How to Earn CPE with Our Webinar Courses

Hi, everyone. It’s Sandi Leyva. I am super jazzed that you are watching this video. This is going to answer all your questions about how to earn CPE with our organization when you watch a webinar that we offer. My name, again, is Sandi Leyva. I’m a CPA. We have a digital marketing agency, as well as a training division, where we do offer the CPE for CPAs and IRS CE for EAs.

The NASBA statement is here. If you need our NASBA sponsor number, it is 112525. I wanted to show you that for compliance. We also are registered with the IRS to provide continuing education for enrolled agents. This is very, very limited. We can do IRS tax topics only, and there is our number there if you need it. We also are registered with Texas, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. Our sponsor number is 9968. In many cases, Texas requires a separate sponsorship. Most of the States allow the NASBA sponsorships. If your state follows NASBA compliance, then you are all set.

For us, for our company, you must qualify for CPE in three different ways. The first one is to pay for the course, and that is a bi-participant payment. If you have more than one person watch, that is a copyright violation of this speaker, and each participant needs to pay for their webinar. The second qualification is to stay on the webinar for the minimum requirement of minutes, and that’s 50 minutes for one CPE hour, 75 for 1.5, 105 for two hours, because we have a five minute break that’s included in there. If you are late to the webinar, it doesn’t start from the top of the hour, it starts when you log in. If you’re late, we do try to go an extra five or 10 minutes or more per CPE hour to give those of you that were late a little bit of extra time to qualify.

The third qualification is you must comply with the attendance monitoring check. There are two methods according to NASBA that providers like me are allowed to use. One is polling questions, which we did all the way up through 2019. In 2020, we started using check words to give certain speakers more time. Right now, in 2020, we are using check words.

Let me explain how that works, if that’s brand new to you. There are two steps within this third qualification. During the webinar, you’ll need to write down the words that you see on attendance check words slides. Now, these are going to go very fast, only up about 10, 15, 20 seconds. It’s not a good idea to multitask, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, right, according to all those state boards. Then what you’ll do is you’ll enter them after the webinar is over. You don’t enter them during the webinar. You simply write them down to enter them, to have a record for yourself so that you can enter them later.

Now, why is that? Because we have three things we have to do. We have to double check that you paid, we have to make sure that you stayed on for the length of time, and then is where you can enter the check words yourself and qualify according to the program, right? We need time to do these other two steps, that’s why it needs to be done after the webinar is over.

Here’s a sample of what the slide looks like for the check words. What you would do during the webinar is write down the number of the word, so that you have them in order, and then write down the word itself, which here, is here. All right. A few more rules about where to enter your words. Everybody’s very, very anxious, but I need you to be patient with us so that we can do our other steps after the webinar completes, but we usually get those done pretty quickly. It’s usually far less than two hours. We’ll send an email when we do have it ready for you, so you can watch for your email and not have to worry. We will remind you to enter your words.

But you’re basically going to go to accountantsaccelerator.com. You’re going to select CPE from the menu. There’ll be a little spot, a little field where you can enter your email address and you’re going to click submit. Then you’ll get a list of courses that you’ve done for us during the year, select your course. Just look at the row that it’s on, and on that row, you’re going to see a button that says, enter attendance words. It’s super simple. Then you’ll get a screen that will give you however many blanks that you need for the words that you wrote down. It varies depending on how many hours of CPE we give. You enter the words in the fields and then click submit, and your certificate will appear magically.

Let’s actually do this, because I want to also go over some of the errors that could happen. We’re at accountantsaccelerator.com. We clicked on CPE already, and we get this screen right here. What you’re going to do is, for the email address that you used to register and join the GoToWebinar software, you’re going to enter it, click submit right there, and you’re going to get a list. I don’t think your list will be quite as long as this because this is kind of a master list.

Let’s just pretend that it is February 20th, and we just … it’s two hours after the time management webinar is over, and I need to enter my attendance checks. There it is right there. We’re going to click this button right here, and we always give you an extra one. Isn’t that nice? You only need three to qualify, but we give you an extra one. All right. Let’s see, the first one we wrote down was walk. Let’s say we missed the second one. I’m going to say we got the third one, which is fan, and we didn’t get the last one.

