Discussion:CPE conundrum

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> CPE conundrum

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

28 November 2013
I work full-time for a very large company (and have my tax business on the side) and they enrolled our Finance Division in CEB (Corporate Executive Board) which is an association focusing on industry best practices, etc. Part of their appeal is that they provide tons of CPE for FREE (and the angels sing). Most of the CPE is geared towards CPA's, which is fine but I managed to find a CPE course for the EA Ethics and then a slew of free tax courses.

The CPE is actually very good, IMHO given through Western CPE. For self-study, much better than Gleim and free to me (not free to my company, it's actually fairly expensive).

The issue is that the CEB and their 3rd party vendor do not report to the IRS for some reason--probably because they are geared more towards CPA based CPE. I contacted the Western CPE rep and explained that the courses I took were the same courses I would otherwise pay for from their website if I were buying the courses myself. They are looking into it to see if there is a way that they can report the CPE (of course there IS not whether they want to do it or not is another question).

Has anyone heard of alternatives to reporting by PTIN if the CPE company will not?

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

28 November 2013
In order to get qualified CE for IRS, the entity providing the program must register with IRS as an approved sponsor and the course

must obtain IRS's endorsement prior to the program event. So even though Western CPE is a genuine entity and no doubt puts on quality programs - it may not be qualified for what IRS is looking for to qualify EAs and CPAs for qualifying tax CEs.

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

3 December 2013

Western CPE is an IRS approved sponsor and they have the assocaited sponsor ID number. So they are legit in that manner.

The issue I am facing is that I obtained the course and did the CPE (the same class that I would have purchased if I went straight to Western CPE and purchased myself) but it was through a 3rd party. Western CPE is going to hopefully do a manual workaround since it was Western CPE courses I took. I hope.

The primary sticking point is that most of the CPE is geared towards CPA's, which requires no reporting. However, EA's must report by PTIN from the provider to the IRS, which this CPE course doesn't do.

I was just curious to see if any of the knowledgeable folks on here might have a way to self-report.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

4 December 2013
The lesson to be learned here is to go to Western directly and pay the full freight. Don't go through an intermediary just because they offer a ten dollar off coupon as a come-on. I only hope that our member did not give them his credit card.

Crow never should have shut down the Society of Gullible Tax Preparers and sold his mailing list.

LadyLiberty (talk|edits) said:

5 December 2013
They may be accredited but the IRS has rules. When we give the CEs at a NAEA chapter meeting, we have to present our material prior to our State Education and once we have the approval and IRS number, then we have attendance records plus we must be careful that the material and time was actually occurred.

When you take courses thru the mail, we have to complete tests. When we take webinars, some give tests, but all now have you answer a simple question, to guarantee that you are not taking the zzzzzz's.

I would be grateful that you learnt something and go to a dinner meeting to get whatever credits that you need.

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

7 December 2013
Tough crowd.... :D

As I mentioned above, this is Western CPE which is an IRS approved CPE provider very similar to Gleim. My company provides a huge block of various CPE classes for us to choose from including Accounting, auditing, taxation, ethics, etc. Just like you would buy directly from the CPE provider. Since the CPE is tailored towards CPA's that do not have to report by PTIN to the IRS, there is no mechanism already built in for EA's. To my knowledge, I might be the only EA in my entire company and therefore have the EA reporting requirement.

Western CPE is going to report this manually so that I will get credit. Why on God's green earth would I spend money for CPE to get the same exact class that I would take if I were to buy it myself....that makes no sense what so ever.

And LadyLiberty, no dinner or mail order was involved, I'm not sure where you picked that up from. It was actually better CPE than Gleim.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

7 January 2014
It is no credit to a firm to offer a lot of CPE choices to its employees. I advise one professional firm, one CPE provider. In this way, your mistakes are consistent and it's easier to blame it on the provider in court.

Frankly (talk|edits) said:

8 January 2014
Hmmm,, there is CPE credits, and there is learning and becoming a more proficient preparer. Maybe there's a correlation, or not. I just completed 36 hours EA CPE over three evenings - didn't learn much but IRS is good with it and it only cost $35. Now over the rest of the year I can do some real learning - some independent research, a few archived "free" seminars with no credit, even some "real" classes. Point is, if it's good learning, do it. It's the learning that is important. And if no credits, get them from a cheapy provider where you may or may not actually learn anything.

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