5 Professional Development Opportunities for Accountants

Practice Management, Lifestyle

Anyone who owns or operates an accounting firm knows that highs and lows are common. That’s why it’s so important to invest that downtime into your clients, business, and talent – and there’s no better way to do so than by investing in training and development for accountants

If you have some spare time on your hands, here are five professional development opportunities for accounting and finance professionals that can help provide leadership growth, improve your existing skills, and allow you to offer your clients additional services when business picks up.

1. Digital Accounting Conferences

Though the pandemic required many in-person conferences and networking opportunities to become virtual events, many of these events have been permanently redesigned to accommodate both remote employees as well as those eager to return to in-person networking events. As a result, it’s easier than ever to attend a conference and learn new things about your industry whether it’s from your home office or along with others. 

If you’re not ready to fully commit to in-person events, consider attending and virtually networking at events sponsored by CPA.com or the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) or your state accounting society

2. Keep Up With the Latest Technology

With technology advancing at light speed, it’s easy to fall behind, so be sure to stay in touch with partners who specialize in accounting firm technology and give you access to advice, insight, and the latest research into the technological aspects of accounting via webinars, blog articles, and research reports. 

Upgrading firm technology can save you valuable time, reduce manual tasks, and keep your firm organized. Get instant access to the Modern Accounting Firm Checklist to see if your firm is ripe for a technology upgrade. 

3. Professional Development for Accountants (CPE)

Professional development opportunities for accountants are plentiful, starting with CPE credits. Though requirements vary by state, all CPAs are required to obtain a specific number of CPE credits to remain licensed. Fortunately, learning opportunities for accountants abound, with webcasts, webinars, conferences, and even self-study courses available to earn CPE credits for professional development accounting

You can choose from a variety of fields to obtain CPE credits, including accounting, auditing, economics, financial planning, and statistics, along with several others. Once started, you can easily track your progress using resources at the AICPA, and if you have a team of partners, consider working together as a group to work towards these requirements and build community at the same time.

4. Online Courses

Professional development in accounting is vital to the success of your practice. If you’re up-to-date on CPE courses, but still want to learn, consider exploring the hundreds of free, top-tier courses that are available through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Coursera, edX, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning. These courses allow you to learn about a variety of topics, from literature to data analytics. 

MOOCs can also act as an engaging team development activity for colleagues, and can also provide professional development for bookkeepers and other staff members as well.

5. Executive Coaching for Accountants

Most accountants focus on optimizing their accounting or business skills, overlooking leadership development, an essential component for professional growth.  If your firm is experiencing growing pains or lacks direction, it’s easy to focus on those pressing issues, placing leadership development on the back burner. 

To get back on track, consider partnering with an independent executive coach to develop your leadership skills and grow your firm’s potential. There’s no better time than now to focus on the development of yourself as a leader.

6 Secrets to Practice Management Success

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Lifelong Learning is the Key to Staying Ahead

Accounting professionals know that the cycle of highs and lows is directly related to the calendar. Accountants that can buckle down, stay the course, develop new client relationships, and invest in accounting professional development will last in the long run. After all, the next busy period may be just around the corner.