October 31, 2022
- How to Avoid Losing Your CPE When You Change Companies
- Internal Organization Tracking Systems
- Third-Party CPE Trackers
Most people will change jobs multiple times throughout the course of their careers. Even those who stay within the same field for long periods of time will most likely transition to a new employer at least once, if not many times.
When you move to a new organization, if you are in a field that requires continuing professional education (CPE) to maintain your professional license, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), it’s important that you have a safe and accurate record of your previously earned CPE to take with you to your new place of employment.
There are many ways to track your CPE, each with its own pros and cons. Choosing a method now that will best allow you to access your CPE records no matter where you are employed can save you a lot of time and hassle down the road.
Internal Organization Tracking Systems
Many companies use their own CPE tracking system, which can certainly be simple and convenient for an employee, but only as long as you work there. Once you are no longer employed at a company you usually lose access instantly to an organization’s internal software. If you are unexpectedly let go from a company, or just forget to download your CPE data before your last day, getting your CPE records can become a time-consuming and stressful experience. If you plan to use your company’s internal CPE tracking system, consider also using a third-party CPE tracking system to keep your own records as well.
Using a spreadsheet such as Excel or Google Sheets is another popular method for tracking CPE. While this certainly is an inexpensive and seemingly straightforward system for recording CPE, it also comes with a higher risk of errors and records loss. You will also need to ensure you saving your spreadsheet onto a computer or cloud account that you will continue to have access to even if you change companies.
Additionally, if you choose to use a spreadsheet to track your CPE you’ll also have to create an additional place to store CPE certificates and other documentation, such as Google Drive or (the more risky option) saving them on your computer. Having to retrieve CPE documentation from multiple locations and spending time regularly updating your spreadsheet can end up taking away much of the assumed ease and simplicity that enticed you to use a spreadsheet in the first place.
Third-Party CPE Trackers
Third-party CPE trackers are a great solution for many CPAs and other professionals. Because CPE trackers offer the convenience of an online tracking software, but the individual, not your employer, owns the account, you can rest assured that you will be able to access your records anytime you need.
Many CPE trackers are also directly connected to CPE platforms, making it simple to earn and record your professional education credits all in the same place. Just make sure that you can easily add additional sources of CPE to your record as well in whichever platform you choose.
The most valuable CPE trackers will also include compliance monitors so you can easily see if you’ve completed the required credits and topics for an upcoming reporting period. This added benefit can save you a lot of time and hassle at the end of each year.
No matter how you decide to track your CPE, the most important step is to choose a method that allows you to be fully in control of your professional education records. Being proactive about finding a CPE tracking solution that fits your needs now will make your future job transitions much less stressful!