CPE Depot Review

Pros

  • Easy to use with better reviews.
  • Dozens of ethics courses, including state-specific options.
  • More than seven hundred on-demand courses.

Cons

  • Ethics courses are not included in memberships and must be purchased separately.
  • The website is dated, not-mobile friendly, and rather difficult to use to browse courses or find basic information.
  • On-demand courses are mostly text-based.

Verdict

CPE Depot provides an affordable option for earning CPE with simple, text-based, on-demand courses and live webinars. It’s well rated on a third-party site, and fairly easy to use. Downsides are dated website, limited course and webinar options, and no micro-certifications. There are no on-site ratings and reviews and no way to interact with instructors. Overall, a solid platform as long as you don’t want any bells or whistles.
  • $149 for unlimited on-demand courses, $149 for unlimited webinars, $49 ethics
  • 56 Ethics courses available, including state-specific
  • Solid 3rd party reviews of the solution
  • 755 on-demand courses
  • Limited number of webinars annually
  • No course review or rating option
  • No CPE compliance tracking
  • Not mobile friendly
  • No micro-certifications
  • No instructor feedback loop/Q&A for on-demand courses

Intro

CPE Depot is a no-frills CPE platform that offers a solid variety of courses, a handful of live webinars, and plenty of state-specific ethics options.

Courses/CPE

The platform currently has nearly 755 on-demand courses available. These courses are mostly traditional PDF reading style with up to hundreds of pages to read prior to taking the exam. The actual learning platform is easy to use, though not mobile-friendly. They appear to offer a handful of webinars each month, but they only have 5-8 available for signups at a time, which makes it hard to schedule in advance. They offer a good variety of CPE for: CPA, EA, and RTRP. They do have many on-demand ethics courses, including some for state-specific ethics needs.

Platform/Features – Basic

The platform is fairly easy to use, though trying to browse the courses can be a little tricky. They feature the third-party reviews but don’t offer on-site ratings or reviews of the courses themselves. There is not an option for direct instructor Q&A for courses, and as no instructor bios are provided, it’s unclear who created each course. There is not a CPE compliance tracking option, and the platform is not mobile friendly for on-demand courses — or even just browsing the website. There is no free trial option and only one free course available to sample. It would be nice to have a limited option to try before you buy the full packages. They also do not offer any micro-certifications.

UX – Dated but Simple

The learning platform, like the website itself, is rather dated. That’s because the learning platform is within the website. When you access a course (which isn’t the easiest feat), the learning platform is a simple page on the website with quick links (to a table of contents, options to print the page, review questions and final exam questions, view the course PDF, and go to the review or final exam questions) introduction, and buttons to go to the next page or previous page. The learning platform itself is fairly easy to use because it is so basic. Courses are all text based, so you must view (or print) the PDF with the lessons to read it before attempting the review or final exam questions. Unlike some platforms, there’s nothing to stop you from jumping straight to the questions and coming up with the answers by looking at the PDF. The review and final exams are online, so you can choose to have them graded immediately.

Cost - Middle of the Road

The platform offers the ability to buy courses a la carte or as an annual unlimited on-demand course package. This package does not include webinars, but more importantly, it doesn’t include any ethics courses in self-study memberships costing $149. An all access membership is an $249 for the handful of webinars and nano courses they offer but the Ethics for Virginia CPAs is not included – it must be purchased as an individual course or webinar.

Team/Firm Capability – Minimal

The platform appears to offer no team/firm options outside of reduced price group plans. There are clearly no options for things like corporate LMS integration and SSO (single sign-on), user management or reporting, or custom user groups. It also doesn’t mention offering custom curriculum, internal (client) course creation and CPE, or creation and calendaring of internal CPE events/webinars, or not that we could find any mention of on the site.

Summary

CPE Depot is a solid no-frills CPE platform that offers a decent variety of text-based courses (and ethics) and webinars for an affordable price. Unfortunately, there’s no certification programs, no compliance tracker, and limited features. It will get the job done but isn’t the prettiest or most convenient option on the market.