When working as a CPA, you must meet state board based requirements for continuing professional education (CPE). But with so many courses to choose from, it can be tough to find which ones are the best. Everybody has a different set of skills and needs when it comes to CPE, so it’s extremely important to find the course that best fits you.
Well, the search for that best fit just got easier!
Listed below are the top ranked courses for anyone interested in earning CPE credits for CPA license renewal. Using the information below should lead to you finding the course that best fits your learning style. Each and every course listed here ranks among the top continuing professional education courses on the market.
All courses listed are approved by local state CPA societies which are overseen and regulated by NASBA.
|Course Name||Becker||Illumeo||Surgent||Gleim||Fast Forward Academy||Lambers|
|GET STARTED||Full Course||Full Course||Full Course||Full Course||Full Course||Full Course|
|Price||$150-989||$299 - $349||$399-799||$12-600||$99-199||$499.95|
|CPE Credits||Unlimited||Unlimited||7500 or more||100 or more||Unlimited||500 or more|
|Study Resources||Webcast, Video, Self Study, Live Conferences||Self-Study, Webinars, Microcerts||Webinars, Video, Self Study, Live Seminars||Webinars, Video, Quiz, Self Study||Video, Self Study||Video, Self Study|
|Access Period||1-3 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
|Support||Phone, Email||Phone, Email, Social Media||Phone, Email||Phone, Email, Chat||Phone, Email, Social Media||Phone, Email|
|Discount||Save 25%||Save 17%||No Discount||No Discount||No Discount||No Discount|
3. Surgent CPE Webinars and Courses
Pro: Expansive Resources
Surgent’s biggest selling point is the massive breadth of study materials they have on offer. This is because they offer more than ten thousand CPE hours through their courses. Furthermore, the material being offered is of extremely high quality and is indispensable to anyone interested in accountancy.
Pro: Firm Partnerships
Surgent also puts on emphasis on developing work relationships with various accounting firms. This is done by partnering with firms to provide CPE course content at lowered bulk costs or developing specialized content. Hence, by working with Surgent, smaller firms can find themselves developing a pricing and access plan based on the company’s needs.
Pro: Premium Content
In addition to the standard content on offer are a series of premium online courses. These are intended to cover recent developments in accountancy, such as recently passed laws or court cases. Additionally, all premium courses are included with Surgent’s Unlimited Plus course package.
Pro: Seminars and Webinars
Another thing Surgent excels at is their live content. They host over two thousand live seminars and webinars every year. Each one is a uniquely rewarding experience due to the experience and professionalism of the speaker. Therefore, anyone interested in these seminars should check with their state boards to see if any are being hosted nearby.
Surgent is unfortunately one of the most expensive options on this list. Any content beyond live webinars is locked behind the $799 Unlimited Plus option. This isn’t a huge deal breaker though; if you can afford the course, the depth and breadth of the study materials more than make up for the price tag.
Surgent is easily the best choice when looking for a way to earn CPE hours. Thanks to their impressive live content and wide range of courses, it’s hard to choose an alternative.
4. Gleim CPE Courses
Pro: Bulk Pricing
Gleim’s price tag is based on how much content you’re interested in buying. Typically, prices begin at twelve dollars per hour, but larger bulk purchases push down the price per hour. However, certain package prices are even as low as six dollars per hour.
Pro: Modular Study Choices
Gleim’s CPE courses is fairly customizable thanks to on demand materials being based off of hours purchased. Consequently, you can mix and match content from over thirty five different topics when using your purchased hours.
Pro: Free Content
For anyone on the fence about Gleim, the company actually offers several different free options. In addition to two free course trials, Gleim also has its own Pilot Test program. Any accredited CPA interested in testing new CPE courses can apply to the program and earn free online CPE hours.
Con: Extra Cost for AFSP Course
Unfortunately, if your position requires hours from the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), will have to pay extra. This can mean that you might find yourself spending more than you expected to meet your requirements.
While not as strong of a choice as Surgent or Becker, Gleim is still well worth your time. Essentially, this is a great service for someone who knows exactly what topics they’re interested in and how many hours of online CPE they need.
5. Fast Forward Academy CPE Course Reviews
Pro: Detailed Catalog
Fast Forward Academy (FFA) offers an extremely varied and diverse range of study topics in their course catalog. This includes over forty five different accountancy topics. Every type of work is covered here, so there’s no need to worry about missing out on content.
Pro: AFSP Course
Much like Gleim, FFA also offers an AFSP course. This is because they understand that not all positions are exempt from this requirement. When working with Fast Forward Academy, all professional positions are represented.
Pro: Free Results Reporting
Upon completion of any course, FFA will report the credits you’ve earned to the IRS and/or the California Tax Education Council free of charge. Additionally, you’ll also receive a free PDF of your course completion certificate just in case you need it. This is because FFA wants to be sure that you never have to worry about being caught off guard by your results.
Con: No Live Content
One downside of FFA is that they don’t offer any live content similar to Surgent or Becker. Instead, it’s quite clear that they’ve chosen to focus on their on demand courses as an alternative. While it’s regrettable that there is no live webinar options, FFA makes up for it with the quality of their self-study course materials.
Fast Forward Academy is an excellent and no-nonsense option for anyone looking to meet their CPE requirements. You’ll never feel lost when working with their laser focused content and expansive catalog. If you chose to work with Fast Forward Academy, they’ll take good care of you.
6. Lambers CPE Credits Courses
Pro: Experienced Instructors
Lambers possesses some of the most qualified staff in the field. Each instructor is highly qualified, typically holding both a professional certification and a minimum of a four year degree. Thanks to this extremely qualified staff, all content is designed to ensure your success.
Pro: Course Content
Lambers’ content has been expertly designed to cover skill sets from a wide range of accountancy positions. This is a company that recognizes that CPAs will need to practice specialized skills based on where they work. Therefore, Lambert ensures that you’ll always have unlimited access to the courses of your choosing.
Pro: Frequent Updates
Lambers is constantly working on adding new materials to their course catalog. Monthly updates add fresh new and cutting edge content for all customers. As a company, Lambers never wants anyone to work off of outdated information.
When compared to top educational companies and prep course providers like Surgent and Fast Forward Academy, it’s been a difficult task to justify paying the prices Lambers asks for to enroll in their comparably weaker CPE course. In all fairness, they’ve come a long way in recent years to address concerns from students and reviewers like us. However, they still have a ways to go before we can honestly say they’re charging a fair price for their service.
Lambers is a good service for people looking for a more relaxed study atmosphere. Despite an intimidating asking price, Lambers’ instructors and content more than make up the difference. Basically, this service is a top contender for anyone looking to complete their CPE requirements.