Jun 2, 2014

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What are AICPA, CPE Courses and How to Earn Credits for Them

The AICPA is the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants and they represent areas of practice that include public, government, education, business and consulting practices. They set ethical standards for CPA professions and also set standards for US Auditing  of non-profit organizations, private companies, and all forms of government. This organization also grades the CPA examination and provides unique credentials to CPAs with concentrations in fraud and forensics, financial planning, information technology and business valuation.

CPE courses are continuing professional education courses designed to help keep CPAs informed throughout their journey. In many states, they are required if one wants to maintain one’s license. Although the AICPA does not create the CPE programs, they do designate ethics standards and, as such, require that the CPE courses in regards to ethics say certain things and remind CPAs of their code of ethics to their company, themselves and the AICPA.

CPE Courses

CPE courses can be credited in many ways. There are conferences you can attend, live web events, professional development courses and you can also do self-study online. Whether you choose all one type or mix and match, you will receive a set amount of credits for each option you choose. In some cases, you may only get one or two credits, although some programs offer up to 25 credits.

Every few years, most CPAs are required to brush up on their ethics CPE. Each state has a specific set of rules in place that govern ethics and CPE in general. In some cases, attending a special meeting at work will be sufficient, while in others you may be required to take two or four credits’ worth of courses to complete the ethics CPE. For those states requiring continuing professional education, ethics may be required once every three years, though it could be more often or less, depending on the state. Therefore, you should visit your state board of accountancy to learn what your requirements will be.

CPE does not count unless you have some formal instruction (this can be self study) and take the exam. In most states, you are required to get 70 percent or better in order to pass and count the credits. Some states, however, require 90 percent correct in order to pass, such as California. It is up to you to find out what your state board of accountancy requires for those in your state.

AICPA CPE courses are considered to be ethics related. To learn more and to find AICPA-approved courses, visit CPE Think today.

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