How to Obtain CPE Credit
The acronym CPE stands for “continuing professional education.” Once you become a certified public accountant and go through years of education in order to do so, you’re not allowed to stop learning as your career continues. In order to continue maintaining ownership of the certification that is essentially required to make your living, you are required to continue your education on a regular basis for the rest of your career. You prove that you’ve been continuing your education by way of CPE credits. You can obtain these CPE credits in a large number of different ways depending on your preferences.
The methods that you can use to go about obtaining the appropriate amount of CPE credits will vary depending on your preferences. Once you become a member of the ISACA, for example, a large number of different avenues for earning accounting CPE credits open up to you almost immediately. The best part is that not all of these methods cost money. You can get up to 36 free CPE credits per year by attending webinars and virtual conferences, for example. The key benefit through these types of methods (besides the fact that they’re free) comes from the fact that they exist entirely online, so you don’t have to travel to attend a conference or a seminar away from your everyday life. You also have a greater ability to schedule these types of credit opportunities around your existing commitments like your job and home life. If you plan on obtaining CPE credits via webinars and virtual conferences, however, it is important to note that the CPE quizzes are for members of the ISACA only.
Another way to obtain CPE credits is by attending conferences. You can earn up to 32 CPE credits per event for conferences that you attend that are sponsored by or deemed acceptable by the ISACA. Online training courses are a similar CPE for CPAs earning opportunity, as you can get up to 26 CPE credits per course. The length of the course, the total number of required courses and the time commitment for each individual session will all vary depending on which course you end up taking.
Training courses are another way to obtain accounting CPE credits. Unlike online training, however, these courses will require you to physically go to a nearby location and attend a course in person with an instructor and other certified accounting professionals. You can earn up to 32 CPE credits per course using this method.
Yet another way to obtain CPE credits is through the completion of journal quizzes. Under the current ISACA CPE credit guidelines, you can earn up to six free CPE credits per year. You earn one CPE credit for each of six journals that you complete during a particular calendar year. It is important to note, however, that this method is for members of the ISACA only.
Additionally, you can earn up to 20 free CPE credits per year by serving as an ISACA volunteer in a large number of different situations. If you participate on a committee, task force or board from the ISACA or ITGI, for example, you can one CPE credit for every hour of active service. The same method of accruing these credits is available if you serve as an officer of an official ISACA chapter. Keep in mind, however, that you can only earn up to 20 CPE credits per year using these methods. These types of opportunities are also limited solely to CISA, CGEIT, ISACA, CISM and CRISC members.
One great way to earn up to ten free CPE credits per year is through a variety of different mentoring opportunities. You can earn one full CPE credit for every hour that you spend coaching, assisting, reviewing or generally mentoring an individual as they study to take a CRISC, CISA, CISM, CGEIT or other type of exam. You can also earn additional CPE credits for every hour that you spend mentoring them about their career as they themselves work their way through the credentialing process.
The total number of CPE credits that you can earn for free each year through the aforementioned methods is 72. Keep in mind that these are just ways to earn free CPE credits and they are only open to members of the ISACA.
There are also a large number of different ways that you can pay to earn CPE credits throughout the year. Many websites offer a variety of different courses in varying lengths that will allow you to earn one CPE credit per course hour that you spend participating. A 24-hour 2014 accountant’s CPE update course, for example, will cost around $99 depending on the provider and will earn you 24 full CPE credits. Longer courses will generally cost larger amounts of money, but they will also earn larger amounts of credits at the same time.