Boost your professional development with these free resources
3.26.2021 |

Just as many CPAs have been working remotely since the pandemic began, so too have professional development courses and conferences moved to a virtual format. Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources you can tap into at your convenience, no matter where you happen to be. 

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Practice management considerations in times of crisis
From remote work considerations to insurance issues, this four-part podcast series explores various challenges firms need to be aware of during uncertain times. 

Professional skepticism in a remote working environment
COVID-19 has transformed the way auditors work. In this podcast, FCPA Karen Higgins, audit and assurance partner at Deloitte Canada and the chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board’s Professional Skepticism Working Group, shares practical examples on applying professional skepticism in a remote working environment during uncertain times.

Financial literacy podcast: Mastering money
CPA Canada created two special series to deal with the fallout of the pandemic. The COVID-19 series, features experts discussing topics such as saving, mental wellness and retirement, while the small business series, produced in partnership with the Government of Ontario, is aimed at helping small businesses navigate the pandemic. In addition, the latest season of Mastering money focuses on everyday financial decisions while dealing with the global pandemic.

Tax considerations for small businesses
This webinar—worth one CPD hour—looks at preparing for tax season, the impact of government benefits on small business taxes, potential tax deductions and more. It is partly funded by the Government of Ontario and will be held in English on March 30, 2021 and in French on March 31, 2021, after which they will be available on-demand.

PWC’s national webcast: Act now to emerge stronger
How do we measure the effects of the pandemic on our economy? How do we support growth in the age of COVID-19? What about the creation of value? This PwC webinar offers insight on these issues as we move forward.


WORK TRENDS
Human resources in a pandemic

In the first episode of a two-part conversation with Neil Amato for the Journal of Accountancy, Paul McDonald, the senior executive director at Robert Half, looks at the recruiting outlook for accounting professionals this year. In the second episode, he explains why investing in employees matters more than anything else if organizations are to emerge as winners from this health crisis.

Remote work and cybersecurity: Tips to protect your organization and staff
In this webinar, Imran Ahmad, partner at law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, discusses common cyber threats when working from home and steps that can be taken to mitigate potential risks.

How to foster true diversity and inclusion at work (and in your community)
When companies think of diversity and inclusion, they often focus on meeting metrics rather than building relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, says Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer. In this TED talk, she talks a about how to create a truly inclusive workforce and bring real change—all the way to the boardroom

Also, watch How racial bias works—and how to disrupt it, with Jennifer L. Eberhardt, a psychologist at Stanford University. 

Do You Miss the Office?
Led by Annie Bergeron, design director and principal at Gensler, and presented by the real estate investment company Ivanhoé Cambridge, this podcast series explores how the pandemic has made us completely rethink our work environments. 

The CFO of the future
Finance executives play a key role in organizations, and in this report, the Institute of Management Accountants and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants consider how the CFO role is changing as well as opportunities for the future.

THINKTWENTY20
The fall and winter issues of this publication feature articles (many by CPAs), on a variety of topics such as automated audits, the use of social media in the accounting profession, managing a team in the age of COVID-19, and more. 

TECHNOLOGY

CPA guide on best practices in IT use
This bilingual guide from CPA Quebec provides a comprehensive list of best practices for responsible information technology use in the CPA profession, taking into account CPAs’ ethical and regulatory obligations.

Transforming the finance function with RPA
Robotic process automation (RPA) can play a critical role in transforming the finance and accounting function. This report by the Institute of Management Accountants explores how the technology works and how it can be applied to specific areas. 

CPA Canada’s publication, Robotic Process Automation: Technology Spotlight, written by FCPA Daniel Zbacnik, also looks at the same subject.

Building ethical AI solutions: using the ethics funnel and a trusted framework
AI is increasingly becoming the go-to solution for a wide range of business problems. But it can also raise ethical issues. This guide summarizes the presentations and key messages from CPA Canada’s fourth Ethics Symposium, which explored the interaction between technology and ethics and what it means for the way we do business.

Scale up! How to use technology to boost your business’s efficiency
In this webinar, available in English and French, BDC experts explain how to boost a company’s productivity, revenue and capacity by using technology to its full potential. 

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Canadian public company financial reporting update: Q4 2020
This on-demand event offers updates on key changes to IFRS and Canadian securities legislation and other important issues. Also, the Q1 2021 webinar will be held on April 29, and will then be available on-demand after. Both webinars are free and worth one CPD hour per event. 

Viewpoints (auditing crypto-assets): Are tests of controls needed regarding the ownership assertion?
It can be challenging for auditors to verify the rightful owner of crypto-assets, given that transactions are pseudo-anonymous and the identity of the actual owner is not legally recorded. Viewpoints outlines the factors to consider in obtaining sufficient audit evidence.

A4S essential guide to valuations and climate change
This five-step framework complemented by case studies is developed by the Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network and led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. It aims to provide business valuators with direction to incorporate climate change risks and opportunities into valuations.

STAY SHARP

Check out more free publications, webinars and podcasts to improve your professional skills and explore further development resources to enhance your career.

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON CPA CANADA WEBSITE