As technological progress advances, new avenues of industry, employment, and education become prevalent. With the rise of the Internet and near-instantaneous wireless communication, the possible clients, workspaces, and markets for all businesses have increased exponentially — including those for Certified Public Accountants. However, as this technology advances in power, it also advances in complexity, requiring additional knowledge in order to fully take advantage of its capabilities. For this reason, tech training has become increasingly more important for aspiring and current CPAs.
CPE and Acclimating to New Tech
New versions of popular software and operating systems are released frequently. This means that legacy software becomes obsolete at a faster rate. This is especially true for operating systems. New versions are released every few years or so, with support being discontinued for older versions at the same pace. Keeping your operating system up to date is a necessary step for ensuring that your work is compatible with that of others, as well as for protecting your systems from being hacked or hijacked by malicious code.
A terrific example of the necessity to keep your tech up to date is the recent wave of WannaCry ransomware attacks. This malware has been spreading to networks all over the world, and users of older Windows operating systems like XP are at the greatest risk. Fortunately, Microsoft has released a patch to protect XP users from this ransomware, but this practice is highly unusual, since they discontinued support for this operating system in 2014.
Keeping the computers in your workspace up to date can be costly, but as many people have discovered in the wake of the WannaCry epidemic, not keeping your computers up to date can be costly as well.
In order to remain knowledgeable on the newest tech, there are many resources available online that can help you. Many online educators that offer training for CPA certification also offer CPE, or Continuing Professional Education. These courses will offer training on new versions of popular work applications such as QuickBooks and Excel, as well as courses dedicated to improving your security and protecting yourself from cyber attacks.
Online Training Reduces Costs
It is true that the complexity of a CPA’s job has increased alongside technological advancements. This makes proper education into these new technologies increasingly important, which is why CPE is necessary for current CPAs. However, a benefit to this tech progress is that there are more ways to cut costs when pursuing an education, especially for those aspiring for CPA certification.
With CPA certification, there is a time cost and a monetary cost. The monetary cost includes fees for training courses and for taking the CPA certification tests. The time cost is the potential income a student could have earned with the time they spend pursuing an education.
In recent years, however, the training process for aspiring CPAs has reached a point where the time and money costs can be minimized. Training programs like Gryfin offer a tiered education plan, with the option to take courses on specific portions of the CPA exam. This is beneficial to students on a budget or students who are retaking the exam after a failed attempt, as they can optimize their education budget by spending the most money on portions of the exam where they need the most help. Additionally, the reduced course load that results from studying only one portion of the exam also limits the time cost of education, allowing students to join the workforce faster.
Another way that online training can reduce your cost of education is that you can fit it into your schedule more conveniently. Many online courses with an emphasis on self-study can be taken at any time, meaning you can work your training around a busy schedule. Whether an individual is a student at a university pursuing a degree, or supports their education by working a part-time job, they can continue their CPA training while working around these other responsibilities.
The world is becoming increasingly more connected, whether we like it or not. This increase in complexity is inevitable, and many industries have found themselves forced to acclimate to these new advances or face extinction.
Print media such as newspapers and books have taken a hit, as have musicians and other creative artists. The people working in these industries who have been able to survive and thrive in this environment are the ones with the best grasp of how the new environment works, and have been able to adapt their business models to accommodate it.
The same principle applies to CPAs. In order to be successful, you will need to understand technology and its effects on a rapidly changing world.