Continuing Education for Accountants Tips

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What Types of Accountant Continuing Education Are Offered?

Accountant Continuing Education

Using the Internet, your state's society of CPAs and contact with local schools and universities, you should be able to find the accountant continuing education programs you want to pursue. Decide on your goal, be it CPA exam review, a certificate in an accounting specialty, or further education in your current area of concentration. Then, consider classroom accounting cpe courses, self-study programs online, or seminar training, offered all around the United States as your best option. With almost 2,000 CPA cpe seminars available annually, you should find one or more close to home that interest you.

Your local education community will also offer numerous accountant continuing education courses. Using the ‘Net or telephone, secure a catalog of their cpe courses, which will give you titles, syllabus, cost and class times. Many employers will be most happy to reimburse you for the cost of your accounting cpe courses as you are bringing added value to their company. You should also learn if they will reimburse for accounting cpe online, as there are now too many choices to count that provide excellent self-study continuing education for accountants, many leading to full certificate recognition.

   
How Can I Learn About CPA CPE Seminars?

CPA CPE Seminars

There are numerous CPA cpe seminars all around the United States for in-person study and another selection of accounting cpe online options. In 2007, almost 2,000 CPA cpe seminars and courses will be offered. Almost 1,700 public seminars are scheduled through various states' societies of CPAs and another 300 in-house seminars are offered through public accounting firms and major corporations.

Use the Internet to locate one or more CPA cpe seminars. For example, Surgent McCoy, LLP (surgent.com) is one of the leading repositories for seminar information, as well as a wide variety of accounting cpe online self-study courses. Another good example is DMOZ Open Directory of accountant cpe (dmoz.org/Business/Accounting/CPE_For_CPAs/), which provides you with a large assortment of information. You will locate many CPA cpe seminars that are narrowly targeted to a variety of accounting specialty areas of concentration. Seminar periods normally run from four to 16 hours or longer, depending on the subject and volume of information to be dispensed. You are almost guaranteed to find the CPA cpe seminars you want to further your career.

   
What Are Some Options for Continuing Education for Accountants?

Continuing Education Options for Accountants

There are a number of options for continuing education for accountants. The avenues encompass CPA examination courses, advanced study in general subjects and certificates in accounting specialization areas. If your goal is to become a CPA, you'll have a choice of some online programs to help you pass the examination available at cpeasy.com, passonline.com, and other sites. CPA exam prep courses are numerous and use empirical data regarding probabilities of questions and subject areas to help target your training directly toward the coming examination.

Specialized areas have become very popular in accounting continuing education, particularly as a result of recent corporate failures which have led to new standards and regulations, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which specify accounting reporting standards for public companies. Taxation, a critical issue for all companies, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and management accounting are popular continuing education study subjects as more and more senior officers come from the accounting departments of major corporations.

Certificates are very popular and require from six to 25 credits on average. There are a number of designations that can be earned through a certificate program, especially online. For example, Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) are some of the newer specializations. There are many other options for continuing professional education for accountants. Use your imagination to lead you on your quest.

   
How Will Accounting Continuing Education Affect My Job Opportunities?

Accounting Continuing Education Will Improve Your Job Opportunities

The completion of accounting continuing education will strongly enhance your job opportunities. While accounting as a profession is quite highly compensated compared to many other career tracks, additional expertise that comes from accounting continuing education will get you even higher annual earnings. In addition to possible better compensation in your current job, you may now qualify for more senior positions with your present employer.

Since your professional resume increases in substance as you complete accounting continuing education courses, you will become more attractive to other potential employers. The successful completion of accountant continuing education programs enhances your potential value since it displays your commitment to your profession, improved expertise, and, combined with your growing experience, will separate you from many competing candidates who are depending on their degree and experience alone. You will have verifiable proof that you have additional expertise to offer employers in many industries. If you are a CPA, your license will be secure and your new knowledge and/or certificate in an area of specialty will broaden your opportunities even further.

   
Is Continuing Education For CPA’s Recommended or Required?

Continuing Education For CPA's

Continuing education for CPA's is both recommended and required. Accounting cpe is highly recommended as much of the accountant's professional universe is constantly changing. Tax laws are revised or at least tweaked, financial disclosure rules are changed, and Generally Accepting Accounting Principles (GAAP) are modified on a regular basis. To remain at the height of your expertise and to increase your value to your employer (and future employers), continuing education for CPA's is highly recommended throughout your career.

If you are about to become a CPA, you should know that continuing education for CPAs is a requirement to maintain your license. Should you want to become a member of the prestigious American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), you are required to complete accountant cpe's on an annual basis. The continuing education for CPA requirements are set by the various states' societies of CPAs or Boards of Accountancy. For instance, Texas requires that you complete 120 cpe's in a three year period, with a minimum requirement of at least 20 cpe's in any given year. With 2,000 CPA cpe seminars annually, there are ample opportunities to satisfy your accountant cpe requirements. Most state licensors also accept qualified accounting cpe online courses if you prefer to follow that course.

Check with your state's society of CPA's to learn what the continuing education for CPAs requirement is and verify that the self-study online programs you want to complete are accepted for full credit.

   
Can I Earn a Certificate Through Accounting CPE Courses?

