Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are fortunate to have so many Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses at their disposal for meeting their licensing renewal requirements.  While it is important to meet the hour requirements needed, it is also imperative that the courses taken are helpful to the CPA in his or her career path as well as the CPA firm growing its business.  Both CPAs and firms benefit from following a tailored CPE plan.  

Course Selection Based on Cost is not the Best Option

While it may not be the most money-saving option, especially on the front end, CPA firms are learning that developing tailored CPE plans for each employee is a better long-term strategy for the firm.  For most firms, developing a custom plan for employees ensures that they are getting the training needed in their specific area of knowledge.  By assessing an employee’s goals, strengths and weaknesses, the firm can determine the best CPE options.  

Identifying an employee’s career path is the best place to start when customizing a plan.  The firms should have expectations of the skills and expertise that should be gained on each step of an employee’s career path.  Then coursework can be selected to ensure that these expectations are met.  By determining a career path and developing the expectations for each step of the path, both the employee and the firm are setting themselves up for success.  Employees are a firm’s biggest asset and their education is key to accomplishing firm growth goals.

Customized Course Selection is the Best Option

For many users having a wide selection of courses to choose from is the most important factor in selecting an online CPE platform.  Many users specialize in a niche industry and need training to keep up with industry changes.  Other users maintain more than one certification and need a single platform that offers a wide enough selection of classes that will meet more than one certification.  Fortunately, there are several CPE platform options that meet often a large selection of courses that meet the CPE requirements for multiple certifications.  

In addition to being an affordable CPE platform, Illumeo offers the largest number of courses, with 1290 on-demand courses, including 55 ethics course offerings.  Illumeo offers CPE coursework for more than 16 certification programs.  Checkpoint Learning also offers an extensive catalog of 641 courses, including 40 ethics choices.  Checkpoint Learning only supports four certification programs, all of which are finance related.  CCH CPE Link offers a similar volume of courses (610) as Checkpoint Learning but with a lesser selection of ethics courses (24).  The CCH CPELink platform does support six different certifications, which is slightly more than the Checkpoint Learning platform. 

Getting the Most Value

Firms often allow their employees to choose the CPE courses they want to take to maintain their licenses.  Employees get greater freedom in choosing classes that are on topics they enjoy more and the workload of setting up CPE plans is minimized for the employer.  However the lack of firm structure and oversight of these plans may mean that firms are not getting the most value out of the costly CPE courses.  Employees may not take courses that are challenging enough or the courses may not be aligned with either the employee’s or the firm’s career path needs and areas of expertise.