News Flash! Learning is changing. How, when, where and even what people learn today is drastically different than even a few years ago. (I venture to guess that anyone in the business community today would not find that information noteworthy.) Now, “how” YOU as a busy CPA professional in the marketplace addresses your changing needs and how you adapt the multitude of learning options to suit your learning style, is likely a little more interesting.

It also probably isn’t a shock that your Indiana CPA Society has been working for almost four years to help figure out the “how” for you.

This week all members of the Society were given access to the new “how” through the CPA Center of Excellence® Online. It’s exciting to know that at this moment you can have a conversation with almost 8,000 of your colleagues about any topic through an open forum discussion! When have you been able to do that?

The opportunities for meaningful learning are only beginning to emerge as all of the components of the CPA Center of Excellence® roll out. You may have recently received information about the online courses developed to give you customized professional development in the core competencies of the profession. Six of the core competencies were identified in AICPA’s CPA Horizons 2025 report. As we worked with members, we added the seventh competency of knowledge sharing. And now, we have developed the first two online courses to address the leadership and critical thinking competencies.

If you’re thinking “hmmm…I could improve my leadership or critical thinking skills, maybe I should check this out,” then I encourage you to take one of the courses right now! Do it, go ahead and register. Once registered you can start and stop at any point and return later to pick up where you left off. The courses are competency-based so your progress is dependent on successfully completing each section before you move on. (I was working on the free social media course and I’ve learned I am a slow learner!)

Once you start – share your experience and impressions with other members on CPA Center of Excellence® Online by starting a discussion. Is this different from traditional CPE courses you have taken?

From my perspective on the advocacy side, I have to think about how competency-based learning like these courses can be measured to fit in the hours-based regulatory model we currently have for professional development. That’s a much bigger concept that I’m still working on figuring out!

However, we are incredibly fortunate to have progressive Board of Accountancy members with vision. In May, Indiana’s Board of Accountancy issued a resolution to allow the seven online competency-based courses to be part of a pilot program. (Details are provided when you register.)

This kind of innovation is the only way we can move the profession forward so members can be even better for the public they serve. We need to meet changing needs, do what’s best and then figure out how to regulate the few that won’t follow the rules no matter what they are.