The Importance of Continuing Professional Education

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

The hard work doesn't stop once you've earned your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. To keep your license as a CPA or certified CMA, you'll need to complete a certain amount of continuing professional education (CPE) credits.

So, what exactly is CPE? CPE is required for CPAs and CMAs, but all tax preparers and accounting professionals should consider it. To be more effective in your company or organization, you must continue to keep up with accounting industry standards, trends, and policies, as well as professional development skills. CPE allows accountants to stay up to date on pertinent industry developments and key professional development material, making it crucial for all accountants, not just certified CPAs and CMAs.

What is CPE?

What precisely is CPE? Continuing Professional Education is abbreviated as CPE. Continuing professional education, sometimes known as CPE, is the practice through which professionals retain and enhance the skills they need to succeed in their careers. Engineers, pilots, attorneys, therapists, and teachers, for example, are all required to maintain their licenses through continuing education. This guarantees that individuals continue to study after obtaining their professional certification or licensing; continuing professional education keeps them up to date on the skills they need to conduct their professions well.

What is CPE in accounting?

What does continuing professional education (CPE) include for accountants? The purpose of continuing professional education (CPE) in accounting is to guarantee that CPAs, CMAs, and other accounting professionals retain their professionalism, proficiency, and knowledge. CPE opportunities provide accountants with the skills and information they need to do their work successfully. CPE requirements for CPAs are published by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), while CMAs are published by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Accounting professionals receive a certain number of CPE credits for each course, webcast, or certificate they attend; the amount of credits necessary each year is set by each state.

In most states, all practicing CPAs must complete CPA Continuing Education in order to maintain their license. It's laid out at the state level, then broken down into the number of CPE hours required each year. To find out how many CPE hours are required, search up the CPA license criteria for that state. In most cases, 40 to 120 hours are needed.

CPAs advise and counsel their clients on a wide variety of significant accounting problems that affect organizations and their stakeholders as trusted financial consultants. We all know that the subject of accounting necessitates a wide range of talents and is constantly developing and increasing in every way. CPE is required to guarantee that CPAs deliver the best possible advisory and service to their customers.

CPE Requirements

CPE credits are needed by CPAs, CMAs, and other accounting professionals in order to retain their professional status and keep current with accounting best practices. For every 50 minutes of coursework, you will obtain one CPE credit.

What exactly is CPE for CPAs? CPE requirements for CPAs vary depending on where they are licensed or qualified to practice accounting. These requirements differ by state, so be sure you know what your state's CPE requirements are.

CPE obligations can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, including online and in-person courses, webcasts, conferences, and events. Your learning style and schedule will determine the best ways to earn CPE credits.

Sources of Continuing Professional Education

Although it may appear self-evident that continuing professional education (CPE) focuses on professionals, CPE also addresses the requirements of a wide range of groups and organizations concerned with professional’s performance.

There are a number of ways to fulfill the CPE requirement. One option is to attend online classes from a CPE provider that is registered with the NASBA or the appropriate state board of accountancy. Online webinars, online self-study, and even in-person classes are all options. It's also worth noting that part of a person's CPE hours can be earned by giving classes or even producing relevant articles, books, and other materials.

A number of organizations provide continuing professional education programs, each with its own set of goals, some shared and others private. Universities are a primary source of CPE since they house the majority of professional training programs. These programs are frequently under the faculty's direction. They may be general updates on a topic, or they could be tailored to impart new information and skills derived from research or scholarship in the profession's domain basis.

Firms, companies, institutions, and other groupings of practitioners that provide professional services in a certain subject are known as practice organizations. These organizations’ CPE programs frequently mirror the difficulties they have in providing services to their consumers.

In an effort to generate a profit, private enterprises also provide CPE as a major product. These businesses are involved in the creation of CPE programs that are tailored to the market's perceived demands. They frequently collaborate with an industry that supports a certain profession or its clientele. When the educational demands and objectives of the profession are aligned with the financial goals of the industry and the corporation, these corporations contract with other CPE organizations or offer CPE directly.

Why is continuing education important?

  1. Increases Your Chances for Promotion

Employers frequently see your pursuit of continuing education as a compelling cause to promote you. They know that you've put in time and, in some cases, money to improve yourself and want to reward you for it. Your new training also qualifies you for more sophisticated employment and makes you a good candidate for advancements.

Employers may also have roles within their organizations that demand an advanced degree as a minimum qualification. Obtaining that higher degree may be a deciding factor in receiving a promotion.

When compared to another applicant for a promotion, having more education and knowledge will make you stand out and impress a hiring manager. Education prepares you to manage additional duties and tasks, and it may even have provided you with specialized expertise on how to perform a job more effectively.

If you want to grow in your career, an advanced degree or other kinds of continuing education may be the route. There are several reasons why your continuing education plan can help you gain a promotion, from enhancing your skills and talents to demonstrating to your employer how committed you are to self-improvement.

  1. Increases Your Earning Potential

Continuing education sometimes results in a raise or a better initial pay when starting a new job. Whether you get a raise or promotion at your present work or qualify for a new position with a higher salary, continuing your education can help you earn more money.

On average, someone with a college degree earns twice as much as someone without one. This type of continuing education frequently necessitates an investment in oneself, but the payoff is often well worth it.

Advanced education of any sort, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, improves your annual income by thousands of dollars. Continuing education may be the way to go if you want to receive a raise or shift to a better-paying job.

  1. Elevates Your Image and Marketability

Continuing education is an important part of your resume. Many occupations demand a specific level of education as a direct qualifying requirement, but even if you satisfy the minimal requirements, additional education will help you stand out. When you're one of numerous applicants for a position, you will undoubtedly be assessed more closely if you have further education.

Employers will notice you not just because of your extra qualifications, but also because you are willing to take on a challenge and achieve. Employers will also notice that you have gained fresh insights into current industry trends and abilities, as well as extra technical knowledge, as a result of your time spent learning something new.

If you seek continuing education, your whole image will improve, as will your job marketability.

  1. Increases personal development.

Even if you're fully content with your career and lifestyle, continuing education can be beneficial to you.

Learning should be a lifetime activity, according to experts, and investing time in continuing education can be a personal growth journey. Whether you want to learn more about a subject you're interested in or get new skills to apply at work, there are a variety of ways to benefit from continuing education.

Even if you're only interested in education for personal reasons, you may benefit greatly from advanced learning on your way to becoming a better person.

Illumeo's extensive accounting library is full of courses designed by long-time professional auditors and corporate accountants to help you dig in and focus on your field of accounting. Illumeo provides CPE for CPAs and over 20 other professional certifications if you require it. Illumeo offers over 1,000 hours of CPE courses, and if you have several certifications, you will receive all of the required hours for each course. Please browse through our catalog for the most up-to-date material and courses on Continuous Professional Education.