5 best ways to earn CPE credits during COVID-19

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With the global spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) the societal impact of the pandemic is reshaping the way businesses operate. It has changed conference events from in-person to different online alternatives. Different companies and professionals have been experimenting variety of platforms and methods to cater to the training and other needs of professionals and clients.

CPAs (Certified Public Accountant) need CPE, ongoing training for certified professionals to remain certified in certain fields. All accounting professionals certified as CPAs or CMAs need to complete a specific number of CPE credit hours every year in order to maintain their credentials. It is for the professionals to continuously update their knowledge of relevant information to improve their ability to provide valuable services to their clients.

The importance of getting CPE cannot be ignored in the midst of the pandemic. Accounting professionals are learning every day, catering to client's needs and staying up-to-date with the changing government programs and procedure-related COVID-19. To get CPE credits in order to maintain the licenses, the only alternative is to attend online training or participate in self-study programs. However, there are many states that don’t allow CPAs to take all of their CPE classes online or via self-study.

There are different formats to choose from to earn CPE credits, but the quality of the course itself matters. Here are 5 of the best ways to earn CPE credit:

Live CPE Webinars

Different institutes and CPA firms offer CPE webinars for CPAs throughout the year on topics that are important to CPAs. Different nationally-recognized experts cover current developments and issues related to tax, accounting, auditing, and more for their online audience. Participants can engage with the speakers and can get the latest information that is most applicable to their practice or company.

CPE Self-Study

A CPE self-study program is a structured educational course that is not delivered by an instructor or a teacher and is completed by an individual. These courses are acceptable by different states if the course provider issues a certificate of completion, containing a number of CPE credits earned for the course. It also requires participants to take a test to show that they have understood and covered the information in the course. There are free as well as paid self-study courses available for CPAs to obtain and maintain a CPA designation.

Conferences and Seminars

Conferences are also a great way to earn CPE credits. With networking and experience sharing with other professionals from within the industry, conferences also help with earning most of the CPE credits required by the state during one event. Certified individuals earn CPE credits according to the number of hours of active participation.

Teaching or Presenting

Teaching, lecturing or presenting includes developing and delivering professional educational presentations and self-study courses, etc., related to CPA function. There are some limitations on this, and the rules vary by state. Many CPAs take this opportunity to build their own brand as a subject-matter expert and earn credits.

Contribution to the Profession

CPE credit for CPA can be earned by performing work or tasks for governing bodies that contribute to the profession. These include knowledge center contribution, peer reviews, and research development etc.

CPE credits are mandatory to maintain your credential as a CPA. Members are responsible for maintaining accurate reporting of the number of CPE credits they have earned. Evidence of participation, completion of learning objectives, and documentation retention provides confirmation about measuring and reporting credits. Apart from earning CPE credits, CPAs should focus more on learning and staying up-to-date with the knowledge and skills of the field