CPE May Now Come in 10-Minute Increments

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In a nod to our growing e-lifestyles, Maryland and Ohio are expected to officially launch 10-minute CPE increments after regulatory approvals are in hand, possibly later this year.

In Ohio, the state Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) announced the change at its June 17 annual meeting , four days after the Accountancy Board of Ohio's approval.

"We are proud of the collaborative relationship we have with the Accountancy Board of Ohio, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the AICPA, which helped drive this change", said OSCPA president and chief executive officer Scott Wiley in a prepared statement. "Ohio is fortunate to have such strong regulators but also innovative thinkers."

Accountancy Board executive director John Patterson told AWEB the new increment is still considered a proposal, with official adoption expected later this year by the state's Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

"The final product is uncertain, and it'll be implemented in stages to see how much paperwork it generates", he says.

CPE requirements will still call for completion of an hour class (technically, 50 minutes) first. Then, increments of 10 minutes (8.5 minutes for one-fifth of a credit) or 30 minutes (25 minutes for one-half of a credit) can be applied toward the 120 CPE hours required every three years.

In May, the Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy approved the same increments toward the state's 80-hour CPE requirement every two years. The change is pending regulatory approval.

In an announcement posted by Tom Hood, chief executive officer of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), the move paves the way "for just-in-time microlearning, which can target specific topics in short bursts of learning." For example, a staffer newly assigned to an audit team can use the incremental tool to brush up on auditing cash.

"Research shows that learning in this format can actually be more effective than multiple topics in all-day formats", Hood writes. "There is also the advantage of having the learning much closer to the timeframe in which it will be actually used."

Incremental CPE is in step with a May report by the AICPA Task Force on the Future of Learning, a consortium of representatives from industry groups and other leaders who spent the last year discussing education trends and changes that could best apply to CPA professional development.

Task force recommendations include:

  • Innovate and Experiment. Use technology to enhance learning. Small changes can have a big impact.
  • Ignite a Passion for Learning. Aim for engaging and relevant learning.
  • Make Learning Personal. Focus on how to address individuals' knowledge and competency needs. Deliver any topic, anywhere, any way.
  • Measure What Matters. Develop one uniform, global compliance standard.

In keeping with the push for incremental CPE, an interactive AICPA website expected to launch this summer will focus on quick on-demand information, gamification (the input of gaming strategies such as rewards and competition) to increase learners' engagement, nano-learning (small doses of subject-specific information) and blended learning, which combines homework and classroom work.

Related article:

AICPA Task Force May Turn CPE on Its Head

About Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.


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