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Accounting & Audit

Handicapping the Accounting Conferences

When you choose to devote time to attending a conference, I hope you approach it with the enthusiasm I felt and still feel – the opportunity to learn from the pros, improve your skills, share in spirited conversations about the accounting profession...

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I can still remember the first CPE event that I attended. It was in Springfield, Illinois, and I was working at Deloitte’s Springfield office before transferring to the firm’s Chicago tax department. Springfield is in downstate Illinois (actually anything south of the Chicago area is considered downstate, just as anything outside of New York City is considered upstate New York), and the pace is a bit slower there.

Once a month, the local chapter of the Illinois CPA Society held a dinner event accompanied by a speaker who provided us with one hour of enlightenment that counted as CPE credit. The rule in our office was, if you are not traveling out of town, you are expected to attend the monthly chapter meeting, socialize with your peers, have a nice meal, and get that hour of CPE. These were my first professional social events and I loved every minute of them.

The speakers were lively and engaging and they brought us information and tools that were helpful on the job. Sometimes the speakers were local, other times they traveled to Springfield just to talk to us. I was charmed and entranced and couldn’t really believe it was my good fortune to be sharing in this very grown up method of learning.

When you choose to devote time to attending a conference, I hope you approach it with the enthusiasm I felt and still feel – the opportunity to learn from the pros, improve your skills, share in spirited conversations about the accounting profession, sample new products that can make your job easier, and socialize with your colleagues.

There is still time before the end of the year to pick up some CPE credits and participate in some outstanding conference events.
• Start with your state CPA society – visit their website and look for the conference schedule to find out what is planned between now and the end of the year.
• Consider user conferences relating to the software products that you use. There is no better way to stay on top of the latest changes and upgrades and to improve your comfort level with the programs that keep your office humming. There are some major conferences on the horizon – CCH Connections is October 25-28 in Las Vegas, and Thomson Reuters Synergy 2015 is November 4-7 in Orlando. Intuit’s second annual QBConnect is November 2-4 in San Jose. These conferences are designed to inspire you and help you get the most out of your software investment.
• The AICPA’s Women’s Global Leadership Summit is November 12-13 in San Francisco. The objective of this conference is to focus on leadership, boardroom diversity, and best practices to enhance the skills and potential of women leaders within the financial community.
• SleeterCon is November 16-19 in Las Vegas. The Sleeter Group’s annual Accounting Solutions Conference brings together accounting professionals, software consultants, and technology vendors from all sectors to learn and share ideas and concepts.
• CPA Practice Advisor’s very own Ensuring Success occurs on December 3, and you don’t have to travel to attend. Learn from nationally-known speakers in an interactive discussion environment from the comfort of your home or office.
• The AICPA presents its Digital CPA Conference on December 7-9 in Las Vegas. This conference focuses on innovation and helping you take the next steps to improving your practice.

As you can see, there’s no excuse for not polishing off your annual CPE requirement in style this year, there are plenty of opportunities to learn – locally, at a fun conference venue, or even from your desktop. Go to the conference websites, examine the offerings, check your schedule, and reignite your passion for what you do and how you do it.

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