Get Help Managing Your Firm CPE

You need an efficient and cost effective way to keep your professional staff trained. Can online training and an easy registration platform be just what you need?
June 7, 2010
Sponsored by CPE Link
by Sue Anderson, Program Director, CPE Link

Firms need help managing CPE. Where is it coming from?

Does this describe your situation? Your accounting firm has hired a great team of professionals and has made a significant investment in them. They have formed relationships with satisfied clients that you count on for repeat business. Clearly, your firm has a lot at stake in its people. Your firm’s reputation rests on the continuing education of its staff and you certainly don’t want their licenses to lapse because they didn’t meet their annual CPE requirements. Your need an efficient and cost-effective way to keep your professional staff trained.

Online Training Provides a Solution

Online training in various forms has been around for decades; however, it has entered the mainstream of continuing education for accountants only recently. To the new generation of accountants, online training is nothing new. They come in with experience of live and on-demand webinars because distance learning over the Internet is now widely used at universities. The CPA exam itself is now online. The young, emerging professionals expect and even prefer online training to classroom-based seminars. That is good news for firms, because online training is so economical. In fact, online training can save a firm a huge percentage of its training budget. Compared to attending traditional face-to-face seminars and conferences, online training eliminates travel expenses, overpriced attendance fees and it reduces time away from the firm’s business. In addition, the technology of online training generates data that can be used to automate tasks of tracking and reporting CPE.

Vendors of online Learning Management Systems that sell to corporations have tried marketing to the professions with continuing education mandates — large law firms, medical practices and accounting firms. However, these robust systems may be more than is needed for small and medium sized firms plus these platforms only address the tracking part of the problem. Now where does the content come from?

The New Trend

Online CPE providers are now looking to help firms by going beyond providing quality online content that saves them money, but also providing an easy platform for firm registrations and tracking — making it easier for them to manage the CPE for their staff. Online provider, CPE Link has discovered the special needs of the accounting firms by gathering feedback from its nationwide webcast audience. Firms want to be able to:

  1. Register groups for courses as well as individuals.
  2. View real-time CPE records to see who is registered for upcoming events and who has earned CPE credit hours.
  3. Receive notification when staff registers for or completes a course.
  4. A flexible registration system allowing last minute sign ups and cancellations, if needed, without penalties.

CPE Link has taken these requests for functionalities and built a special place on its website just for firms. The Firm CPE Center launched this month. CPE Link invites you to visit, register for free and see how the Center may help relieve the burdens of managing CPE for your firm. CPE Link has also released its Firm Advantage Pass — an easy way for firms to save on CPE by buying bulk hours. Using the Firm CPE Center to manage these hours makes it a breeze for everyone in the firm to access them.