Interactive CPE Courses for CPAs

What Makes a CPE Course Interactive?

The AICPA/NASBA published standards for continuing professional education (CPE) courses for CPAs, specifying what makes a self study CPE course “interactive.”

All FunCPE courses are interactive

Certified Public Accountants searching for online self study courses may notice that some courses are marked “interactive,” some are marked “non-interactive” and some have no indication one way or the other. Many CPAs are concerned about which courses they should select, as well as which courses are considered acceptable CPE for the renewal of their CPA license.

Definition of an interactive course

Interactive continuing professional education (CPE) courses for CPAs are self-study courses that include three elements:

1. Course study guide.

2. Review exam with

  • feedback to incorrect responses,
  • reinforcement feedback to correct responses and
  • at least 5 questions per CPE credit hour issued.

3. Final exam with

  • a minimum passing grade of at least 70% and
  • at least 5 questions per CPE credit hour issued.

Additional standards for self study CPE courses

There are several other standards for self study CPE programs, regardless of whether they are interactive. The programs must be developed by individuals with an appropriate background and be reviewed by another qualified person.

Courses must indicate:

  • program level,
  • learning objectives,
  • prerequisites,
  • program content,
  • advance preparation and
  • instructional delivery method.

Why are some courses interactive, and some are not?

In an effort to increase the effectiveness of self study CPE courses, two national professional organizations issued a Statement on Standards for CPE Programs, which requires that self study CPE courses be “interactive,” as defined above.

The standards were issued jointly by the

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and
  • National Association of State Accounting Boards (NASBA),

and became effective for self-study CPE programs published after January 1, 2003.

CPE requirements for CPAs are governed by the state accounting board of the state in which they are licensed-and less than half of the state boards require that self study CPE follow the interactive requirements issued by AICPA/NASBA. Only a handful of states require that the CPE provider be registered with NASBA as an approved sponsor.

Frequently asked questions

    What types of courses are classified as “self study”

    Self study courses can be

    • fully online,
    • based on books/recordings/videos and paper tests or
    • a combination of offline study materials with online tests.

    Who is responsible for selecting appropriate CPE courses?

    The CPA is responsible for verifying and meeting the specific CPE requirements of the state board for his or her state of licensure. We also have a summary of our analysis of State Board requirements by state.