Once a candidate has successfully completed his/her CPA degree and earned the license, he/she is required to be a part of the Accounting Continuing Education program by the states which follow the one tier system. This is a way of continuing your professional education and being updated as well.
All members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants are required to be a part of this program. The condition is to maintain an annual attendance of often 80 hours or 40 hours biannually. Not just the above consortium, but few states also make it mandatory for the CPAs to be part of Accounting Continuing Education program to keep their licenses.
Two-tier states, because they give the license only after a stipulated period of work, don’t require their CPAs to be a part of the Accounting Continuing Education program. But whoever wants to be a part of such a program can take admission and adhere to the minimum attendance requirement.
The continuing professional education in Accounting is so important, because there is an unprecedented increase in the variety of Accountancy. Every day the role of an accountant is changing. So, to keep the CPAs abreast with the latest developments in the field of accountancy, the Accounting Continuing Education program becomes a crucial tool. The program also helps them to increase their knowledge and update their skills.
Once they have obtained their licenses, accountants should keep on developing new skills through the Accounting Continuing Education program. Accountants must earn mandatory (CPE) continuing professional education credits so that they can continue to be the member of AICPA and keep their licenses in their home states.
The CPE requirements vary from one US state to another. Texas requires accountants to have 120 hours of attendance in three years. Also a minimum of 20 hours of attendance should be earned every year.
Now there are many ways of earning CPE credits, self-study being one of them. Earlier it used to be non-interactive, but since the advent of the computer usage, interactive self-study courses have been designed, which give feedback and simulate the atmosphere of the class room. This form of study is approved by the National Institute of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). It has tried to remove the non-interactive study and focus only on the interactive one.
Some US states require two hours or more of CPE credits referred in this article as the Accounting Continuing Education. As each Distance Learning Center online course is worth one to four CPE credit hours, candidates are required to choose two or more courses within the scope of the subject area to complete his/her CPE requirements.