Date posted: 06/06/2024 6 min read

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

Keeping your knowledge and skill set up to date is 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

The importance of continuing professional development (CPD) is being increasingly recognised. 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.

Here are three steps to help you make the most of your continuing professional development (CPD):

1. Understand what changes lie ahead

Digital disruption 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

"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

Why not use some of your CPD hours to improve your knowledge of data analytics and AI? CA ANZ offers a range of short courses, some of which are on special during the EOFY sale, from 7 May to 1 July 2024.

Discover the impact of generative AI and how you can improve productivity with ChatGPT, through our digital on demand courses.

2. What's missing from your skill set?

Future proof your career by identifying where to grow. While digital literacy is a good starting place, finding ways of using data to solve business challenges is becoming increasingly important. More than ever, accounting professionals are required to use the latest technology and data analytics to make effective business recommendations. 

CA ANZ offers creative problem-solving micro courses that will introduce you to the principles of great data storytelling. No matter how well you collect and analyse data, you won’t realise the value unless you can communicate the story of your data to the people who make decisions. Find out more about the potential of AI tools, and prepare your business for the future. The Transform your FinTech skills with AI package is on sale now.

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, an accountant's role is evolving into the 'trusted adviser', with communication, ethical thinking and negotiation in high demand.5

CA ANZ offers a wide range of CPD learning opportunities to support professionals develop practical capabilities. During the EOFY sale (7 May to 1 July 2024), CA ANZ is offering an inclusive communication and decision-making package, curated to improve workplace cultures and develop your leadership skills.

"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

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

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