This week, I am talking about developing your plan for earning continuing professional education credits. Continual learning in the Finance and Accounting fields is essential to developing your expertise and establishing your credibility. Ensure you approach earning your annual CPEs by planning them out and adding them to your Individual Development Plan. I want to encourage you to be proactive and not wait until it’s time to recertify and renew to earn CPEs, which usually forces you to scramble to earn them on time.
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This week I am talking about developing your plan for earning continuing professional education credits. continual learning in the finance and accounting fields is essential to developing your expertise and establishing your credibility and share your approach earning your annual CPE ease by planning them out and adding them to your individual development plan. I want to encourage you to be proactive, and not wait until it's time to recertify and renew to earn CPE which usually forces you to scramble to earn them on time. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 61. And I'll be talking about earning your continuing professional education credits. And I'll highlight the following topics. Number one, earning a professional certification is key to your professional foundation. Number two, you need to have a plan to earn your credits. And three, I'm going to share some sites where you can earn your annual credits. The soccer legend Pele said success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. Now how is everything going? I hope everything is going well. We are still in challenging times. No matter what your thoughts and beliefs are about the pandemic. We are definitely not business as usual. And it will probably never be. In fact, I never liked business as usual as a term because it implies complacency and the status quo. You must be diligent in your leadership and you should be checking on your team. More than ever, we will not be going back to a pre pandemic business as usual mode of conducting business. Too much has changed the model has shifted. When you embrace that and understand that you can find opportunity is always opportunity when change occurs. Because new ideas and a new approach will be needed. Some people will be stuck and can't move forward. Some will be able to overcome the adversity and find a way to grow and make a difference and to meet the needs of a new market and that includes our role as professionals in finance and accounting. This week's episode is about being a finance and accounting professional. Earning a professional certification is about being a professional. I talk about this often and I cover it specifically in Episode 13. If you didn't listen to that episode, please go back and listen. Today's episode about earning CPE E's in Episode 13 about earning a professional certification go together. This week is about earning continuing professional education credits as part of a well planned individual development plan that supports your career growth and your goals. A certification shows we are serious about being an expert in the field, and shows that we can help an organization achieve its strategy and vision. I believe that professional certifications convey our credibility, and it shows your commitment to growing in the field. It's important. It's part of our professional Foundation, along with an advanced degree. I cover this in my advanced your career course in Module Two, which encompasses your professional Foundation, you can find the link to the course in the show notes or go to finance leader academy.com. Now there are different types of learning methods that will meet the requirements for your CPE ease. It's not just courses that you can do, you can watch videos, read articles, attend conferences and seminars. Sometimes there are videos of conferences you can watch and take a quiz for like one credit, you have many options to earn CPE ease and take advantage of that. But also spread your learning over the several types. Use all the methods and have fun also, learning should always be fun, and not be considered a burden or just another requirement. So have fun. And one other thing. Don't be afraid to ask your company or organization if they can help pay for some or even all of the credits that you must earn throughout the year. So don't be afraid to ask for the funds. They may very well have training funds or other money that they can help you and you can sign up for courses, submit the receipt and then maybe get a reimbursement so don't be afraid to ask for money in your company. Now over the last few weeks. I have talked about my facebook group called the finance leader podcast community. This is a place where we can help each other to grow, and be prepared for the next step in our careers as finance and accounting professionals, so please join. The link is in the show notes with this episode. Now let's talk about a few key points about earning continuing professional education credits. Now, number one, earning a professional certification is key to our professional foundation. Our professional certification fits with our advanced degree and our knowledge to show that we have credibility and expertise in the finance and accounting fields. Our field is tough, it's highly technical, and you must have a broad knowledge of business. To become a trusted adviser to leaders in your organization. You will want to solidify your professional standing among your peers, and also among non finance and accounting leaders in your company. A certification gives you this credibility. It was not easy to earn a certification because I know I earned one. It was three grueling exams and required endless evenings and weekends to study and prepare. It also required years of professional experience and an education requirement. You earn that certification to stand out and to show off your knowledge to prove you're an expert to prove you're a professional to gain credibility. So others were listened to your advice, and also accept your finance and accounting work. Number two, you need to have a plan to earn your credits. How often have you waited and made excuses throughout the year. And suddenly that recertification renewal letter or email arrives, it reminds you that your annual fee is due and you must turn in copies of your CVS, then you realize you haven't done any Does this sound familiar? And then the next step is a frenzy. He tried to find some easy CPE ease to earn, you make a plan and then you realize you have to commit the next three to four weekends, plus evenings and lunches to complete them and time or risk missing the deadline. And if you do miss that deadline, you have to pay an extension fee. And this can be costly. So is this the ideal way to do this every year? Of course not. I'm asking you to take this responsibility seriously to learn your CPE ease throughout the year, you spread it out and then you don't stress yourself out. You're learning and growth should be considered important and critical to your success and advancement. And this is why you need to plan, plan on completing credits every month and add this to your individual development plan. And I would also build into your plan to complete them over 10 or 11 months. And that gives you a little bit of time at the end in case something changed, or you had to overcome