How to Find Continuing Professional Education for Accounting

For people working in accounting, it is important to understand that many states require continuing professional education, or CPE. Your state may be different or have different rules for CPE, so it is important to find out for sure by asking reputable people, such as the company you work for or the state board of accountancy in your state.

If you already know you will need CPE, you have options. You can either go online or travel to in-person programs to get your required amount of CPE.


Online self-study works well for many people. Most people nowadays have been brought up in the information technology age and understand computers and are able to multi-task to get things done quickly. If you are such a person, online continuing professional education in accounting may be a good option for you.

You will need to find a provider and you will also have to choose your courses. Some states require specific courses to be taken, so it is up to you to know these rules. When choosing courses online, you will want to get a wide range of options so that you don’t become bored. You may also be able to find free courses, which have the dual benefit of allowing you to take a course without paying money and helping you choose a provider based on the free course and its outcome.

You may also be able to find webinars that are either free or that cost. These can also provide you with the credits you need and offer a different approach to learning through video.


Accounting professionals can also earn their CPE through in-person options, including seminars, conferences, shows and on-site trainings. For those that can’t handle self study or just don’t like it, consider a seminar or conference. A seminar has an instructor and is handled as a classroom program. It usually focuses on one topic and is between four to eight hours in length. A conference is usually one or two days and can offer up to 20 hours of CPE, depending on the length and topic. These in-person programs work very well for people who live close to the conference site and want to participate in person-to-person communication.

You will need to make sure that the conference, seminar or another option you choose has a topic that is relevant to you and is approved by your accountancy board and company.

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