September 26, 2018

How Do Big 4 Exiles Get Their CPE?

File this one under first world problems.

Hello,

I’m starting to think about post-Big 4 opportunities and I am wondering how people maintain their CPE credits after leaving the Big 4. Since we need to take 80 hours of CPE credits every 2 years to maintain a CPA, do most employers offer trainings that give CPE credits? If not, will they give you time off and pay for the classes? I’d be very interested in hearing from you, and from the Going Concern community.


Well considering so many of the country’s employable CPAs somehow manage to meet their board of accountancy’s CPE requirements year after year, there’s got to be a trick to stay current that doesn’t involve firms forking out the cash for “experts” to school their staff on all things billable to the CPE time code. Are you telling me you have somehow escaped the wrath of NASBA and don’t get emailed weekly with new CPE offers? Congratulations.

I spoke to one of my favorite HR people at a reasonably-sized but definitely not Big 4 firm to find out what their CPE policy is and found out that most firms above 50 people pay for CPE in one way or another. According to a national survey conducted by the AICPA and the Texas Society of CPAs, 42 percent of the smallest firms paid for CPE in 2010. So unless you end up working out of some ancient CPA’s basement, you will probably not be expected to pay your own way.

Obviously, smaller firms will not be able to provide in-house CPE but you can likely get your online CPE comped, or get reimbursed for any travel associated with in-person CPE you attend. But seriously?! In-person CPE? Get with the times, man.

If you do end up needing to pay your own way (again, totally unlikely as long as you stay gainfully employed by a real accounting firm, even a tiny one), your state society of CPAs can probably provide information on their CPE offerings, or there is always NASBA (as anyone on their email list will tell you) or the AICPA.

Remember too that if you are attending conferences like AICPA Council, you get CPE for doing so, so maybe those dumb meetings aren’t so pointless after all.

File this one under first world problems.

Hello,

I’m starting to think about post-Big 4 opportunities and I am wondering how people maintain their CPE credits after leaving the Big 4. Since we need to take 80 hours of CPE credits every 2 years to maintain a CPA, do most employers offer trainings that give CPE credits? If not, will they give you time off and pay for the classes? I’d be very interested in hearing from you, and from the Going Concern community.


Well considering so many of the country’s employable CPAs somehow manage to meet their board of accountancy’s CPE requirements year after year, there’s got to be a trick to stay current that doesn’t involve firms forking out the cash for “experts” to school their staff on all things billable to the CPE time code. Are you telling me you have somehow escaped the wrath of NASBA and don’t get emailed weekly with new CPE offers? Congratulations.

I spoke to one of my favorite HR people at a reasonably-sized but definitely not Big 4 firm to find out what their CPE policy is and found out that most firms above 50 people pay for CPE in one way or another. According to a national survey conducted by the AICPA and the Texas Society of CPAs, 42 percent of the smallest firms paid for CPE in 2010. So unless you end up working out of some ancient CPA’s basement, you will probably not be expected to pay your own way.

Obviously, smaller firms will not be able to provide in-house CPE but you can likely get your online CPE comped, or get reimbursed for any travel associated with in-person CPE you attend. But seriously?! In-person CPE? Get with the times, man.

If you do end up needing to pay your own way (again, totally unlikely as long as you stay gainfully employed by a real accounting firm, even a tiny one), your state society of CPAs can probably provide information on their CPE offerings, or there is always NASBA (as anyone on their email list will tell you) or the AICPA.

Remember too that if you are attending conferences like AICPA Council, you get CPE for doing so, so maybe those dumb meetings aren’t so pointless after all.

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Talking Pigs Are Obviously More Effective Than Humans in Communicating the Importance of Saving Money

feed-the-pig2.jpgThe AICPA has been running the “Feed the Pig” campaign for some time and, until now, we’ve neglected to tell you how freaked out we are by a talking pig in a suit.
It what appears to be some kind of capitalist version of one of the pigs from Animal Farm, the AICPA has decided that getting through to the American People will take a very serious and well thought strategy. So obviously the strategy ended up being a well dressed and articulate pig.
More advertising genius, after the jump


When you think about it, this is most certainly the best approach, regardless of the biological manufacturing debate. A message from a human in a suit will obviously not appeal to anyone and a non-talking piggy bank will not get the point across clearly enough. Talking horses are nothing new and the thought of talking chickens was just too ridiculous.
So talking pigs it is. However, If we were the AICPA, we’d be a little concerned about spread of the H1N1 which could inadvertently confuse some into thinking that if you save money you will end up with swine flu.
If you’ve got your own ideas about how best to communicate to the masses in this campaign, submit them in the comments.

Your AICPA Dues at Work

stephen-colbert.jpgWe know you’re all worried about the financial regulation overhaul because it may just make your lives more of a living hell. PCAOB, IRS, state accountancy boards, etc. are bad enough but no, we could all be looking at more alphabet soup (in this case the Consumer Financial Protection Agency) in the name of political grandstanding.
Fear not. The bastions of accountant lobbying, the AICPA, is all over this like Barry Salzberg at a Rogaine convention.
Continued, after the jump

[AICPA Chairman, Bob] Harris argued that the proposed legislation creating the agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Act, was overly broad.
“The definition of ‘financial activity’ in the bill is so broad as to include many services that CPAs routinely provide to their clients in accordance with a very strict regulatory and oversight regime,” he said. “The bill would result in redundant regulation of CPAs and CPA firms that are already subject to appropriate and significant oversight by the IRS, Treasury, state boards of accountancy, and professional and ethical standards for the AICPA’s members.”

Sweet Jesus, Bob. We actually agree with you on this. The situation sounds oddly similar to the situation the brain trust in DC is trying to fix now. Too many regulators let the sketchy stuff fall between the cracks and now we’re in economic no man’s land. Add more
Who knew that there was common sense being shoveled around in the halls of Congress? The problem is, we’re certain the amount of bullshit being shoveled outweighs the common sense by an exponential margin.
AICPA Wants CPAs Exempted from Consumer Agency [Web CPA]