Units).
Common Courses Accounting and Finance for Business Operations, Fair Value Accounting, IFRS in the USA: An Implementation Guide

Comparing CPE Requirements

Almost every jurisdiction requires an average of 40 hours of CPE per year for Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Other variations are 80 hours required each 2-year period or 120 hours each 3-year period. Many jurisdictions do not allow carryover of surplus CPE credits from one period to the next.

In some jurisdictions, required CPE hours depend on either specific duties or job classifications. For example, New York reduces the amount of required hours of CPE credits if an accountant takes continuing education courses in a specialized area. Kentucky reduces the number of required hours if an accountant works less than 3,000 hours every two years.

Each state has different CPE accounting requirements. A CPA must take the required numbers of CPE credits for the jurisdiction where her or she works, and must be aware of the requirements of other jurisdictions if he or she wishes to maintain a license in that jurisdiction.

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