Trip worth more than just CPE
A recent post on CPE discussed attending a live event, such as a conference, with the objective of taking a few items away that you can apply to your practice. I concur with the suggestion of having a plan when attending a conference. At the time of this post, I was attending the AICPA National Governmental and Not-for-Profit Training Program in Las Vegas.
The conference had been marked on my calendar for some time. One track covered all of the elements of the single audit, from planning to handle findings. Factoring in travel, lodging and meals, the cost was more than similar CPE locally but I believed this conference was too important not to attend.
I chose this conference primarily to learn whether all the A-133 engagements I participated in were done properly. My introduction to single audit three years ago was by necessity. For all intents and purposes, there was no one else able to perform an upcoming engagement. I was “technically” qualified to do the audit from nonprofit CPE but I had no experience. With the single audit approaching, I obtained the A-133 self-study course from the AICPA. I relied on the course manual and DVD to guide me, which helped the engagement go smoothly, and I received the maximum of amount CPE credits after passing the exam.
One of my objectives was to meet some of the people associated with the course. Just my luck, two of the people were among the first I met at the conference. After introducing myself, I thanked them and explained why. Both were surprised that someone would walk up and do this, but both were glad they were able to help. The other objectives involved education, which I met in the first two sessions. Overall, I took away items that will benefit me in all aspects of my practice. And I learned that all my single audit work had been done the right way.
During the conference, I met other sole practitioners, including those who conduct audits. I also have met colleagues from various parts of the country. All of those who I met shared information with me and most said they would be glad to help in the event I need it. Whether the phone call or email for help is ever made or sent, developing new relationships is the added value of obtaining CPE in-person. I am already looking forward to the next conference.
Alan is a sole practitioner based in Central Ohio. He made a career change at 40 after working as a journalist for more than 15 years. Alan started his practice in May 2010 and currently focuses on not-for-profit organizations, individuals and small businesses. He has helped a number of nonprofits obtain their tax-exempt status and assisted others with their audit, compliance and tax needs. Alan has overcome many obstacles, and has spent the past 11 years primarily as an auditor. He also has worked on audits of financial institutions, closely-held businesses and began his second career as an ABL field examiner.