Fulfilling mandatory CPD hours is a great way to improve your skills and help boost your career (Getty Images / damircudic)
Each Chartered Accountant is required to undertake a certain amount of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within a regulated time frame. But the CPD is more than a professional requirement; it is an opportunity that can provide great rewards.
“CPAs must continually hone their skills to help organizations they serve to navigate a changing landscape,” says Jeanette Hill, CPA, director of professional development in CPA Canada’s member development and support department. “CPA Canada recognizes this need and makes sure to offer training that will prepare them for current and emerging trends.”
Here are five programs that will keep you updated while increasing your CPD hours in the process.
AUDIT COMMITTEE CERTIFICATE
Now more than ever, organizations need effective audit committees, prepared to handle a variety of crises and challenges, from independent oversight to fraud prevention. And, with their knowledge of strategy and risk management, CPAs are ideal for the role.
With this five-part (14-hour CPD) online program, you’ll learn how to leverage your skills and experience to help any business thrive, whether you’re currently serving on a committee or looking to be a part of it. You will also gain valuable insight into corporate governance structures and what is required to become an effective member of the review board.
The online program combines theory and practice, including four on-demand courses and a live virtual workshop.
FUNDAMENTAL BLOCKCHAIN CERTIFICATE
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly visible part of the global fintech scene. And, while cryptocurrencies are currently experiencing a severe downturn, the technology is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
“Blockchain continues to be a tool for innovation in many industries,” Hill says. “For CPAs who want to improve their digital literacy, learning how technology works can provide that competitive edge when it comes to adding value.”
In this interactive online certification program (12 hours CPD), you will explore the fundamental principles of blockchain and cryptocurrencies through practical examples, while also learning the key considerations for implementing blockchain technology with your organization or for your clients.
“By exiting this course, you will have a better understanding of how blockchain works in everyday situations and how to identify the opportunities, benefits, risks and challenges of blockchain for your organization,” says Hill.
DATA MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATES (FOUNDATION AND ADVANCED)
In a digital-first world, harnessing the power of data is increasingly important. That’s why anyone who wants to equip themselves with the skills they will need for the future – and may already need – will want to check out this program.
Billed as “the most comprehensive data management learning for CPAs and business professionals,” the course includes two certificates: Data Management Basics (33 CPD hours), in which you will learn how to extract, transform and load data for meaningful insights and Advanced Data Management (125 CPD hours), where you will discover how to add value by working with more advanced data sets and concepts based on complex exercises.
“Both certificates consist of five in-depth online courses,” says Hill. “And, depending on your current skill level, you can choose to take one or both. The estimated time to complete the foundation certificate is two months while for the advanced it is 12 months.
NON-PROFIT IE II CERTIFICATES
CPAs who choose to work for a non-profit organization (NFP) or charity often find it to be a rewarding experience, filled with continuous learning opportunities. Additionally, the industry has a clear need for financial professionals who understand how these organizations differ from for-profit businesses.
“The nonprofit sector contributes significantly to the Canadian economy,” Hill says. “And CPAs have significant skills to bring to the table. Whether you’re new to the industry or interested in joining a non-profit board, our two-part NFP program can give you the fundamental knowledge to understand this industry. “
In the core certification program (40 CPD hours), you will cover topics such as financial reporting in the industry, a brief introduction to governance, endowments, and other key concepts. In the second part (25 CPD hours), you will learn how to manage operational issues that are unique to NFP companies.
Each of the two parts can be taken independently depending on the skill level.
AUTOMATION CERTIFICATES OF ROBOTIC PROCESSES
As organizations begin to digitize their operations, many are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks.
“RPA is now used in a wide variety of industries to automate everything from reconciliations to data tracking, from product price comparison to invoice processing,” says Hill. “It can also be useful in managing the study.”
In this certification program (14 hours CPD), offered by CPA Canada in association with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), you will learn the benefits of RPA and how the use of software “bots” can enable your company or your customers to become more competitive and agile. You will also gain an understanding of the steps and governance required to successfully implement RPA.
If you want to know how to use RPA to automate your organization’s accounts payable and assets activities, check out the certificate program (8 hours CPD) specifically dedicated to this topic.
MORE UPDATE OPTIONS
Check out these resources to stay up to date on everything from sustainability to entrepreneurship. And see the full repertoire of CPA Canada lectures, courses and webinars.