CPAs Forced to Consider the Future of Continuing Education

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants launched a new website recently intended to instigate a conversation within the nation’s CPA community about the condition of continuing education within the CPA profession.

A consortium of CPAs and stakeholders gathered through the American Institute of CPAs has formed the Task Force on the Future of Learning which has reported that there needs to be significant changes made to the professional development model within the industry.

But for those in the know, it is not just about what changes need to be made, but how to go about making them. As one spokesperson for the task force stated, the motivation for the report is to get CPAs to become aware of the need for changes and to get involved in coming up with the ‘how’ of bringing them to pass.

The goal, according to the report, is to create less of an overall, generalized worldview for learning among certified public accountants and more of a technology-based forum that allows individual CPAs to continue their education based on what is meaningful for them in their career. But there are long term goals as well as short term ones and the latter cannot be reached without accomplishing the former first. In this initial stage, it is more about starting the conversation and making CPAs across the country aware of what is needed in the accounting community.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has engaged its members in discussions about how accountants interact with each other and with the Institute itself, and how those interactions play into the various continuing education programs that are available.

Representatives noted that there are broad, sweeping changes taking place in professional associations with regard to professional development in other industries such as advanced practice nursing. Some of the changes are general enough to be part of the conversation about resolving the issue regarding professional development for CPAs.