National Registry of CPE Sponsors

National Registry of CPE Sponsors


CPE Monitor Newsletters

Fields of Study that Qualify for CPE


April 2016

The right to use the title of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is regulated and having this esteemed title, imposes a duty on CPAs to maintain current knowledge of the necessary skills and abilities in all areas of accounting services, rules and standards. As a result, CPAs must complete a number of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses and activities to ensure that areas of learning fall into fields of study that maintain and improve their level of competency.

In connection with the review and evaluation of the Standards, NASBA’s CPE Committee began a project of researching and considering a national strategy to standardize CPE requirements across jurisdictions. Because the Fields of Study document is referenced within the Standards, the fields of study were reviewed and evaluated for currency and relevancy. The CPE Committee has received recommended revisions to the categories and descriptions of the fields of study from the CPE Model Rule Task Force.

Learning activities that improve a CPA’s professional competence include technical and non-technical learning activities. The Fields of Study document includes the recommendation to categorize the fields of study into technical and non-technical areas.

Technical learning activities: directly relate to the profession of accounting and to the CPA’s field of business. These fields of study include, but are not limited to:


Information Technology

Accounting (Governmental)

Management Services


Regulatory Ethics

Auditing (Governmental)

Specialized Knowledge

Business Law







Non-technical learning activities: contribute to the competence of a CPA in fields of study that indirectly relate to the CPA’s field of business. These fields of study are those that do not meet the definition of technical fields of study and include, but are not limited to:

Behavioral Ethics

Personal Development

Business Management & Organization

Personnel/Human Resources

Communications & Marketing


Computer Software & Applications



It should be noted that these fields of study are currently available for public comment until April 30, 2016. A Fields of Study document is referenced in The Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional (CPE) Programs (Standards) in the form of the November 2015 Exposure Draft. The Standards, published jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and NASBA, was re-issued due to the significance of the areas of submitted comments from the initial 2015 Exposure Draft.


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