something and one other month and gives you a little bit of flexibility. When you have a plan. you minimize the risk of failure and you add back end stability into your life. And there's no scrambling and that last month before we know of your certification. professionals have a written plan with goals and a timeline. Now I'll say that again, professionals have a written plan with goals and they timeline. Now number three, I'm going to share some sites where you can earn your annual credits. I'm just going to share about five and some other ideas about earning some credits. Now I'm sure a lot of you have some places that you can go to to earn your cbs. Now be sure to use a variety of methods to earn CPE ease. Again, not just courses, but videos, articles, conferences and seminars, and other items that have been approved for credit. So be on the lookout for unique ways to help you learn, which are fun, and then satisfy the requirement and also they are approved for CPE ease through your Certification Authority. You can always start with a certification authority that granted your certification. They should have a catalog of courses and other items to satisfy the requirements, including free CPE ease now if you're a Certification Authority as a annual conference, now they often video, the lessons and video the speeches. And sometimes if you watch those speeches, there may be a one or two CPE ease that you can earn by watching the videos and taking a quiz at the end. So don't forget about that. And don't overlook those free items. But also don't overload your annual requirement without also you'll also want to earn some premium credits. These are premium courses that really get into some of the technical skills of technical knowledge that you will need to know and that will really help you in leading in your organization. Next, I want you to check with your university or college for CPE ease that might be offered some universities do offer them so please check there too. And now I want to share a couple sites that you may have heard of some of them are popular and some of them not. So the first one is si p e today.com, which is si p today.com. Si p today.com. I wanted to start with this organization, they have a variety of options, including credits ranging from one to eight, they have videos, you can watch for one CPE. And also courses, and they are reasonably priced. Again, they are CPE today.com. Now, number two, you've probably heard of them before ai cpa.org. And that's the Association of international Certified Professional accountants. They do have free CPE ease and a variety of subscriptions, plans and separate courses that you can purchase. They have a ton of options. And also many different certifications that earn if you don't have one already, and not just the CPA, they have a lot of certifications from a lot of different technical areas. So check them out to to earn that certification if you don't have one. Now, ai cpa.org also refreshes their offerings quite often. And they offer new courses regularly. So please check them out. And also since they have paid plans or subscriptions, don't be afraid to ask your company or organization. If there are funds available, that you may be able to get reimbursed for getting some of those CPS done. Now, this next organization you've probably already heard of, and that's Becker Comm. Becker is also a great choice for CPE ease, especially if you study for your CPA exam with them. They have lots of options to choose from. So go check them out and becker.com. Now the fourth one is for you financial analysts, and that's corporate finance institute.com. And that's a great place to earn CPE ease. They have also a lot of free courses and free options available, especially if you're a financial analyst. And if you're looking to get into financial analysis, go check them out. They have a great certification program also. And then the last one that I want to share is accounting tools.com. That's another site that has a variety of courses and other items. And they're reasonably priced. So check them out. Accounting tools.com now gave you several websites and organizations to find CBS that can help satisfy your annual recertification and renewal. I love to learn. And I know that most of you do too. We should never stop learning learning is a key trait to great leadership. Also, please encourage your team to learn and earn a professional certification. Additionally, check those individual development plans for a CBE earning plan. And also make sure you have one too. Now for action today. First, do you have a professional certification, if not, you know I am going to encourage you to go earn one, you probably already have met all the requirements minus taking the exams, it's important to your career advancement. So if you don't have one, start to add that to your IDP, and start figuring out which one you want to earn based on your long term goal. Second, if you do have a certification, let's plan out your CPE. So you can spread it out over 10 to 11 months. So you don't have to scramble at the end and risk losing your certification, or paying that fee to extend. And then finally, review your individual development plan and updated as necessary to help you recertify on time. And without that frenzy, as so many end up doing. And again, I'm gonna say it one more time, ask if your company can help pay for some of those credits that will probably help you if you can get that done. This episode is sponsored by my website finance leader academy.com and my career development course called advance your career developing a promotion strategy that will set you apart to achieve your career goals. You must be willing to take risk to set yourself apart from your peers, finance and accounting professionals are already expected to be technically competent. This course helps you establish your professional Foundation, and how you can set yourself apart from your peers. by growing your leadership skills and developing your executive presence. You can go to finance leader academy.com for more details on this career advancement course. The link is also in the show notes with this episode. Thank you. Today I talked about earning your annual continuing professional education credits and highlighted the following points. Number one, earning a professional certification is key to your professional foundation. Number two, you need to have a plan to earn your credits. And number three, I shared some sites where you can earn your annual credit Please have a plan for your annual seabees. Don't wait until you get that email telling you it's time to renew your certification. And that you must send them copies of your seabees. To start thinking about what you're going to do, that's too late. And then you have to pay for an extension. So have a plan. Think about what you want to learn, take this opportunity to grow and commit to excellence, you can definitely work out your plan, and get it done with plenty of time every year. Next week, I'll be talking about what leaders do. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast, I'm dedicated to helping you grow your leadership, because it is leadership that will set you apart from your peers, you can get this episode wherever you find podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at finance leader academy.com and sign up for my updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you