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October 26, 2010

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JoelUngar

I think continuing education is our 3rd biggest expense after wages/benefits and rent. I get a minimum of 80 hours a year - we practice in niche areas and you have to stay on top of what is going on.

Great post Michelle.

Chris Zdunich

Michelle, without intensely training our people, we would not be able to provide the high level services and expertise Porte Brown is known for.

Without training, we would not be able to teach our accountants how to help our clients identify additional needs that will contribute to greater success.

Jim Ulvog

With the volume of change in the pipeline firms are cutting CPE? Every single one of the SASs are being rewritten with little additions here and there. They will all go into effect on the same day. The pronouncements from the FASB have become a flood.

The formal hours are just the starting point. Professionals need to do a lot of extra reading. There is an incredible amount of wonderful books around that would greatly expand a CPAs mind.

Firms need to remember the only thing we have to sell is our brainpower. Individuals need to remember the same. If the firm will not pay for classes to increase your brainpower, then get over to Amazon and start reading! Invest in yourself if the firm won’t.

Michelle Golden

Thank you for the comments Joel, Chris and Jim.

Joel and Chris, above average levels of education are absolutely differentiators in knowledge firms. It's a must, really. Continuing Edu is a table stake, but high quality and higher volume edu is a true competitive advantage. Do you know that most CPA firm's CPE budgets are about equal with their annual expenditure on their INTERNET CONNECTION. Seriously, this comes for the AICPA MAP survey.

Jim, you make a great point. I think it is in the post I cross-referenced, but a firm I had the honor of sitting in a management meeting of had several folks apologizing for having spent time learning vs billing during the July a couple years ago when all the risk standards were just out. I was mortified and told them to be proud, not ashamed of this time invested in learning!

I couldn't agree more with your points about learning and reading! Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

Michelle Golden

As an aside, a few people unsubscribed to my blog after I posted this. I'm always intrigued when this happens (and seek to learn from it) but have to wonder why if anyone was offended by my statements that minimum CPE/CLE requirements are adequate.

Thoughts?

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