It has been almost a month since we bid farewell to the tax season. While we hope it has been profitable and fulfilling for CPAs and accountants across the country, we feel you should take a break if you haven’t already and reflect upon what’s to come in the coming months.
Sometime back we created a post-tax season checklist for CPAs, and we talked about how vital it is to continue your education, participate in conferences to learn and network, and turn to giving lectures if desired – mainly partake in everything that would contribute to your professional development.
Adding on those lines, here are five professional development activities that you should considering doing before the tax season work load picks up again:
1) Increase your CPE credits
Just as law and other legal updates are essential to CPAs, staying current with professional rules of conduct is just as important. Check out Professional Education Services (PES) that offer a wide range of state and non-state specific professional conduct courses. Select the courses you wish to take and identify the number of credits needed to register for each class.
2) Learn to use a new software.
The accounting industry is rapidly changing. Moreover, technological disruption is displacing much of the traditional work performed by accounting professionals. The need to digress and progress is much higher than before. Therefore, make use of these quiet months not only to upgrade your technological infrastructure but also to get adequately trained on how to use it.
3) Join social media for networking opportunities.
Accountants are finally getting a solid grip on social media to market themselves. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are powerful platforms. Take Twitter for instance: just having a Twitter profile is necessary because it allows you to showcase yourself as an authority in your concerned industry. It helps you to grow an audience and make meaningful connections. Tweet about topics that could affect your customers such as tax law changes.
Another example is LinkedIn, which will help you stay on top of all the events and happenings in your industry. You can follow industry leaders and influencers and get information straight from the source. Additionally, you can scroll through the updates posted by your connections by merely logging into your profile.
4) Strengthen your communication skills.
Open a treasure box of new opportunities for yourself by improving your communications skills. Once your communications are top-spec, attend conferences, seminars, and share your experiences and insights which will all help grow your network!
5) Become a better organizer.
CPAs and EAs are talented people: they have to keep track of client portfolios, important tax dates, industry updates, and tax law changes, just to name a few, while dealing with their daily work load.
All CPAs and EAs, and all professionals in general, should use calendars, daily planners, highlighters, and color-coded post-it notes to stay organized. Tools such as Trello, Evernote, and Slack are also helpful in planning days in advance. If you are well-organized it is easier to come across as competent and reliable.
You are in one of the most dynamic professions in the world. Don’t ever stop learning. There is way too much to know Are you ready to take the next steps?
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