CPAs are required to take up continual education every year, at least in most states of the United States. As an accounting and tax professional, you need to be aware of the changing norms, practices, rules and regulations, so as to offer genuine advice to your clients and patrons. CPE stands for continuing professional education, and every state has an accounting board that fixes the requirements for CPAs. As obvious, these requirements vary by state, but most states ask CPAs to complete an average of 40 CPE hours each year. Besides the basics, you also need to take up the CPA Ethics Exam. The ethics exam can be boring, but is a necessary evil. Here are some of the aspects that you need to know about CPE courses.

The basics

State requirements can vary. Oregon Ethics CPE requirements can be different than that of Wisconsin. Some states ask CPAs to take up the ethics exam every year, while in others, CPE ethics must be taken on a periodical basis. As a CPA, you have to be extra careful about completing your CPE requirements on time. Missing credits can mean suspension or even revocation of your license. If you are a new to the industry, you can take the ethics exam after cleaning the Uniform CPA Exam.

Completing your CPE requirements    

Continuing education is not just about being compliant with the basic requirements, but more about enhancing your options as a professional. Many CPAs don’t take their CE courses seriously, until the last minute, which is a pretty bad idea. If you are too busy with your professional and work commitments, you can take up self-study courses, which are easily available online. Websites offer all sorts of options, right from the basic state-specific options to something like OR Ethics CPE course. All you need is two to three hours every week, depending on your career goals. Try to establish your requirements every year and work accordingly from the start.

If you are looking for online courses, you need to check about the self-study cap, if any. Some states do have a cap on the number of credits CPAs can get through the self-study format. For choosing the right website, check the overall support and courses offered by the portal. Online courses are interactive and easy to complete, but you need to be sure that the website you choose is genuine. If you can get free resources, it’s an added benefit!