5 Great Continuing Education Options for Accountants

Best Accounting Alternatives for Continuing Education

  • Fraud Assessment Courses
  • Governmental Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Advanced Financial Analysis
  • Natural Resource Accounting

As one of the most demanding professional service fields, accountants are constalty required to seek continuing education options. In fact, according to the AICPA, they must complete 120 hours of education every three years to maintain their membership. So, what are some of the best options that will allow them to stay in compliance?

Related Resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting

1. Fraud Assessment Courses

The reason why any course would be great for continuing professional education (CPE) is that it has not been covered enough during the regular college curriculum. Well, fraud assessment is a topic that most accounting programs seldom touch on. Whilst the main components are discussed in auditing, accounting students rarely go into depth here as most schools leave it to employers to train people on fraud. So, choosing to satisfy the CPE requirements with a fraud-related course is a great way to expand one’s knowledge while learning something interesting.

2. Governmental Accounting

Even though governmental accounting is brought up in quite a few courses during someone’s college career, there is always more to this topic. The reason why is that governmental account is subject to change practically every time that a new administration enters the White House. Thus, staying up to date helps understand what future law changes might take place. It is also a great way to become more marketable to employers who might be hiring accountants to work in certain government-based sectors. The material can be pretty interesting and echoes a lot of concepts from financial accounting.

3. Internal Auditing

Internal auditing is probably the most common continuing education choice for accountants across all sectors. A common misconception is that all types of auditing get a plethora of coverage during one’s education. This is certainly true of public auditing that is thoroughly covered both in school and on the CPA exam. Internal auditing, however, is a completely different story as it receives very little attention. The main reason why is that almost every company has a unique set of accounting systems that one has to learn from scratch. Nonetheless, a CPE class in this area can be quite fun since most concepts will be almost brand new.

4. Advanced Financial Analyses

Even though the number of students who double-major in accounting and finance is growing, the vast majority of professionals lack in-depth knowledge of finance. For them, a CPE course covering time value of money, investments, financial ratios, and advanced analyses would be extremely beneficial. Undergoing training for those areas would help the accountant become a well-rounded practician who can leverage their financial skills for a higher salary and more clientele. Not to mention that understanding advanced financial concepts is what permits one to make profitable investment decisions in their personal life.

5. Natural Resource Accounting

Ultimately, due to the growing popularity of natural resources, taking a course or two on accounting for this sector would be an excellent, forward-thinking step. Some topics will sound quite familiar as they cover depletion methods, resource valuation, oil and gas basics, and similar. Individuals who anticipate working in markets that make the most of their revenues from the natural resource sector should prioritize these CPE courses. Even those who have no ties should still consider the option as it will help them attract more clients or employers looking for versatile workers.

Some honorable mentions that can be explored by accountants who covered the previous five alternatives include conflict resolution, specialized taxation, lean practices, and business management. Individuals just starting out, however, should begin by selecting one of the courses offered in the said list of top continuing education options.

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