There are many ways to earn your annual required continuing professional education (CPE). You could sign up with one of the numerous companies offering CPE courses for a “discounted” rate or you could attend a conference or seminar for a few thousand dollars. However, unless your company is willing to pick up the cost it can get very expensive. Fortunately though, there are plenty of free options from the larger public accounting firms and, if you plan appropriately, you will be able to meet your annual CPE requirements at no cost. Below I have included details of where to find the best free CPE webcasts as well as the related links to sign up for the courses.
Deloitte, Ernst & Young (E&Y), KPMG, and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) all regularly offer free CPE webcasts for CPAs (which also count for many other certifications). The links below have the current offerings of free webcasts from each company. Deloitte is my preferred source as it has a calendar format with multiple webcasts of various topics, including Accounting/Auditing. Both E&Y and KPMG also have a good number of free CPE webcasts. Once you create an account with KPMG, all of your CPE certificates will be stored on its website. In addition to the live webcasts, KPMG and PwC also occasionally offers free self-study courses for CPE credit at no charge.
After each webcast, you will be provided with a CPE certificate; Deloitte and E&Y provide them instantly and PwC and KPMG will email them to you at a later date. Follow the links below to see the upcoming webcasts for each company or check out the CPE Calendar for all upcoming free CPE webcasts by type (e.g., Accounting, Tax, etc.); the calendar also includes links that take you directly to the webcast page for registration so it is a great way to keep informed of upcoming free CPE webcasts. I will periodically post the highlights for the upcoming week and point out the rare free ethics CPEs if I am able to find them.
On-demand webcasts/self-study links:
KPMG Self-Study (Lower right corner has a “Free Featured CPE Course”)