The CPA Continuing Education Challenge
It’s June. For CPAs in Colorado and around the country, 2021 is the end of the two-year continuing professional education (CPE) reporting period. Seven months to go to meet the minimum requirement to maintain your license! Procrastination can get the best of us during normal circumstances, but after the never-ending 2020 tax season, and other challenges COVID presented, many CPAs are far behind on this requirement.
Some things are certain. CPAs will fulfill the requirement and take the required classes such as ethics and rules and regulations. It is the action taken on the remaining education that presents a challenge.
Parkinson’s law states that a project will expand in direct proportion to the time allowed for it. If we have more time, the project get’s more complex. If there is less time, we look for ways to simplify it. Deadline pressure can drive valuable innovation or lead to the path of least resistance and shortcuts. In this case, the path of least resistance is littered with continuing education in areas where we are already proficient, and the temptation to take the S Corp class that you took last reporting period may be too great to pass up.
Before pulling the trigger, please consider this - There is a problem in the profession that needs to be solved. Positive differentiation of core services is becoming increasingly challenging, competition is increasing, and economic conditions are placing additional downward pressure on fees. At the same time, clients are demanding more. Will the S Corp refresher solve this problem?
Here is the challenge. Before you sign up for the familiar class that you can multi-task through and easily pass the test at the end, reverse engineer the actual needs of your client. Question whether the course selection will help meet those needs? Will it help you communicate more effectively, develop a deeper relationship, or gain a better understanding of their business? Will it enhance the client experience via improved project management skills, elevated team performance, or use of technology? Are you better positioned to increase their wellbeing with transformational consulting services? Won’t clients be better off if we run our businesses more effectively?