The Impact of Technology on CPA Continuing Education

December 9, 2023

The rise to prominence of online platforms and mobile apps has dramatically changed how Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) access and engage with continuing professional education (CPE) materials. This shift to online learning is not solely about convenience, however, it’s about the empowerment of CPAs to learn flexibly, stay current, easily track their CPE credits, and excel in their professional growth. 

1. Accessibility and flexibility

Two of the most noticeable benefits of technological advancements in continuing education are increased accessibility and flexibility. Online and mobile access to CPE materials, as well as online webinars and live learning sessions mean today’s accounting and finance professionals have greater access to a wider variety of CPE materials and courses than ever before. 

This not only makes many CPE opportunities accessible from anywhere in the world but it enables accountants and finance professionals to engage in learning on a schedule that works best for them, even during small pockets of time between meetings, or on the go. Whether through webinars, interactive modules, or on-demand courses, CPAs now have the flexibility to learn at their own pace and convenience through websites and mobile apps.

2. Engagement and customization

Although in-person continuing education opportunities offer traditional modes of interaction and engagement including time for questions and answers, online CPE options offer even more ways to engage learners such as through multimedia elements, and real-time quizzes and chats, increating the potential for the learning experience to be even more immersive and effective. Some platforms also utilize adaptive learning algorithms, meaning self-guided courses can still tailor the content to individual progress and knowledge gaps, ensuring a personalized learning journey. This not only enhances retention but also optimizes the time spent on acquiring new skills and knowledge.

3. Easy CPE Tracking

Thanks to the built-in CPE tracking abilities of many online continuing education platforms, the ability to correctly record and submit required CPE credits is easier than ever. Handwritten notes or spreadsheets saved on a personal computer that can be incomplete or easily lost can now be replaced by the much-more-reliable online autotracking features that can be accessed anywhere. Accountant and financial professionals can now easily see what CPE they’ve earned and what credits they still need to acquire at any point in the year, helping avoid last minute scrambling or unwelcome surprises.

4. Real time Updates and Relevance

The accounting landscape is dynamic, with frequently-changing regulations, laws, and industry practices. Technology-enabled CPE platforms can be especially good at providing real-time updates on regulatory changes, industry trends, and best practices. Since out-of-date information can be harmful to an accountant’s or financial professional’s job and career, the ability to access continuing education that contains the most relevant and current information is crucial for their professional growth. 

Additionally, because online platforms often offer certifications and badges, validating the acquired skills and knowledge, this continuing education can then be showcased in the competitive job market, boosting career prospects.

Thanks to ongoing advancements in continuing education technology today’s accountants and other financial professionals have access to CPE with unprecedented accessibility, engagement, and relevancy. As these professionals navigate their continuing education journey it’s more crucial than ever that they find an online CPE platform that offers the technology and course variety to fit their needs. 

Each platform has unique features, course offerings, and learning methodologies, so it’s important that online learners take the time to research and explore different platforms to find the one that best aligns with their learning styles, professional goals, and credit tracking needs. CPE-Compare can help busy professionals save time in this process by offering easy-to-understand descriptions and side-by-side comparisons of the most popular online CPE platforms.