Well, let’s see what happens. We actually need three out of four. What’s going to happen is you’re going to click submit and it’s going to say, sorry, we can’t give you credit. Let’s go back, I just hit the back button, and I really did get all the words, but I just wanted to let you know, and we don’t really have to key in this fourth one, let me show you that you really do need only three out of the four words, as a matter of fact. If you miss the second word, don’t sweat it, but do skip the phrase and make it blank.

Right, those are my words, and there is my certificate. Now what I can do here is print it, because you need to save it to your computer so you can print it to PDF, or you can print it, you can use a sheet of paper to print it, and it will magically appear on your printer or saved as a PDF file.

Right, let’s go back and let me explain a couple of other errors that you might get. Back here, let’s just pretend that we misspelled our email address. Did you know that one out of 100 of our participants misspell their email address? What you’re going to get here is, of course we can’t find you because we don’t have an email address for you. The computer is not very forgiving if you miss a digit.

We have a couple of things that could have happened. Well, maybe you were impatient and we didn’t get our records in for you. If it hasn’t been at least two hours from when the webinar ended, that could be a reason why you don’t have your CPE. Did you fulfill your time requirement? Maybe you left after 30 minutes, even though you happened to get all the words, just based on how they were timed. That does not qualify you to get CPE. You need to be logged in on the browser for at least 50 for one hour.

Now, some people listen on the phone, and this is not a teleseminar, we can’t give credit there because you don’t even get logged in the log. You have to be on your browser so that the software can tell that, in fact, this is the link that you registered for and they can connect your email address and your name. They can’t do that if you dial in, because you’re anonymous when you dial in.

Another, and this is the example that we’re talking about here, I misspelled my email address. We give you four tips to try to correct this error. If, for some reason, four things don’t apply to you, you can always email me because there’s a chance I make a mistake. I make a mistake with about one every 1,000 people that come through, so it does happen.

All right, another thing that I can show you is, what if you get partial credit? Let’s talk about that because we are very generous and we want to give you partial credit, as well. Let’s go down and choose a two hour course here, and let’s pretend it is now January 15th, before all this interesting things happen in the world. We’re going to click in our attendance check, and look at that, for a two hour course we have eight phrases that we need. We really only need six out of eight.

Let me get these keyed in here, and let’s say a client had a big disaster and we had to leave part of the webinar, but we already invested a lot of time already. Of course, if you’ve got all your words, then that’s great, but if for some reason you don’t get all your words and you had to leave, then what’s going to happen is you can click the submit button and then it’ll tell you that you didn’t get the last three words, but we can still give you 1.5 hours.

Now, if you want to do that, you can, and that’s kind of a final answer on our part unless you call me, because the database is going to correct your record from a possibility of two to 1.5, and then if you click this, you will get your certificate. All right, I don’t want to do that, but I do want to show you that, again, if you just had one more word and you did stay on the call long enough, then you will get your full CPE certificate here, and there’s the full two hours right there. But we do try to grant you as much partial credit as you have earned. Now, there is an exception to this. If it is also IRS CE, then, for that, they don’t honor half hours. If you did earn only 1.5, your CE, your IRS CE, for those of you that are enrolled agents, would only show the one hour.

All right? Now let’s get back, and we’ve got Q&A. You guys have lots of questions. I’ve got lots of answers. What if the order form has a place for the PTN? Do I really need to fill that out? Well, in some cases, that silly order form requires the field, but if you’re a CPA, I don’t want you to waste time looking that up. We only need that if you’re an enrolled agent.

If, for some reason, the order form won’t let you place the order without filling the fields, put a zero. That’s perfectly fine if you’re a CPA. But if you’re an enrolled agent and want IRS CE, we need it in perfect form or it will bounce. It needs to start with a capital P, and there needs to be eight numbers, and you need to double check to make sure you didn’t put in a lot of extra zeros, because one out of 10 out of you don’t get your IRS PTIN number correct.
Don’t you need my CPA certificate number? No, it is actually not required by NASBA, although I do recognize that some vendors will print it on your certificate. It is not required. What if the billing name is different than the participant name? Well, the person who placed the order lands on a thank you page after the order is accepted. There’s a big green button on this thank you page, that you can click and register through the GoToWebinar software under the name that you want on the certificate, and also it should be the individual’s email. Now, it doesn’t have to just be on the thank you page. If you close the thank you page, even though we ask you not to, you can look in your welcome email, because you will get a welcome email, and it will have the GoToWebinar link, and you can register the correct person under the link, all right.

