The Differences Between Free CPE Credits and Paid Credits

by | Jun 2, 2014 | Financial Accounting

If you are a CPA, you understand about CPE credits and the need for them, unless you work or live in an area that doesn’t need continuing professional education. Some states don’t make their CPAs work to continuing their licensing, but many do and if you are one of them, you know that it can be quite expensive to take the programs annually.

What are credits?

Credits are another term for hours. When you sign up to take a course, you will get a specified number of hours for your work and time. For example, if you take a course with five credits, you would need eight courses of five credits each to reach your 40 hours of CPE. It is important to note that some states have different educational requirements for their CPAs. Some require 40 credits a year, while others will expect 80 credits for two years or 120 credits for three years. For states that also require ethics courses, you will need to include those with your 40 hours. The terms credit and hour can be used interchangeably.

Paid Choices

These online options will charge you a fee to take the course. The program will include any study materials required, a library of other information that may be necessary, a final test and a printable certificate when you pass. You may also pay to go to seminars and other in-person choices.

These courses sometimes offer more credits than free CPE options will. In most cases, the amount of credit you receive for the course will be reflected in the price. If you are charged $100.00 for a course, you will generally get a lot more credit than if you only pay $20.00.

Free CPE Hours

Free courses may seem strange, but they are actually quite popular, for many reasons. If you need to change providers or are new to the online course, then you can try them out for free and earn credit in the process. In most cases, you may only receive half an hour or one hour for a free course, but it is a great way to try out a new provider.

Many providers offer a few free courses, allowing you to get up to six or more credits if you take all the courses available. It is important to pay attention to what the course entails, so that you choose the ones that will work well for your needs and the requirements of your state and company.

If you are interested in trying a new way to get your hours, consider free CPE credits through CPE Think. Try them before you buy a course.

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