If you are a certified professional in your field, you are likely familiar with and required to take Continuing Professional Education courses (CPE) each year to maintain your certification or licensure. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must do so as well.
At ADKF, our accountants must stay up to date on recent legislation, changes to current laws, and accounting standards to best serve our clients. CPA’s CPE guidelines are set by the state. In Texas, the CPE requirements are over a three-year period, a CPA must accumulate 120 hours with a minimum of 20 hours per year. As a firm, we require even all professional staff to accumulate 40 hours of CPE annually. Both our tax and audit staff attend external conferences and tailored in-house CPE courses. After a tax or audit staff completes external CPE training, he/she is encouraged distill the information down to the high points and share their new knowledge with the tax/audit staff through informal technical updates in meetings or by presenting to the department. This helps reinforce the material and gives everyone exposure to updated information. The topics range from the highly technical, such as 1031 Exchanges, Accounting Standard Updates, or Sales Tax Audits, to brief updates on recent law changes. After the meeting, the information is shared via email with the entire firm and saved on our intranet for future reference.
ADKF also fosters internal CPE through Lunch and Learns and virtual meetings. Our Managers and Seniors provide in-house CPE for CPE credit, to our staff, using GoToWebinar. These events are scheduled throughout the year during off busy season months. The CPE is technical in nature and helps both the presenter and the attendees learn and understand the material. ADKF also offers non-technical opportunities for learning, such as soft skills training, communication, and networking skills. At the beginning of each year, our audit and tax departments have a kick-off meeting to share what is to come in the year ahead and to provide skills and knowledge needed for the coming year. They also meet to plan and schedule everyone's CPE classes. Staff may have the opportunity to travel out of town for a more exclusive CPE experience.
Now that most everyone is comfortable with virtual meetings, we strive to start offering CPE to our clients, many of which require their own CPE for their various certifications in real estate, accounting, etc. We hope this will provide immense value to our clients.
We feel learning and growing in our profession is critical to the care of our employees and our clients. As they say, one must take care of themselves to best take care of others.