Don’t Focus on CPE Credits Only

by | Jun 4, 2014 | Accountants

Most CPAs feel that CPE takes too long and may start to get bored, especially after they have been working for a couple of decades. However, it is important to get your CPE if your state requires it. Most people believe they can take a couple of courses that provide 24 to 26 credits for one course, making it quick to earn their CPE in one or two courses. This may be true, but there are reasons it shouldn’t be done.

Limited Learning

Taking one or two courses may seem like a good idea, but it is actually limiting the learning you can achieve. Most of the large credit courses are references for accountants, SAS review and how to analyze financial statements. These big-credit courses may work for you, but in most cases, you will need something different. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider learning something new that may help you move up in the company, but credits through CPE may not be the best time to learn something new.

In most cases, you will want to have a variety of courses. This will help most people in their daily work because they do many things throughout their day. You want credits that will mean more to you. Instead of focusing on the amount you receive or not going over your required 40/80/120, you should focus on what the course offers you and teaches you.


Every three to five years, CPAs required to take continuing professional education must retake their ethics courses. This is to ensure that they still understand right and wrong and how it applies to them in their job. This course must be taken, whether you take many other programs or not. Therefore, it is best to take smaller courses, incorporating the ethics CPE into your line-up so that you can have a well-rounded program.

Price and Time

The price of the higher credit options is usually higher than with the smaller credits. This is because there is more to learn. It may be beneficial to take a course that costs more and provides more credit if that is what you need to learn more about. However, the credit amount is based on time. If you receive 10 credits for the course, you will spend about 500 minutes, or over eight hours, working on the course. If you have 20 credits for the program, you will spend about 1,000 minutes, or over 16.5 hours.

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