Online CPE Courses

Continuing Professional Education or CPE is a compulsory element for CPAs in order to maintain their professional competence in the very fast-changing field of accounting. The CPE requirements for CPAs vary by state. The guidelines for the ‘development, presentation, measurement and reporting of CPE programs’ is defined in the Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE), which is a joint publication of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

The Standards for Continuing Professional Education also defines the set of rules applicable to organizations creating CPE programs in various formats, including group live programs, self-study, blended learning programs and nano learning. It requires all CPE programs to be reviewed by qualified people, other than the ones who created them. The comprehensive standard ensures that all CPE programs are worthwhile and adds value to the person completing them.

With the evolution of the learning process, newer technologies and the changing dynamics of the workplace, the importance of continuing education programs has been enhanced. All CPAs are required to participate in learning activities that enhance their professional competence. And the online CPE courses chosen should address the individual needs of the CPA, according to their current and future plans, existing knowledge and the amount of additional expertise they intend on adding to their skill set.

CPE Study Options

Some of the fields you can continue your professional education in are directly related to accounting and business. These are:

  • Accounting
  • Governmental Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Business law
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Information Technology
  • Statistics
  • Taxes
  • Regulatory Ethics
  • Management Services

Fields that do not directly relate to accounting but do qualify for CPE programs, include the following:

  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Business Management & Organization
  • Personal Development
  • Production
  • Computer Software and Applications
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Personal and Human Resources

Let’s take a look at some of the online courses available for CPAs. In some courses, webinars may also be available in addition to self-study options.



Accounting and Auditing

A practical insight into the work of auditing and accounting practitioners, with current information to ensure you stay updated. Courses would include knowledge on annual A&A updates, new standards and guidance from FASB, SEC, AICPA and other standard-setting organizations. The course would also use examples and diagrams to make matters simpler to understand.

Business and Industry

A part of the professional education requirements of CPA’s at high level corporate positions, such as controllers, CFAs and their teams. This course would review the latest accounting standards regarding business administration practices, business laws and financial changes in the field. Critical updates and useful tips are shared in this course to increase its effectiveness. It assists financial executives in understanding the latest economic changes and how they affect a particular organization. Topics such as fair value, projects impact leases, revenue recognition are all covered.


Courses on ethics may be state-specific or general. They include real-world examples to help students understand the latest developments in professional responsibilities, ethics and general principles associated with management.

Financial Planning

This course is designed to assist CPAs in matters relating to accounting and taxation. It will help you devise strategies that have the potential of achieving financial success for organizations. IRA strategies, estates, trusts and other techniques to increase income will be covered as part of financial planning courses.

Fraud, Forensics and Valuation

Learn how to identify and prevent identity fraud, assign justifiable values to assets up for sale in case of a divorce, merger or other estate related concerns. The course will also help CPA’s in understanding the methods to uncovering hidden assets and deal with the complex concerns of fraud, valuation and forensics in the business world.

Government and Nonprofit

This course is meant for individuals working in public accounting, serving non-profit clients or government agencies. It is also useful for CPAs who take up in-house financial roles at not-for-profit organizations. Topics covered would include GAAS, Government or Non-Profit Accounting and Auditing Courses, etc.

Personal Development

This course helps CPAs improve their “soft skills”. These skills come in handy in areas such as business writing, presentation skills, negotiation skills and personal branding. Improvement in areas like this is a great way to add to your technical skills and make yourself more marketable to potential employers.

Practice Management

This course is designed to help CPAs stay updated regarding the best practices for managing an expanding CPA practice. It deals with concerns such as marketing strategy, cyber security, business continuity, recruitment and firing, preparing businesses for sale, etc. With a practice management course, CPAs might be able to develop management skills that would in turn help their firms grow and thrive in the industry.


Tax courses are meant to help practitioners effectively address changes in regulations and legislations regarding taxation. Online courses help CPAs enhance their understanding of the latest tax reforms in order to increase their overall earning potential and serve their clients in a more effective manner. Courses in taxation are ideal for those working in businesses or partnerships or even state and local taxation departments.


This course deals with a wide variety of topics regarding the use of technology for CPA professionals in their daily work life. Software such as Excel and QuickBooks are discussed during the course along with how professionals need to make use of technology to improve the overall outcomes of their work.

Recording CPE Credits

Once you get into CPE programs, you will need to keep a track of your credits, since you will be responsible for accurately reporting the number of CPE credits earned. Acceptable evidence of CPE programs completion may include a certificate of verification by the CPE program sponsor, a record transcript of the grade received, a certificate of attendance by the managing body, etc.

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