8 min read

How to Earn CPE Credits for Accountancy

Featured Image

You're likely reading this because you are required to obtain a certain amount of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits every year or two. Earning CPE credits in accountancy is essential for staying up-to-date with industry trends, enhancing your skills, and maintaining your professional license.

Maybe you're new to accounting and don't know how to best earn them. Maybe you've been gathering them in one way for a while and want to mix things up. In this article, we'll explain the many ways you can gain CPE credits. 

Eligible Subject Areas

CPE programs have to follow the standards of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Each licensing body or professional organization has specific CPE requirements. These may include a minimum number of credits to be earned within a certain time frame, specific subject areas, or other criteria. Check with your local accountancy board or the professional organization you belong to (e.g., AICPA, ACCA) to get the details.

Credits can be gathered on several subject areas: 



Business Law

Business Management & Organization

Finance & Financial Planning

Governmental Accounting

Governmental Auditing

Information Technology

Management Services

Regulatory Ethics



Behavioral Ethics


Personal Development

Computer Software & Applications

Communications & Marketing

Personnel & Human Resources

In general, 1 CPE credit = 50 minutes of learning. And there are several ways to attain these credits on the above topics. When earning CPE credits, it's important to ensure you're selecting courses from accredited providers. These can include universities, professional organizations, or reputable training companies. Accredited providers ensure the quality and relevance of the courses.


Methods of Earning Credits

  1. College Courses

    Continuing education on campus or online with college courses in the above subjects is a great way of earning credits. A 16-week course usually converts to 15 CPE credits. You can even earn a new degree (see below).

  2. Other Online Courses

    Many accredited providers offer online CPE courses, which allow you to learn at your own pace and convenience. These courses cover a range of topics, and some even provide interactive elements for a more engaging learning experience.

  3. Giving Lectures

    Most Boards of Accountancy recognize credits for giving a lecture on or teaching a topic related to the profession. Doing this, or even presenting training sessions, can earn CPE credits for the time spent preparing and delivering the material. 

  4. Writing Articles or Books

    You may also be able to get credits by contributing to a book or writing an article for a publication, depending on the state. Publishing articles in accounting-related journals or presenting at conferences can earn CPE credits. Sharing knowledge and expertise with peers is a valuable way to contribute to the profession.

  5. Webinars/Webcasts

    Certain webinars (live or on-demand) from accredited CPE sponsors count towards CPE credits. Usually, you can get as many as 8 credits, depending on the webinar. Webinars are a popular option for earning CPE credits. You can attend live webinars or access recorded sessions to learn about specific accounting subjects or industry trends.

  6. Self-Study Courses

    Many organizations like the GFOA, ICMA, etc. offer self-study courses that fulfill the CPE requirements. But the courses have to define learning objectives, guide you through a learning program, and offer evidence of your successful program completion. You can engage in self-study programs, where you learn independently using study materials provided by accredited providers. This can include reading books, articles, or research papers related to accounting and finance.

  7. Conferences & Seminars

    Attending networking events like conferences and seminars is a great way to gather CPE credits while rubbing shoulders with your peers. You can participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences conducted by professional organizations, accounting firms, or educational institutions. These events offer valuable insights into new accounting standards, regulations, and best practices. For example, our user conference has 30 session opportunities that count towards CPE credits.

  8. Industry Committees

    CPE credits can be earned for finishing professional development activities that improve your overall education, professional skills, industry knowledge, or competency outside of certifications. Active involvement in industry committees or professional organizations can earn you CPE credits because it contributes to your professional development. 

  9. Getting a Degree

    Pursuing advanced degrees (Master's or Ph.D.) or getting specialized certifications (Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, etc.) can also earn you CPE credits. This is similar to taking a college course in its method of gaining credits.

  10. Distinctive Work Experience

    You can gain CPE credits by participating in unique activities, exercises, or projects during your normal work hours. They should fall outside of your normal day-to-day job responsibilities and can get you up to 10 CPE credits per activity. You just have to provide proof of it or a 250-word description that summarizes the project.

Keep in mind, you have to keep the required documentation of each method for up to 5 years. Required documents include certificates of completion, transcripts, attendance certificates, copies of publications with publisher information, official meeting minutes, and other documents approved by the state board. 

So, there you have it! Follow these steps, and you'll be well on your way to earning those valuable CPE credits and advancing your career as a knowledgeable and skilled accountant. Happy learning! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.



How We Can Help

Software Solutions is approved for CPE accreditation through the Ohio Board of Accountancy. At our annual User Conference, we provide sessions that count towards earning CPE credits. At this year's conference, we have 30 sessions that are CPE-eligible covering topics such as ethics, accounting best practices, year-end responsibilities, reporting, and more. And the best part: it's open to non-users this year. If you are interested in our products or just want to attend an educational networking conference, our User Conference is for you.

See Agenda




Subscribe to this blog!