The best accounting continuing education courses are accredited, teach current accounting regulations, apply specifically to your type of accounting work and are presented in a format that is the most convenient and cost-effective for you. Requirements for continuing education usually include a certain number of hours to be completed over a specified time frame. These requirements can vary depending on where you live.
The first step in choosing the best accounting continuing education courses is to always make sure you understand all necessary requirements relating to hours and content before setting out to find a course. The courses offered should also be designed specifically for the kind of accounting work you do. For example, accountants who specialize in audits might need specific accounting continuing education courses related to that work focus.
One of the most important aspects of picking a course is making sure the program is accredited. Check with a professional accounting organization to see if it can recommend programs and schools that are accredited. If you are not self-employed, your employer will likely have a listing of recommended programs. Finally, be sure to ask the college or other institution offering the class to verify that the course is accredited.
The best accounting continuing education courses should also be in a format that is most convenient for you. Courses are often held at community colleges, universities or four-year colleges. These programs are geared toward professionals, so many of the classes are offered at night or on weekends. Like anything, it might take some checking around to find an accounting continuing education program that fits your format and offers the best price.
Online courses might fit both price and format requirements, because they can be less expensive than standard college classes. You also can take the course online and complete the material anywhere and anytime that is convenient. Some programs even have quick grading and printable certificates. Other forms of self-study courses utilize textbooks, online videos or webcasts. If you choose an online program, pay special attention to making sure the program is accredited.
In some countries, you might be required to be a part of a professional organization that oversees continuing education requirements in the accounting field. The organization might require that you pay dues to belong. In addition, you might be required to show proof that you have successfully completed all continuing education requirements.
Ongoing education is required for accountants because this field is both challenging and can experience frequent changes in proper practices. New regulations or changes to existing laws can easily make current accounting practices obsolete. For this reason, always make sure you choose continuing education courses that are as up-to-date as possible.