Whether you want to advance your accounting career, keep up with developments in financial reporting, brush up on rules and regulations, learn more about compliance, fine tune your skill set, earn more money, prepare for a future position or just explore accounting topics you’re passionate about, continuing education courses will give you all that and more.
These days, there are almost as many ways to earn continuing education credits as there are continuing education courses. You can take classes online, in seminars, at conferences and workshops, at colleges and universities or through certification programs, professional associations and home study courses. Are you ready to take your accounting skills to the next level? Here are five areas in accounting where you can earn continuing education credits, increase your value to a potential employer and learn more about accounting topics that interest you most.
The demand for CPAs at public accounting firms is increasing by the day. At the same time, public accounting firms are attracting more qualified accountants than ever before. Salaries are higher in the public accounting sector. An internal audit manager in a public accounting firm will typically earn 20 percent more than an internal audit manager in a private accounting firm.
Almost 80 percent of accounting firms believe that advances in technology will allow them to provide more comprehensive and valuable services for their clients. If you want to sharpen your accounting skills, become more attractive to potential employers and command a higher salary to boot, learning more about the future of accounting technology would be a smart investment of time and money. Hot topics range from IT outsourcing to all the ways that social media sites can affect accounting practices and relationships with clients.
The accounting industry is poised to benefit from continued economic growth. Areas that are expected to offer accountants the highest salary increases include financial analysis, tax management and compliance analysis. Starting salaries for entry level accountants in those areas are expected to increase by 3.5 percent within a few years.
Ethical practices are another hot accounting topic. The State of Nevada, for example, requires their employees to participate in ethics training seminars every year. Ethics training may be most needed in the government sector, especially in the wake of recent financial scandals. Accounting professionals who stay on top of the new ethical standards will be highly attractive to employers in the years to come.
There is currently a shortage of accountants with specialized skills. This presents a problem for human resource managers. According to some recruiters, there are simply not enough accountants with specialized skills to go around. Part of the problem is due to ever-increasing regulatory compliance mandates. Another factor is the exit of baby boomers from the accounting arena. Aging boomers who had previously brought specialized skills and niche expertise to a variety of sectors within the accounting industry are now proving difficult to replace. Accountants with specialized expertise in areas such as regulatory reporting, compliance, auditing, payroll, systems analysis and accountants who can protect businesses from money-laundering schemes are going to be in great demand going forward.
When it comes to accounting, there’s no such thing as knowing too much. The real problem is not knowing enough. Continuing education courses that are focused on today’s hottest accounting issues can prepare you to step boldly into the future armed with all the information you need to reach your goals and live your dreams.