Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to the learning that accountants are required to do throughout their career in order to maintain their qualification.
No matter which professional body you are a member of you will need to do some CPD, although the number of hours may differ, and some professional bodies require certain topics to be covered. As an accountant, it is your responsibility to be aware of this requirement and ensure that you are completing it each year.
Importance and benefits
In order to be a successful and reliable accountant, it is important to keep up to date with changes in the accounting world. CPD allows you to make sure that you have the skills and knowledge to do your job as best as you can. While it can often be hard to find the time to develop your skills and build on your knowledge, having a requirement to do so makes it that much easier. And because of the widespread need for CPD, there are many different options to choose from.
How to make it work for you
When faced with finding time to do your CPD, it may seem overwhelming. This is why it is important to plan ahead and work out what kind of CPD would be most beneficial to you. Over recent years, more online CPD has become available, making it easier for you to complete at your own pace, when and where you have the time.
Some questions to consider when planning are:
- Do you prefer reading through a course, or watching a webinar?
- Would you rather follow a learning programme or pathway, or choose a few different courses to work through?
- When are you most likely to do you CPD, and how much time can you set aside? Which CPD type would fit best into this time?
- Would you rather do your learning online or in person?
For some of us, completing our CPD isn't the issue. The hard part is keeping accurate records of what we have learnt about and when. If you use other CPD providers, saving your CPD records in one easily accessible place is crucial in making your CPD declaration easier.
The great thing about CPD is that you can tailor it to yourself and your goals. By choosing topics that interest you and will aid your career growth, you can use it to your advantage rather than just seeing it as learning you 'have to' do. CPD can cover a wide range of topics; whether its technical or professional skills that you're interested in, you’re bound to find something to your taste.
It's important to consider your interests and what topics would be helpful to your own professional development. The more you enjoy the CPD that you're doing, the more likely you are to complete your yearly requirements.
Some questions to consider when choosing your topics are:
- What are your weaknesses, and how can you work on improving these?
- Are there any new skills that would be helpful to your work?
- What topics would be helpful to your career progression?
Not sure where to start? Some of our recommended topics for this year are:
- Excel skills
- Sustainable thinking
- Building resilience
- Technology and digital innovation
- Regulatory and professional updates
Does your team need encouragement to do their CPD, or are you unsure which topics to suggest to them? Our team licences can help with that. Get access to effective, flexible, online professional development all year round, which is accredited and accepted by many professional bodies. We work with you to implement the engagement tools and communications that will help you grow, develop and retain your accounting and finance teams. Get in contact with us today to ensure that you and your team make the most of your CPD this year.