What if I want to sign up more than one person? All you need to do is change the quantity on the order form to the correct number of participants that you want to have get CPE. And then on the thank you page again, you can use that green button to register, or you can wait for the welcome email and use the link in the welcome email. Every single participant needs to be registered under their own name to get the CPE certificate correct, and also needs to be under their own email address, all right. If the email address is not unique, it screws it all up, all right.

All right, do we have a volume discount available? Absolutely, we do. For 10 or more participants per firm, email me and I will get you a special discounted pay link. Can we take your order over the phone? Yes, we can. Did my order goes through? Well, you can check this several ways. If you were sent to a page that says, “Thank you for your order,” then it went through. You can also check your email and be sure to check your spam for an invoice receipt, and also the welcome email, when you get those, you know it went through. If you don’t get that and you’re still not sure, you can give us a call, but probably did not go through if those two things didn’t happen.

What if you need to cancel? Well, it’s a very fluid world right now, you can cancel your GoToWebinar registration. There is a cancel link there. But the problem is, we have tried and tried and tried to automate the notice for when you cancel, and GoToWebinar does not support that. I need you to email me and let me know that you did cancel, and I’ll be happy to process your refund, all right. But just canceling your GoToWebinar registration will not get you the refund, you must do the second step, emailing me.

All right. I didn’t get anything. Well, probably what happened there is either you have a really strong firewall and email virus, I don’t know, email spam checker, or you misspelled your email, something like that. If that happens, just email us and we’ll try to find your order, and resend your welcome email, and get you fixed up.

Is there a handout? There is always a handout, but with many, many, many speakers, we don’t finish the handout until half an hour before the course starts, which makes me frantic, because I have to do a bunch of stuff with it. But typically, I have been able lately to get the handout to you about 10 minutes before the webinar starts. If you log in early, then I attach it to the GoToWebinar control panel, and then I also put a note in the chat section, and I also send an email to send you a link to the thank you page.
I try to get the notice out to you, if I have a chance to do it, right before the webinars starts. Unfortunately, with all of the ways things are being updated, like overnight, every five seconds, we don’t do handouts ahead of time, because if a law comes in that morning, your handout won’t be fresh or accurate. Please don’t email us asking us for the handout, because it won’t make the delivery any earlier. All right.

What link do I need to join the webinar? You should get an email that is labeled in the from area, customercare@gotowebinar.com, and it’s from my name, Sandi Leyva. Look for an email, and there’s a big blue button in the email, and that’s what you need to join the webinar. It looks just like this. What if I lost my link? Well, your welcome email has a section just for that. Follow the directions in your welcome email if you can’t find your webinar link.

Can I join by phone only? Actually, you can, but you will not get the CPE. Now, let me qualify that. You can use the GoToWebinar app, and if you use the webinar app, that is perfect. It will register you in the log. If you phone in only, and you don’t have any browser access, like I said before, you won’t be on the log. There’s no way for me to track that unless you want to dig out your phone records, which I don’t recommend. Please don’t join by phone only. This is not a teleseminar, it’s a webinar. I want you to get the most out of it. The visual video portion is very, very important.

What if I have trouble joining the webinar? We do get probably 2-3% of people that have local PC issues. If, for some reason, it doesn’t start automatically, we always start on time unless a disaster happens. I think it’s happened twice in the last 10 years, count on us starting on time. If, for some reason, it doesn’t start, you’re going to need to go to GoToWebinar’s support. If you can’t hear, we actually have instructions in your welcome email if you can’t hear.

We had a couple of people this last time that didn’t get video for some reason. I don’t know what was going on, but it was probably something regional to GoToWebinar telecommunications. With that, because it’s such a local PC issue, we are not trained in every single browser, every single operating system, every single hardware, you are better to get support directly from gotowebinar.com, and I’ve clicked the link there. They have a ton of troubleshooting articles, and then they also have a phone line, and participants are welcome to get help on the phone line.

