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Kicking Off CPE Season at the VSCPA

June 21, 2018

With Virginia CPA Week in the books, we’re now in the swing of CPE season at the VSCPA. We jumped in with a bang, holding two versions of our oldest and biggest conference, the Virginia Accounting & Auditing Conference (A&A) at the Hotel Roanoke and the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church.

As a reminder, here are the requirements every CPA with an active Virginia license must fulfill (with the exception of those who have requested and obtained Active — CPE Exempt status from the Virginia Board of Accountancy).

  • All CPAs: 120 hours in the past three years, with at least 20 hours per year, including the 2-hour Virginia-specific Ethics course
  • CPAs in public practice who release or authorize the release of reports on attest & compilation services: 8 hours annually related to attest services or compilation services

In addition, the U.S. Government Accountability Office requires all auditors who perform work in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards to complete 80 hours every two years “that directly enhance the auditor’s professional proficiency to perform audits or attestation engagements,” including at least 20 hours per year. At least 24 of those hours must cover government subjects.

So that’s what you have to take. But why should you take it from us? We constantly assess our CPE offerings to make sure we’re providing the right mix of opportunities for our members and CPE takers, and that’s more important than ever with our new VSCPA2025 strategic framework.

The first of our four bold strategies from the framework is “Create a culture of learning,” which necessitates a holistic approach that goes beyond the “butts in seats,” compliance-driven approach of the past. We’re committed to infusing learning into ALL of our activities, not just our CPE seminars and conferences. Providing those opportunities helps us ensure that Virginia CPAs have the technical competencies and leadership skills to provide the best services possible for clients and employers while charting a way forward for the profession in changing times.

That means many different things for VSCPA education. The Internet is a major part of it, obviously, and we’ve been ramping up our online learning for several years. We’ll continue to do that as a way to reach CPE takers in the most convenient way for them. But it also means providing opportunities for our CPE takers to learn from each other, which gets lost sometimes in an age when a CPA can fulfill a year’s worth entire slate of CPE requirements without getting up from his or her desk.

One way to mitigate that isolation is through an emphasis on social learning, which we’re incorporating into our signature events, starting with the A&A conference this week. Social learning is crucial to developing the workforce necessary to deal with the problems of the future.

We’ve got several tactics for incorporating social learning into our educational opportunities. At the KnowledgeNOW conference in November, we’re hosting a book club (related to the opening keynote) as a bonus session at the conference. We’re dedicating an area of the Virginia Beach A&A conference to social learning. And our Pints and Pairings sessions at the Business & Industry Conference have already proven to be a hit.

What’s more, we want to hear from you! Many of our best ideas come straight from our CPE takers. You are the best judges of whether or not our educational offerings are fulfilling your needs. Organically collecting and spreading key ideas and best practices is a major step in preparing our members for the disruption that is already hitting the accounting profession. And it’s our best way to create a holistic culture of learning that’s part of everything we do.

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