There are many differences between small companies and large corporations, but there is one similarity they all share: scheduling difficulty. It doesn’t matter if you have 12 employees or 10,000 employees; getting everyone together at one time is a challenge. Webinars provide flexibility to deliver training to geographically diverse populations without having to fly everyone to one central location, but webinars won’t solve the fact that not everyone will be able to attend the training at the date and time you choose. While we can’t fix your scheduling problems, we can help you convert your webinars into CPE-worthy self-studies that can be taken at anytime from anywhere.
This is a learning solution that we use ourselves for our own content, and recently, we have been providing it as a learning solution to a Big 4 Accounting firm, allowing their learners to take the same training offered via live webinar but at a time that is conducive to their schedule...and they can still earn CPE for it!
Big 4 Accounting Firm Case Study
What was the client’s problem?
Most of the Big 4 firms offer quarterly webinars, both internally and externally, as a way to help their audience stay up-to-date with the latest accounting and auditing requirements. All of these live webinars are CPE-eligible. However, most of the big firms are not able to give CPE for the playbacks of the live webinar, so if you miss the live training, you miss your chance for CPE. While this was something our client was offering to their internal employees, they wanted to see if we could help with some of their pain points.
The main issue was timing; at the time, it was taking them 2-3 months to push out the conversions, which is simply too long when you’re talking about a quarterly update training. It is already the next quarter by the time the self-study is ready to launch! Along with speeding up the timeline, they wanted to improve the learner’s experience by adding interactive questions and breaking up the video, so the learner did not need to sit through long sections of video. After multiple conversations and meetings, we agreed to do a pilot program to test the waters with one another. I mean, do you buy a girl a diamond ring on the first date? I don’t think so! The pilot program allowed us to show them we could deliver what we promised, and we were able to refine and perfect our process in a safe environment.
What did GAAP Dynamics do to meet the client’s needs?
One of the most important things that came from the pilot program was the webinar conversion template we built for them in Articulate Storyline. While the template stemmed from their own existing Storyline template, we had to modify it to fit the needs of this particular project. Along with the template we developed the glossary, knowledge checks, post-course assessment, and a variety of other resources. For instance, the client wanted to be able to offer a 508-compliant course index, so an individual could also use a screen reader to complete the course, if necessary.
In addition, they wanted us to provide the CPE certificate at the end of the course, so that we could be the CPE sponsoring organization, which saved them time during review. This means that we could not issue the CPE certificate through their LMS. Easy, right? Not exactly, since we don’t tend to issue certificates in the actual SCORM file, but with some custom coding and some variables, we were able to make it work for our client. This is just another example of how we will go beyond what is expected to ensure the client and the learner have a great experience when working with us. Going forward, we are hoping to strengthen our relationship with this client as we continue to deliver quality training.
What are the pros and cons of converting a webinar into self-study?
After having converted webinars into CPE-compliant self-studies for ourselves and for clients, we have found some pros and cons to the process.
- Accessibility: Learners aren’t restricted to a certain day and time.
- Development speed: Development time is shorter compared to programming a traditional eLearning module
- Course access: Learners can access materials whenever they want, even after they complete the training.
- Cost: Converting a webinar to self-study is more cost effective than developing a traditional eLearning module.
- Resources: Additional work is required to turn a webinar into a CPE-compliant self-study, such as developing the knowledge check questions, post-course assessment questions, glossary, etc.
- Interactivity: The learners have to listen to a lot of audio and there isn’t a lot of interactivity.
We plan to host a few webinars this year for the public, and we will be sure to convert them into CPE-worthy self-studies, so check back in with us as the year progresses.
Interested in converting your webinars into self-studies? Contact us to start a conversation about how we can best help you.
About GAAP Dynamics
We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!
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.