Earn a Certificate Through Accounting CPE Courses

You will find many accounting cpe courses that lead to earning a certificate in your subject area. Search the Internet for some of the better sites providing information on schools offering certificates, as well as formal degrees. For instance, if you go to allbusinessschools.com and search for certificate programs, you will find a large number of schools, colleges, and universities offering certificates in a wide range of specialties. You will be able to get information from some of the more established online universities, like DeVry and University of Phoenix, and some traditional on campus universities, like Villanova and Drexel, that now offer professional certificates at both an undergraduate and graduate level. Even the University of Notre Dame, through its Mendoza College of Business, offers online Executive Certificate programs online.

Investigate your local education community for accounting certificates offered near your home. Continuing professional education for accountants, partially as a result of the continuing education for CPA regulations and the many changes in the tax law and corporate financial statement responsibility in recent years, is offered by many institutions, many programs leading to earning a certificate. There are also almost 2,000 CPA cpe seminars offered annually across the United States, so you can find the accounting cpe courses you want to qualify for a certificate.

   
Will Accounting Continuing Education Help My Career?

How Accounting Continuing Education Will Help Your Career

Pursuing accounting continuing education will give a major boost to your career. This is particularly true if you work for a larger company, where you are surrounded by peers equally interested in upwardly mobile career tracks. Promotional and compensation increases follow those with more educational credentials and experience. There is no hard data regarding how much your compensation will increase as a result of your completion of accounting cpe courses since they are available for numerous accounting-related areas like financial analysis, auditing, enrolled agent (IRS), information technology, etc. The reason for your pursuing accountant cpe may also help you solidify your education direction.

For instance, if you are a CPA, most states have a continuing education for CPA requirement. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants also mandates an accountant cpe requirement to retain membership in the national organization. States' requirements for minimum accounting cpe vary so check your state society of CPAs. Many necessary requirements to keep your license are in the range of a minimum 20 to 25 cpe's per year. Your total requirement may be in excess of 100 cpe's over a three to four year period.

If you are looking to change employers or areas of specialization, you might want to work with one of the national employment services specializing in placing accounting executives and also offering recommended accounting cpe courses. For example, international search firm, Robert Half Finance and Accounting, offers an assortment of accounting continuing education options through its main website (roberthalffinance.com). Earning some cpe's through their referral can only help your standing with them as you improve your career with a new position.

Since all accountants are originally schooled identically, completion of accounting cpe courses and/or earning certificates of specialty will enhance your career with new promotion possibilities with your current and future employers.

   
Can I Find Continuing Professional Education for Accountants Online?

Find Continuing Professional Education for Accountants Online

You can locate a plethora of continuing professional education for accountants online. Among the menu options are both professor-led courses and self-study options. There are many excellent accounting continuing education options for you locally if you want a classroom setting and even more online. Narrow your search if you want a CPA prep review, a certificate in a particular specialty or merely come accounting cpe courses.

You will find many websites to help you, like cpaexam.com, cpeonline.com, and cpenet.net. Some of the better online databases providing information on degree-oriented schools, like allbusinessschools.com, classesusa.com, and businessschools.com, also provide good information on accountant cpe. If you're inclined to earn a formal certificate in a subject area or want to be designated as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or another specialty, you'll also be able to locate self-study accounting cpe online programs that will allow you to achieve your goal.

   
Where Can I Find CPA Exam Prep Courses?

CPA Exam Prep Courses

There are many opportunities to find CPA examination preparatory courses as part of the universe of continuing education for CPAs. Let the Internet guide you to the type of pre-exam education you want. Online sites, like cpaexamreview.com, provide information on a variety of CPA exam prep courses and other designations. You also have choices about the type of review course you'd like to take. You can opt for on-campus/in-classroom study in most states if you're more comfortable in that setting. If you'd rather do your review online, you still have two choices. Should you want to study with a professor to guide and lead you, you have that option. If pure self-study is more attractive, you can choose that method.

In all circumstances, you want a course that targets its curriculum directly for the CPA examination. Even if you are a new graduate with a Bachelor's degree in accounting, the CPA exam is different than college tests. CPA candidates usually derive great benefit from taking a review course. You will find many choices of review courses so examine all your options and use your personal network. Talk to friends and family who have taken CPA review courses in the past. Get their opinions on the courses they took, as a personal referral is always valuable, even if you decide a friend's decision is not right for you.

   
Is There Financial Aid for Continuing Professional Education for Accountants?

Financial Aid for Continuing Professional Education for Accountants

While not as widely available as with other degree programs, some financial aid is available for continuing professional education for accountants' programs. Since most people taking accounting cpe courses are working in a professional situation, even if entry level, the “need quotient” is nowhere near as great as with an Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's level program. The student is usually earning a professional level salary and, if his/her accountant cpe program is one or two courses, the student normally pays the tuition. Many employers will gladly reimburse their accountant employee for the cost of these accounting cpe's since there is a direct corporate benefit.

If you choose to enter a full certificate program, and your current employer will reimburse you only after the certificate is earned, or will not reimburse at all, you can apply for education financing through the school offering the certificate. You should also investigate the possibility of a school or private scholarship that may be available for a program less than degree level. Since, in this case, you are actively enrolled in an accredited school or university, you may be eligible for some scholarship aid. But, do not assume you have access to all scholarship programs offered by the hundreds of private organizations and schools offering programs. Many scholarships are restricted to full-time students enrolled in degree-level programs and are not available to accounting cpe students.

   
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