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There are many programs available for CPA continuing education. The most popular are the CPA examination review courses. The CPA exam statistics explain this popularity. Since the introduction of the computer-based uniform exam, passing rates for each of the four sections range from 43 percent to 49 percent! There are many well-educated CPA candidates who have issues with this examination and want to gain any exam advantage available.
Many accountants want to gain extra knowledge in some areas so they can specialize in certain functions, industries and/or subjects. For instance, since the failure of some large companies and the resulting passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, forensic accounting has become a growing field. Consequently, there are many graduate level courses and certificate programs providing knowledge in forensic accounting, primarily directed at internal “SOX” compliance auditors and CPAs in public accounting responsible for the outside audit of companies.
For many CPAs involved in taxation, the period of October through December each year is a regular time to visit the classroom or take online courses regarding the changes and modifications in the tax law that will be important in the upcoming tax season (January through April). The ever-growing complexity in tax law and the number of changes made annually require the tax specialist to use CPA continuing education courses every year to maintain his/her “expert” status.