continuing professional development in accounting & finance.

15/02/2019

Many organisations are required to commit to continuous professional development. In accountancy and finance, members are be required to sign a declaration of continuous professional development on an annual basis. However, there are no strict guidelines regarding what constitutes continuous professional development for those involved in financial roles.

  

Proving commitment to CPD in accounting and finance

We will take a look at some of the leading ways to prove commitment to CPD in accounting and finance jobs.

Requirements

There are no strict guidelines regarding how much CPD those in accountancy and finance are supposed to do. The ICAEW states that registered members must “complete as much development activity as you feel is required to remain competent in your role”, but there are no firm requirements in terms of how much time is required. Therefore, financial professionals can choose to set their own learning standards, but they must be prepared to prove them on an annual declaration that ensures members are remaining up-to-date with the latest developments in the sector. How they choose to do that, though, is completely up to them.

E-mail newsletters

One of the most popular ways of staying up to date and therefore satisfying CPD requirements is by reviewing the regular newsletters sent by the ICAEW. These contain valuable titbits of information that will ensure members are at least being made aware of any new developments in finance and how these developments will affect their roles, with particular attention being paid to those in customer facing positions, since poor advice can cause legal implications and possible registration issues further down the line. However, these should by no means from the only method of CPD and members should commit to at least one other method of development throughout the year.

Attend a workshop

Another popular means of CPD is by attending a workshop. This is perhaps the most popular way of satisfying CPD and is especially important for those in their earliest stages of becoming financial professionals given that workshops or seminars are usually hosted by those with considerable amounts of experience. This provides a vital link between new accountants or other financial professionals, with those who are knowledgeable, experienced, and willing to share their expertise with those younger than they are. Workshops are regularly hosted across the country, but may require some professionals to travel. Nevertheless, they will almost always take place in a major urban area.

Read faculty publications

Faculty publications also contain valuable pieces of information for financial professionals. While they are invaluable sources of knowledge, they also tend to be quite wordy and lengthy. This can suit some who prefers to learn in this way, but this could appeal to a smaller minority of professionals. Nonetheless, there are certainly valid ways of proving CPD and well-worth the time investment necessary for gaining the knowledge necessary to remain professionally competent.

Participate in the ICAEW community

The ICAEW runs a community where registered members can communicate amongst themselves and offer tips and advice to one another. While this should be perceived as a less formal means of gaining CPD, it is nonetheless valid as long as members receive the necessary information they require in order to remain professionally competent. There are no stringent requirements in terms of participation either. Members are free to communicate as much or as little as they please, so long as they are able to make an honest declaration that participation in the community was a worthwhile means of gaining knowledge and permitted them to develop throughout the year.

Informal seminars

Colleagues are also free to arrange their own informal seminars amongst one another and choose how they wish to conduct it. This could be particularly beneficial if some colleagues are experiencing the same issues and wish to collaborate on a particular issue. Similarly to participation in the community, there are no firm guidelines regarding how long a seminar must last and financial professionals are free to come to their own solutions whether that takes one hour or one week. Ultimately, the issue lies in whether or not the colleagues were able to develop as a result of their interaction with one another. If this is the case, the requirement for CPD is satisfied.