Apr 19, 2024

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) plays a vital role in the ongoing development of accounting professionals. For CPAs, maintaining and expanding expertise through high-quality CPE is crucial in a field that constantly evolves. However, there are growing concerns about the quality of some CPE courses offered by the CFI Institute.

These courses address fundamental areas such as Statistics, Excel. Do you think CPAs need to be taught statistics and Excel courses? 

List of Concerned Courses:

  • Statistics Fundamentals - 2 credits

  • Excel Fundamentals - Formulas for Finance - 3 credits

  • Corporate Finance Fundamentals - 2.5 credits

  • Fundamentals of Credit - 1.5 credits

  • Introduction to Banking - 2 credits

  • Introduction to Capital Markets - 1.5 credits

  • Refinitiv Workspace Fundamentals - 0.5 credit

Despite the importance of these topics, the courses are criticized for being overly simplistic and lacking the depth required for CPAs to truly advance their skills. While introductory material has its place, CPAs need courses that challenge them and enhance their professional capabilities significantly.

Caught Red-handed: Marketing Game Plan

It appears that the primary function of these CPE courses may be less about education and more about marketing their paid certifications. No problem! But It really devalues the CPE programs by NASBA. CFI Institute is not out there providing real and valuable CPE programs for CPAs, they are misusing it for just selling their certificate programs. Let's raise a voice against that.  

There is a pressing need for a thorough evaluation by NASBA to ensure that CPE courses and CPE providers adhere to the high standards expected in professional education. This evaluation should scrutinize the courses' content, pedagogical approaches, and their alignment with stated educational goals. Additionally, transparency in the accreditation process is essential to maintain the trust and confidence in the quality of CPE offerings.

As CPAs, advocating for high-quality professional education is our responsibility. Addressing and rectifying concerns about CPE course accreditation protects the integrity of our profession and aids in our continual professional growth. Together, we must ensure that CPE remains a robust resource for CPAs aiming for excellence in their careers.

The practice of offering basic courses under the guise of free CPE by CFI, primarily to compile a list of potential customers for their certification programs, undermines the fundamental purpose of CPE. Such strategies diminish the value of essential CPE education for CPAs, a trend that needs immediate correction to preserve the integrity of our professional training.


CPE Reforms User

While I agree that the concerns raised about CPE courses are valid, it's also important to recognize that CFI Institute may have reasons for offering these basic courses. Perhaps they see it as a way to introduce CPAs to their certification programs while providing some foundational knowledge. However, transparency and honesty about the purpose of these courses are key to maintaining trust in the CPE system.

CPE Reforms User

I completely support the call for NASBA to thoroughly evaluate CPE courses and providers.

CPE Reforms User

Spot on! It's frustrating when CPE courses fall short of expectations. NASBA's role in maintaining the integrity of CPE offerings is crucial, and I'm hopeful that they'll take decisive action to address these concerns.

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