Tips for Earning CPE Credits
Obtaining Continuing Professional Education CPE credits is required for a number of financial professionals, including Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFOs). The number and types of credits needed vary by state, while certain organizations can also have their own sets of requirements.
According to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), CPE credits can be obtained in six specific topic areas.
1. Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting
2. Retirement and Benefits, Risk-Management and Procurement
3. Managerial Skills and Ethics
4. Governmental Debt Management
5. Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy
6. Treasury and Investment Management
CPE credits can be earned in a variety of ways, with each 50 minutes of active participation generally for one credit hour, according to the GFOA. CPES earned for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation can be used for CPFOs as well, the organization notes.
The following are some of the manners in which individuals can obtain CPE credits to maintain their CPFO designation, according to the GFOA.
1. Training. Such training can include anything from annual conferences to webinars on the internet. In these instances, the CPE provider will often recommend the number of credit hours that should be taken from these programs, according to the GFOA.
2. University or other higher education curriculum. The organization explains that each semester hour counts for 15 CPE course credits, in addition to 10 CPE hours for every quarter hour of school credit that is awarded.
3. Self-study opportunities. These programs can offer individuals more flexibility when it comes to earning their CPE credits, with the amount obtained typically based on the recommendation of the provider.
4. Discussion leading or speaking engagement. In addition to the actual time spent making a presentation, preparation time can also be included when determining the amount of CPE credits earned, according to the GFOA. However, no more than 40 hours can be accrued during any two-year period through presentations and no credits are garnered for presenting the same course multiple times in a two-year span.
Attending conferences that are registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is another way to potentially earn CPE credits, according to CFO Magazine. These conferences can vary in prerequisites so that individuals from all ends of the career spectrum have an opportunity to attend.