Pro’s and Con’s of Continuing Education In Accounting Options
Accounting, finance and law are among the most challenging disciplines. From Enron to Madoff, the climate is getting increasingly more scandalous requiring professionals in these fields to face increasing ongoing education. Even the new tax preparer’s license will be required to meet continuing education in accounting requirements. Whether or not you believe the new continuing education requirements for accountants will protect employees and investors from losses remains to be seen. Nonetheless, diligent and responsible practitioners must comply or face damaging consequences.
Continuing Education In Accounting -Considering Your Options
Fortunately, there is no shortage of options for fulfilling your annual requirements. Here is a look at the advantages and disadvantages of opting for self-study, in-person, or web-based programs.
Live – Live CPE is the preferred method of delivery for continuing education in accounting. It continues to be the best source of content, interaction with faculty and other professionals, and tends to feature more practical application for business owners through the ability to network with other professionals and instructors. The drawbacks of course are the inconvenience and cost of travel, and the cost of the events tend to be more expensive than other alternatives.
Online – For those of us with busy schedules, continuing education in accounting online courses are a good choice. With improvements in technology, participants can earn CPE credit by following along live online while proving they are “paying attention” through live responses to polling questions and monitoring devices. Disadvantages lie in the lack of benefitting from other participants interaction, and the one-on-one convenience of interaction with the instructor. While most platforms allow for questions, many involve an apprentice fielding questions via text which can be difficult for getting the exact answer.
Self-Study – Looking to get credit for hours you spend “skimming” material? Look no further than self study continuing education. Self study methods give new meaning to “going at your own pace.” Most participants enjoy the ability to scan material. So long as the student submits to a course exam with a passing score, full course credits are given despite the fact that the participant may have completed the material in less time. Benefits of course include the ability to review material from virtually anywhere at any time, providing a nice alternative to busy schedules and less travel. Disadvantages? Zero interaction with human beings (unless you happen to call into the provider for assistance), no real way to get answers to questions, and typically zero entertainment value. (in case you’re wondering, YES, I am saying it is boring!)
Earn a Return on Investment for your continuing education in accounting! Have you ever stopped to calculate your return on investment (ROI) on your continuing education dollars? While they may be informative and required for compliance, most continuing education courses for accountants do not provide a direct ROI for the attendees. Certified Tax Coaches courses are different. More than a tax education, the CTC Tax Planning Academy is the only tax course providing a true ROI. Participants on average recoup their enrollment fees in less than 2 months after our 3-day academy, and over 75% of enrollees see a positive ROI often multiplying their investment ten-fold.
The Tax Planning Academy is offered both live and through our online system.