You get it: professional development is an undeniably noble and practical goal. Yet it can at times seem like an insurmountable task to reach that next level given the day-to-day demands of keeping up with your practice. Here’s a little secret from us to you– becoming a more successful accountant can be accomplished in just 10 hours!
Here’s our sure-fire, ten-hour plan for upping your game that will give you a big return on your time invested. And all of these options are web-based and fairly flexible in schedule—meaning you can do them during a lunch break or when you’re home in your pajamas. What’s not to like about that?
1 Hour: Participate in #QBOChat
#QBOChat started as a weekly Twitter chat to help users get the most out of QuickBooks Online, but has become much more. It’s grown into a warm community discussing QBO specifically, of course, as well as accounting life more generally and tips and advice for both. Each chat has a specific theme, from “Payments in QuickBooks Online” after recent updates to QBO to “How to Get Through a Cash Crunch” to just-for-fun topics like “Year-End War Stories.” Frequently QuickBooks and Intuit staff, industry leaders, and other special guests will participate in the chats to share their expertise and guide discussion.
The weekly chat takes place Thursdays at 3:00 pm Eastern; use the hashtag #QBOchat to join the conversation. Visit the QBO Chat website for even more: archived chats, blog posts, videos, even a non-Twitter chat function.
2 Hours: Read The Intentional Accountant
True, The Intentional Accountant: Your Roadmap for Building a Next Generation Accounting Firm by RootWorks founder and CEO Darren Root is primarily geared towards independent accountants looking to build their own empires. But regardless of whether you are ready to strike out on your own (or are already doing so!) or whether you’re happy in a larger firm, this book offers some fantastic tips on clarifying your career goals, best meeting clients’ needs, communicating with clients and colleagues, and marketing your practice. Root’s passion is creating the accounting (and accounting firm) of the future, so his book is full of practical, personable advice for taking your practice to the next level.
Bonus points: read some great accounting blogs and/or listen to podcasts. Their bite-sized formats can give you actionable advice and insights with just a few minutes’ investment on your part.
1 Hour: Attend QB Power Hour
Put that lunch hour to good use! CPAs/QuickBooks ProAdvisors Michelle Long and Hector Garcia host bi-weekly webinar series QB Power Hour every other Thursday at 12:00 pm Eastern.
As in #QBOChat, using QuickBooks effectively in your practice is the main focus, but the topics vary to cover a wide range of relevant accounting advice. Integrating Excel files with QuickBooks? There’s a webinar for that. File sharing accounting documents with clients for signatures? Looking for apps to make your practice run more smoothly? Yup, there are webinars for those situations too.
The webinars are free; pre-register and attend live to receive CPE credits, or watch the archived videos at your leisure.
1 Hour: Attend an Intuit Accountant Webinar
The Intuit Academy provides plenty of professional development solutions—varying widely in time commitment and prerequisites—for accounting professionals at all stages of their careers.
You’ll find tutorials just a few minutes long walking through QuickBooks basics, introducing new features, or troubleshooting client issues. You’ll also find hour-long live webinars (which are accessible later in the archive if you can’t make it in person) and QuickBooks Online certification courses clocking in at about four hours. Courses are organized by type (live or on-demand) and by topic category (basics, beyond basics, practice development), so it’s fast and easy to locate what you’re looking for. Whatever your individual situation and expertise, you can find an Intuit Academy resource to guide you.
Not only is Inuit the provider of QuickBooks, Lacerte, and many other top-notch accounting tools, it’s registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to provide continuing education—so you know you’re in good hands.
4 Hours: Complete Funding Gates’ AR Management Certification Course
Accounts Receivables management is a growing accounting niche. Stay ahead of the curve: get AR Specialist certified with Funding Gates’ AR Management Certification program. In this NASBA-approved course, you’ll learn
- metrics that indicate a client’s AR health
- how to set up AR management policies and practices
- AR troubleshooting
- how to integrate AR management into your existing practice
No previous AR knowledge is necessary, and you can earn up to four CPE credits in addition to your certification. The online course is just one four-hour session and is offered every few weeks, so it’s easy to fit into your schedule. It also includes access to an accounting portal to help you manage your new AR clients.
1 Hour: Attend an AccountingFly Accountant Professional Webinar
Accountant career community AccountingFly offers a ton of free professional development webinars. Whether just-starting-out newbie or seasoned pro or somewhere in between, every accounting professional will find something illuminating here.
The webinars cover a wide range of topics to help you broaden your know-how and advance your career. “What to Expect in Your First Year as an Accountant,” “How to Guarantee Your Public Accounting Promotion,” and “Business Etiquette” are just a few of the recent videos. You may even discover a niche accounting career path you’ve never considered before (check out “An Overview of Forensic Accounting” or “Government Accounting Careers”). Find these webinars and many more at AccountingFly’s blog.
Got ten hours? (Or even just an hour here or there?) Great! That’s all you need to seriously boost your accounting mojo. You and your clients will benefit.
What quick but game-changing professional development tools do you love? Let us know in the comments below!