Is Your CPE valid? A Case for SOLID Answers | AccountingWEB

Is Your CPE valid? A Case for SOLID Answers

We've had a running battle here in the sunny San Fernando Valley.

Is the CPE we've been receiving really valid under the US Treasury's  Circular 230 guidelines?

What's the issue?

Those famous round-table discussions I've been writing about here and elsewhere, for years.

After lots of posturing and political powering, it turns out, the problem boils down to someone at IRS's Office of Professional Responsbility who feels that roundtable discussions should not qualify for CPE.

Well folks, this is one well worth fighting for - and I ask you to join me.

Why? You have been to CPE courses. Lots of them, over the years.

Have you noticed how the opportunity for questions and answers diminishes with each succeeding year.

As the rules and structures and strictures related to continuing education credit get tighter and tighter, fewer questions are answered during sessions. We are talked at - not to, or with. Look around a crowded seminar room and you will see people asleep, playing with cell phones or computers (some, actually taking notes),...and a lot of glazed looks.

There is SO much material, and so many new laws each year. There is so much new complexity. Even the best courses can only provide guidelines, theory and overview. Until we get into the trenches and face the real-life issues , we often can't even frame our questions. But once out there, tax professionals are adrift. Especially sole practitioners who don't have partners and staff to discuss procedural and ethical issues with.

That's where our roundtable meetings come in. For the 20-60 people who attend each meeting, it's been a lifeline. It's a safe  place to bring their substantive questions about how to implement the tax code, deal with ethical dilemmas, get updated on the latest revenue rulings, procedures and cases - and in general, get answers they cannot get anywhere else.

Although I do research each and every day, answering questions as TaxMama and as a journalist, there isn't a single tax roundtable meeting where I don't learn something new. They have been an important place for me to bring questions, as well.

In fact, I feel strongly that every community should arrange to have meetings like this, especially during tax season, where tax pros can get answers to specific questions to ensure they do a good job for their clients.

And OPR thinks this isn't a valuable learning experience? 
Nonsense! This is the BEST education I have gotten - even better than college.

Please back me up when I go to OPR and plead our case - and yours.

Respectfully submitted,

Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama


This blog

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.


Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".


William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.


Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (, a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.


Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website:
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.


FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.


Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.


AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.