Did you know that I have to take professional development courses?

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As a chartered professional accountant (CPA) I am required to complete 20 hours of professional development per year. Half being verifiable via either courses that provide professional development certificates or teaching a course relevant to my professional role, sitting on committees or board of directors or conducting research and publications. As well, I must complete 120 hours of professional development over a three-year rolling cycle with half of them being verifiable. The non-verifiable hours can come from casual reading of professional journals, self-study and on-the job training for new software, systems, procedures or techniques for application in a professional role.

I have a lot of options available to stay current on various topics in my profession. Typically, I have taken three full-day courses per year with one of them having a taxation focus. Tax rules are always changing therefore it is essential that I stay on top them to advise my small business clients. The other courses that I have taken recently have ranged from human resources and financial statement analysis to essentials for controllers. My non-verifiable has come from staying up on my software certifications and casual reading. This year I got my Xero migration certification.

CPAs are also held accountable for their hours by submitting a declaration every year. Some are even randomly selected to show documentation for their professional development hours. I have been selected in the past and I have had no problems proving my hours.

As you can see, as a CPA I am held to high standards in order to keep my designation. Consider a CPA when looking for help with your accounting needs.

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