As CPAs, we have a responsibility to the public, to our clients, and most importantly to ourselves to stay current on the various tax and accounting services and audit changes in our profession. This is part of the trust that we accepted when we decided to obtain our CPA license. This is part of the trust we accepted no matter which state issued that license.
Typically, each of us takes at least 40 hours of continuing professional education, or CPE, each year. CPE courses include topics as diverse as Accounting and Audit, Management Accounting Practices (MAP), Federal and state taxation, and others. We pride ourselves on being up to date on the latest changes impacting our practice; that may impact our clients.
Information that we may need to communicate to our clients is our responsibility; a responsibility we accepted when we obtained that license. If we want to be the best business advisors and business consultants our clients should be expecting from us, if we want to be that go to person serving the various and diverse needs of our clients, it is incumbent upon us to take courses that keep us up to date with the latest business and professional changes impacting us and our practices, no matter how diverse that may be.
We owe this to ourselves, to our clients, to our profession. This is what helps to set us apart from others who do not have a CPE requirement or those who choose to not comply with this important requirement of our profession. And if we do not stay current how can we effectively provide tax and accounting services to our clients? There must be a mechanism in place to keep all who prepare tax returns current on the ever changing tax laws and regulations, be it at the state or Federal level.
It is time that an annual CPE requirement is codified into law for all who want to maintain their Proper Tax Identification Number (PTIN). It is time for Congress to mandate a minimum annual CPE requirement for all who prepare tax returns. And Congress should give the IRS the authority to insure that all who prepare tax returns, all who have a PTIN, stay current by enforcing such legislation. Legislation needs to be passed to require all who annually renew their PTIN to certify to the CPE courses taken that would fulfill this needed minimum requirement.
When looking for a CPA, ask that person, ask yourself, does that tax preparer stay up-to-date with the ever changing tax laws? What types of courses do they take, do they complete them? For the knowledge received by taking quality CPE will help not only themselves, but their client base. And our goal should be to provide the right help in regards to tax and accounting services to our clients; help gleaned through an ever expanding knowledge base.
EP Caine & Associates specializes in tax and accounting services and the staff prides itself on its achievements in continuing education. To learn more about EP Caine & Associates’ services, contact the firm at (610) 525-2933 or fill out our contact form here to email us directly.
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