What is Continuing Professional Education for CPA's?

CPE stands for Continuing Professional Education.  To provide value adding professional services and maintain their technical and professional aptitude...


CPE is a crucial requirement for CPAs. Along with the ethics, rules and regulations of their accounting membership body, it's very important that CPAs comply with all applicable CPE requirements. Additionally, CPA's must also comply with rules and regulations of any other body or organization they are a member of.



Constant Evolution 

The profession of accountancy is in a state of constant evolution. There is an explosion of relevant knowledge and increasing complexity. The nature of business transactions are getting more complex by the day and technology advances, e-commerce, specialization and red tape regulations have contributed in creating an environment that requires Certified Public Accountants to not just continuously maintain and but also enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Professional competence is not just a one-off but can be seen as a program of lifelong educational activities. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is used to describe the educational activities that assist CPAs in achieving and enhancing the quality of professional services.

The concept of professional competence may be interpreted broadly. Why? Well...CPAs provide professional services and as such are required to have a broad range of knowledge, skills, and abilities.  


Read: Top Nine Accounting Degrees You Can Pursue For a Successful Career




CPAs must document their claims of CPE credit. Examples of acceptable evidence of completion include:


- If in a independent or group study programs are undertaken or attended, some form of verification must be supplied by the CPE program sponsor.

- For self-study programs, a certificate supplied by the CPE program sponsor after satisfactory completion of an examination.

- For instruction credit, appropriate supporting documentation that complies with the requirements of the respective state boards.

-A record or transcript of the grade the participant received for a university or college course that is successfully completed

- For published articles, books, or CPE programs, a copy of the publication along with the names of  the author or contributor, a statement from the writer supporting the number of CPE hours claimed, and the name and contact information of the independent reviewer(s) or publisher is needed.


Source: Statement of Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs as of 12/7/2011


For in-depth information on CPE Requirements and Standards - please click here to download the Statement of Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs. 


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