CPE is an acronym that stands for continuing professional education. Certified professional accountants are required to maintain skills and knowledge beyond their initial certification to keep up with current regulations and changes. CPAs keep their competencies and skill sets current by taking CPE courses.
CPE requirements are established by the American Institute of CPAs, state Boards of Accountancy, and other professional organizations and societies. It is the responsibility of individual CPAs to meet the CPE standards set by the individual boards and societies to which they belong. The American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants requires that its members maintain 120 hours of CPE over a three-year reporting period.