Will I miss out on CPE if I have computer troubles? Well, you might. You do need to make sure that your local computer meets the technical requirements for the software that we use, again, which is GoToWebinar. We do try to make it up to you. Sometimes what’ll happen is, if we are repeating the course, we’ll let you take a following date. Just email us and let us know, but I can’t change the law, and since your CPE requirement is tied to legal requirements with state board laws, I cannot break the law and grant you CPE on a whim. Please understand that I’m tied up. I have to set boundaries so that I don’t break the law myself. All right, I need you to honor that.

Will I miss out on the content if I have connection problems? Absolutely not. We record everything. We will give you access to the recording for about a week after the webinar is over, you can watch the webinar again. We get that question, too. And, again, you have access to the video.
What if I miss a check word? I think I covered that. We always have one extra per hour. What if I didn’t write the words? Every single webinar, I ask you to write the words. If you didn’t do what I asked, then sorry, there’s no way. It’s like, my dog ate my homework. I’ve got to give you an F, all right.

Where do I go to get my CPE. Again. You go to accountantsaccelerator.com, select CPE from the menu, and follow the directions on the screen. All right, and we did cover in the demonstration. I’ll just do it again. I entered my email and there’s no CPE for me. I basically just copied what we went over earlier. I entered my words and it says some are wrong. Now, this does happen. I need you to use all lowercase letters. The program is supposed to correct for this, but, and sometimes, I don’t know, something happens. No spaces before or after the word. Check the spelling of the word. Try a different browser or try an incognito browser. You saw it worked for me. I think a lot of these are just user error. If you’re not particularly technology literate, you’re going to need to kind of think like a computer here to get that done, possibly. All right.

I listened to in a room with others. I was not logged in, but one of my coworkers was. This is a whole different situation. You don’t qualify for group internet CPE, but you may qualify for group live CPE. I need for someone who is not getting CPE to be the proctor, and to be able to attest by law that they saw you in the room for the full CPE time period, and that you qualified and were watching. If that’s the case, then email me so I can get you the proctor form, and then you can have the proctor person fill out the form, and then I can add you to the database. All right. That’s a whole separate situation.

All right, let’s talk about IRS CE. You need to supply your PTIN. These are for enrolled agents only. Supply your PTIN in the correct format and enter your name exactly as it is in the PTIN database. No punctuation. I get a ton of name mismatches. We don’t have time to work those errors. You can email me individually, but we’re going to upload the records based on what you entered in the webinar.

We do it about a week later, and if you’ve entered your words, you will get CE. But if you haven’t entered your words, you won’t get CE. We don’t issue a certificate. We just upload to the database, you can go in as an enrolled agent and check the database about a week after to make sure your record is there. If it’s not, email me, and I’ll troubleshoot and I’ll look for the errors and that kind of thing.

All right, just some dos and don’ts before we close out of this particular how-to video. I do recommend you create a CPE folder on your computer where you can store all of your course information, your handouts, your certificate, your check words, that kind of a thing. Think about creating a new document to type in your check words during the webinar and save it to this folder so that you don’t lose your words. Do add this link to the top of your check word file, and maybe even bookmark us in your browser if you come back and do CPE with us over and over again.

Do Mark your calendar to enter your check words the day after the webinar is over. We will email you, but if you want to be a control freak, then I recommend that you do that. I would do that myself. Do log in a few minutes early for the webinar, because if you have troubleshooting issues and technological issues, then you have a chance to correct them without missing out on the course start.

Thank you for staying all the way with this video. You now have become familiar with our CPE process. You also may want to become familiar with your webinar software so that you can get the most engagement out of GoToWebinar and your session. Do relax. Please, take three deep breaths. We all need more relaxation right now, so that you can focus on the speaker and topic and have a really great learning session for yourself.

Couple of don’ts. Please don’t multitask during the webinar. You have a chance that you’ll miss the words, which means you’ll completely miss your CPE, and our CPE is so technical that it’s not a good idea to multitask. Do not enter the words during the webinar, that’s not the right place. Do not ask us for the words, that’s breaking the law. Do not email me the words unless I’ve asked you to. I can’t email certificates and I don’t have that kind of time.

Thank you so much for listening to how to get your CPE. I want to make sure that you get your certificate. I’m not happy if you don’t. Please help yourself, and help me help you, by knowing and becoming familiar with our CPE process. Thank you so much. Bye.