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Continuous professional development is undoubtedly a strong driver behind your career progression. Given the ever-changing business landscape, it’s imperative that Accountancy & Finance professionals continue to increase their knowledge, polish up their skills and adapt to the wave of transformation overall.
In this blog, we share our top tips for continuing professional development in Accountancy and ultimately progress to where you wish to be in your career.
Thanks to the rise of technology, changing legislation and organisational structures, Finance professionals continuously experience rapid change in the way they work and learn. Traditionally, professionals may have expected jobs for life, but recent years have seen a demand for existing or prospective employees to continuously pursue professional development in order to succeed in their careers.
Below, we outline our top tips for continuing professional development in accountancy:
Everyone is different, and in order to get the most out of continuing professional development in accountancy, you need to find sources of information that both interest you and that you enjoy reading. Natasha Everard, Student Mentor and Resources Co-ordinator at Premier Training, advises, “Find sources that you trust and enjoy reading. You can register for free magazines such as PQ, a monthly magazine making you aware of recent updates to the industry. And registering for the mailshots from sites such as AccountingWEB is a way to absorb this information in smaller, manageable chunks.”
Given the significant volume of professional opinions and perspectives in all things finance, you should aim to learn from as many sources as possible to ensure you have your eye on the wider picture. You should aim to learn from industry leaders and peers in person, use web forums and be interactive. You can also attend a local group, follow webinars or frequently attend meetings and master classes from leading Accountancy bodies.
Maintaining a record of your continuous professional development may seem daunting. However, you can easily keep a portfolio of evidence by filing away any receipts for learning materials and courses you may have invested in, or by containing attendance or completion certificates from events you have attended. You should also look for ways in which you can put your newly-learned knowledge into practice.
‘Continuous professional development is about your development – so it’s vitally important,’ says Mark Young, an Advisory Accountant at HMRC. ‘If you don’t prioritise it then no one else is going to prioritise it for you. Without CPD it’s surprising how quickly your knowledge and skills can get out of date. This reduces not only the value of your professional qualifications – but also your value to your current and future employers.’
In a competitive market place, it is more important than ever to remain employable and keep up with rapid change. By engaging in continuous professional development activities and topics that are outside your immediate priorities, you will demonstrate that you are passionate about your career and it in turn will show your employer that you are competent in the work you do.
There is a wide range of leading national and international accountancy bodies which continue to shape and influence the accounting profession and promote excellence in technical and ethical standards. Below is a list of some most popular options in the UK:
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW): Premier professional accountancy body in the UK with over 140,000 members in business and public practice around the world.
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS): Oldest professional body of accountants in the world.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): Major accountancy body with members employed in business and practice around the world.
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA): Leading accountancy body for the public services.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): CIMA is a leading body of management accountants with members working in industry, commerce, not-for-profit and public sector organisations.
The world of Accountancy and Finance is changing, and the sector needs candidates who are tech-savvy, insightful and proactive! At Search, our team of specialists recruit for a wide range of finance roles throughout the country, and will also guide you in continuing professional development in accountancy. To see our current vacancies, simply click the button below!