What is CPD and How to Earn CPD Units for CPAs

Accountancy and bookkeeping deal with strict rules and regulations that may also change every few years. Tools and practices also constantly evolve. CPD for accountants is not just another requirement, but a great opportunity to stay updated and grow as a professional.

Are you concerned about the CPD unit requirements for accountants? Let’s talk about what CPD is and the benefits and importance of continuing professional development for accountants.

person calculating business profit using a calculator

What is CPD for Accountants?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It refers to various learning activities professionals must undertake to develop or further improve their knowledge and skills.

Accountants (as well as many other professionals) are required to acquire a certain number of units or hours to maintain their professional status. The Professional Regulatory Board has set the required units for Certified Public Accountants at 120 units for three years, with 40 units allotted for specific competency areas and 80 flexible units.

Professionals acquire their units by attending various seminars and lectures to learn about updates of international and Philippine accounting standards, taxation laws, and other technical information that they need to keep their practices compliant with laws.

However, CPD for accountants also covers new tools and various aspects of professional development, such as refining your understanding of the code of ethics and improving emotional intelligence. These competencies are just as important as technical knowledge as they shape the professional as a person.

Continuing Professional Development encourages professionals to be proactive lifelong learners.

How to Earn CPD Units for CPAs

With 120 units to earn, Certified Public Accountants must make sure that the activities they attend count toward their CPD units.

It is important to note that the PRC has established competence areas you can focus on. These are:

  • Technical competence (minimum requirement of 30 units) – covers accounting standards; laws, rules, and regulations affecting their practice; and frameworks and best practices concerning professional practice.
  • Professional skills (minimum of 5 units) – intellectual, interpersonal, communication, organizational, and personal skills
  • Professional values, ethics, and attitudes (minimum of 5 units) – related to the code of ethics for accountants, quality standards, governance principles, and social responsibility principles

With these competency areas, accountants can earn their CPD units by engaging in the following activities:

  • Online courses from an accredited CPD program
  • In-person training courses
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Webinars
  • Study tours or visits
  • Master’s or PhD degree

However, certain professional work experiences may also count toward CPD units:

  • Resource speaker, panelist, facilitator, or moderator of training or seminar
  • Professional chair, researcher, or resource speaker at an academic institution or other CPD providers
  • Participation in a residency program or fellowship grant
  • Peer review, edit, or write a technical book, article, pamphlet, etc.
  • Inventions
  • Consultant at an institution
  • Use of your profession for socio-civic activities
  • Receiving recognition or title for your work

CPAs have plenty of outlets to earn their CPD units and, consequently, opportunities to expand their knowledge and professional practice.

The Importance of CPD for Accountants

Many professionals see the CPD unit requirement as an added burden to already-busy professionals. However, these can have a substantial positive impact on a CPA’s career. Why is CPD important for accountants?

Stay Updated on the Latest Industry Trends

By attending training and seminars, you become aware of updates or changes in practices and regulations within your field. This way, accountants don’t get left behind on these trends.

Staying up to date can help you avoid errors, especially in relation to law compliance, that could cost you or your company. Overall, the information and knowledge you gain from training can help you perform your work better.

Develop Your Technical Skills

You can target any technical skills you need to master with the training and seminars you select. By constantly updating your technical skills, you don’t get left behind by developments and, instead, also benefit from new technology.

This way, you can continue to upskill and bring better value to your organization and clients.

Improve Soft Skills

CPAs regularly deal with clients and other professionals, so it is important to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. It will help you establish good relationships with co-workers and clients, which is key to success.

Build Your Network

The events you attend for CPD units can also be a venue for networking. You can grow your professional network and use that to enrich your practice.

Advance Your Career

One of the main benefits of Continuing Professional Development is it can help you boost your credentials with a wide range of training and certifications. Be strategic with the activities you engage with – make sure that they can contribute positively to your career.

Push the Field Forward

The various activities you can do to gain CPD units can allow you to help the field of accountancy progress. Attending or giving seminars helps make sure that professionals stay competent. If you pursue postgraduate studies, you may contribute new knowledge to the field.

Increase Job Satisfaction

Perhaps an unexpected benefit of earning CPD units for CPAs is the engagement with the field or the job and the consequent job satisfaction that comes with it. Continued learning challenges professionals, which helps them grow and avoid boredom.

As such, you can be satisfied with your work and be encouraged to keep improving as a CPA.

Earning CPD Units for CPAs is Easier in Online PostGrad

accountant taking CPD units

With the numerous ways to earn CPD units, Continuing Professional Development is a great opportunity for CPAs to expand their knowledge and practice.

OED Online PostGrad offers flexible and competitive CPD courses aimed at making it easier for working CPAs to balance their workload with learning. This is one of the easiest ways to earn CPD units for CPAs.

Send us a message to explore your options for completing your CPD units.

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