Certified public accountants must earn Continuing Professional Education, or CPE, credits to maintain their CPA licenses. CPAs receive certificates of attendance that indicate the number of CPE credits, format of the CPE, and title and practice area of the CPE.

Purpose

CPE requirements ensure that individuals holding CPA licenses remain knowledgeable about and current on developments in the industry.

Formats

Seminars, industry conventions, webinars, telephone conferences and self-study provide ways for CPAs to meet the CPE requirements.

CPE Requirements

Each state’s Board of Accountancy governs the number of CPE credits required and the type of credit earned. Fifty minutes of professional education equal one CPE credit.

Documentation

CPAs must maintain a file of CPE certificates of attendance. The CPA’s State Board of Accountancy may require a copy of any or all CPE certificates of attendance at any time to verify the CPA's compliance.

Cost

Webinars and teleconferences are the most economical CPE formats. Industry conventions can run into the hundreds of dollars. Travel, accommodations and meals add substantially to the cost of these conventions.