The end of the year is quickly approaching, which also means that most annual CPE requirement deadlines are looming. So, how do you get 20 CPE credits in 20 days (if you don’t have access to a free mega library)? In this blog post, we’ll help guide you to maximize your dollars and time, while also gaining the knowledge you need to advance your career in 2020.
Define your learning goals
This is the most important step! Take 5 minutes and a pad of paper to start brainstorming what training you actually need to do your job better in 2020. This list of training needs should be varied to include technical training and soft skills. Here’s a list of questions to consider as you build your technical training list:
- On which technical topics have you become rusty?
- What are some stretch topics that you’re hoping to gain experience in?
- What newly released accounting standards do you need to better understand?
- In what way can you “upskill” yourself for 2020?
Next, think of some of the soft skills that are holding you back. With technological advances and artificial intelligence, many say that soft skills are the most valuable set of skills in the workplace of the future. They’ll also help mix it up! Here’s another list of questions to consider as you build your list:
- Think of your last performance review. What opportunities for improvement did you or others identify?
- In what ways could you be more efficient in your job?
- Are there time management skills that you could implement to maximize your day?
- What skills are required to be successful in your next desired job?
- If you manage people, what pain points exist that you could address to build better relationships with your team?
- What skills do the leaders that you most look up to exhibit?
While it can be very tempting to skip this step altogether and plow through whatever free training comes your way, why not get a jumpstart to a strategic and purposeful 2020?
Create your plan of attack
Now that you have your list of topics, it’s time to start searching the web for opportunities to learn. There are plenty of providers out there, but it’s best to go with vetted sources to ensure that your time and money are well spent. You’ll also want to get a mix of training types, if possible. Our list below is just a starting point for creating your “plan of attack”.
*Remember, There are 480 hours in 20 days, so getting 20 hours of CPE credit is not impossible. If you’re rusty on your state’s requirements for CPE credits, refer to the guide published by the NASBA here.*
- GAAP Dynamics -- We currently have 33 robust online self-study courses available for your learning pleasure covering a broad variety of U.S. GAAP and IFRS topics. Not to toot our own horn, but these courses are interactive and packed with information, a combination that’s not often found.
- LinkedIn Learning -- There are over 800 different courses that are NASBA-approved on LinkedIn Learning right now! Browse the NASBA list here to find a few that pique your interest. LinkedIn offers a wide range of soft skill and upskill training primarily in video format, at low cost. As an added bonus, they also offer your first month for free!
- AICPA Store -- Whether it’s building your competency with emerging technologies, getting your annual tax update, or learning about the recent changes to not-for-profit accounting, the AICPA has a course covering it. And they even have a CPE tracker to help you keep track of the CPE you earn (Spoiler alert: So does GAAP Dynamics!)
A word of caution: With a sea of potential CPE providers, be careful! You do get what you pay for. While many online CPE providers boast hundreds of CPE-eligible courses, many of them are outdated, repetitive or are just long PDFs for you to read through with an exam at the end. That is definitely not how we like to learn around here!
Big 4 Webinars and Other Training Opportunities
The Big 4 Accounting Firms are clearly a great resource for learning. Their webinars are often free and CPE-eligible. In addition, some even offer CPE-eligible self-study recordings of webinars. Visit the links below to browse upcoming topics.
- Deloitte - List of webinars here.
- Ernst & Young - List of webinars here.
- KPMG - List of webinars here.
- PwC - List of webinars here.
Also, many offer open enrollment courses that dig deeper into specific topics, such as the courses offered by the KPMG Executive Education program. While not free, they certainly offer robust training on the topics that are most relevant to your job.
And we’re offering a webinar on December 12th on Leases: An Introduction to Lessee Accounting. Don’t miss out if this topic interests you! We also periodically offer free webinars to our GAAPology subscribers, so make sure to sign up and check your email for future offers.
Conferences are a great way to get a ton of CPE credits at one time, while also getting out of the office and networking with other CPA’s. If you want to go big, the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments is taking place this December 9-11th and is still accepting registrations. In the words of Mike Walworth, “This conference is an annual rite of passage for accountants, with a ‘Who’s Who’ of regulators, standard setters, and partners from national accounting firms discussing issues relevant to financial statement preparers and auditors.” Alternatively, many state societies also host live training that is a bit more budget-friendly and close to home. And even more budget-friendly are the free training courses that headhunter firms, such as Parker + Lynch and Vaco, offer to network with potential and existing clients.
While obtaining your annual CPE credits can often feel like just another task on a very long to-do list, try to keep your perspective in check. When you invest the time upfront to complete quality training, you’re saving yourself countless hours and headaches down the road. If we can help in any way, let us know. In addition to our online course offerings on The Revolution, We offer any of our topics in-person or via webinar, so contact us today to set up a date for your team!
This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.