Date posted: 09/06/2021 6 min read

Staying ahead: The importance of continuing professional development (CPD)

In our rapidly changing world, keeping your knowledge and skill set up-to-date can be your competitive advantage. So how can you keep across the latest finance and accounting trends and practices, and upskill yourself?

In brief

  • The finance and accounting industry is, like most industries, being disrupted by technology which is in turn changing the skill set required by professionals
  • Understanding the future of your industry will help you identify what skills you will need going forward
  • Flexible learning arrangements can remove common barriers to pursuing continuing professional development

Employers and employees alike are increasingly recognising the importance of continuing professional development (CPD). Research shows CPD improves professionals’ productivity, motivation, engagement and overall performance1. CPD can also provide appropriate qualifications leading to higher paying roles and salary earnings over a career.2

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (Chartered Accountants ANZ) is committed to our members' education and development. We're always looking for ways to deepen our resources to support lifelong learning.

Our leading educators have developed flexible online learning options to sharpen your technical skills and critical capabilities to stay ahead in an ever-changing world.

With Chartered Accountants ANZ Education's online learning options, accounting professionals can pursue CPD with the flexibility to choose when, where and how they study.

Use these five steps to help you discover the benefits of online continuing professional development (CPD):

1. Understand what changes lie ahead

Technology will continue to impact the roles and specialisations of financial and accounting professionals, so it's important to keep abreast of the future of work.3

Chartered Accountants ANZ regularly publishes expert reports and insights that help finance and accounting professionals understand the implications of technology. Sector reports such as Audit and Technology, and technology specific insights including, Making it in the gig economy: 5 things you need to know, provide practical tips to guide your CPD decision-making. Future-focused events and seminars also give you valuable insights.
"The first challenge for leaders in finance is the ability to stay relevant. The role of a finance professional has changed so significantly. It's really up to us to continue to grow and evolve so that we stay relevant and can really be at the forefront of our industry."
Alena Bennett CA

2. What's missing from your skill set?

Future proof your career by identifying where to grow. Digital literacy is a good starting place. Australian employers want three million more people with digital literacy skills. By 2030 the average finance professional in Australia will lack two to three critical skills required for their job.

Chartered Accountants ANZ's report, The Future of Talent: Opportunities Unlimited, found that only 33% of Australian and New Zealand professionals thought they had a good ability to work with data and the latest technology.

Industry leaders also provide insight into in-demand skills. Look out for interviews with experts on specialist areas. Crosscheck your analysis against insights from CFOs and finance leaders.

3. Sharpen up your soft skills

In the midst of rapid technological change, CPD will build your competitive edge with highly transferable soft skills. As traditional accounting tasks become increasingly automated, the accountant's role is evolving into the 'trusted adviser', with communication, ethical thinking and negotiation in high demand.5

Chartered Accountants ANZ offers a wide range of CPD learning opportunities across key soft skill areas to support professionals to develop practical capabilities.

"I think today, in order to stay relevant and deliver to our clients, the skill sets that the accountant has to have is so much broader, and they have to be far more diverse in the ability to deliver services."
Helen Argiris FCA

4. Choose the right learning arrangement for you

Balancing between work and personal commitments, it's difficult to find time to pursue professional development opportunities. A variety of learning arrangements ensures CPD is accessible to every Chartered Accountant. Recognising the need for flexible learning, Chartered Accountants ANZ's education specialists have developed a diverse catalogue of hundreds of online workshops, webinars and self-paced courses.

5. Reap rewards, then repeat

Chartered Accountants ANZ's learning opportunities are designed and delivered by leading educators and span all areas of business and personal skills. These courses give you new skills and knowledge to apply to your current role, to perform more effectively and build your future.

Not sure where to start with your CPD?

Take your Capability+ assessment today to find where your skills gaps are.

Find out more

Sources:
1. Identity formation: professional development in practice strengthens a sense of self
2. Education and Lifetime Earnings in the United States
3. Rise of the humans
4. Deloitte Insights, The Path to Prosperity
5. Deloitte Insights, The Path to Prosperity

Important changes to your CPD requirements

Your professional competencies are a valuable asset. To help you update and maintain your capabilities, our CPD requirements are undergoing significant change.

Read more

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