Attorney-at-Law

A RANT – REDIVIVUS

In Uncategorized on 08/23/2016 at 17:25

As my longer-term readers know, I have a love-hate thing with continuing ed. We certainly need refreshers, especially as we have reverted to the pre-1939 annual Revenue Acts, where laws sunrise and sunset like the Bock and Harnick tune of that name.

But there’s a lot of junk CLE and CPE out there. And the overseers of the process sometimes get taken as well as the eductaees.

I understand AICPA and NASBA have enacted the following restriction on self-study CPE courses: “S9-06. Program or course expiration date. Course documentation must include an expiration date (the time by which the participant must complete the qualified assessment). For individual courses, the expiration date is no longer than one year from the date of purchase or enrollment.” The Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Educational (CPE) Programs Revised August 2016, at p.13.

That’s all very well for CPAs. My CPE provider, which does CPE for EAs like me as well as for CPAs, dropped two of the courses for which I’d paid thirteen months ago or so, but hadn’t completed. I reminded them that the AICPA/NASBA rules don’t apply to EAs who aren’t CPAs, and neither OPR nor RPO has similar rules.

And both courses had the PATH 2015 updates in them.

Given that EAs need 72 hours’ CPE triennially, with at least 16 hours each year in the triennium, it makes sense to buy courses on sale when the area isn’t likely to change for one year (e.g., divorce, education). I hope neither OPR nor RPO blindly follows the AICPA lead.

This trend looks like the old textbook scam. Every year the authors “update” the textbook by adding a paragraph here and there, and charging a couple hundred bucks (hi Judge Holmes) for the new edition. Students who of necessity must buy or sell “used” textbooks are out of luck. And the authors, as my UK clients say, are “quids in.”

I’m not denigrating all CPE. I find that I learn every day, and a good course is well worth the time, effort and money. My provider’s AMT course was worth the price. To repeat something I said a long time ago, I agree that snoring through an in-person class, or taking an on-line test, will not of itself rid our fields of endeavor of every bad actor; but it is at least a start.

Only, while trying to improve all CPE, let’s not make it a racket.

 

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