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AICPA, state societies to establish CPE network.

State CPA societies and the American lnstitute of CPAs are leading an effort to establish a network that would consolidate some of their efforts in the development, purchase, sale and delivery of continuing professional education to CPAs.

The Continuing Professional Education Network would provide CPE that is responsive to members' needs, cut costs to both state society and individual CPE buyers, avoid duplication of courses and explore new methods and technologies for delivering CPE.

This proposed voluntary association, which would include the Institute, state CPA societies and independent CPE vendors, is still being developed. In September the CPE planning committee, made up of state society and Institute members and staff, circulated to state CPA society officials, independent CPE vendors and others an exposure draft of a framework for the network. At press time, the group was scheduled to meet in October to discuss the comments received and hammer out the network's structure and ground rules.

Keeping up with the times

"Change is coming and we must be prepared," A. Marvin Strait, chair of the AICPA CPE board of management and CPE planning committee, told the Journal. "With the combined resources of the network we will have the ability to keep up with evolving technologies for delivering CPE, such as CD-ROM and interactive courses. We would like the network to be in place within a matter of months and hope that all state societies will find it to their advantage to participate."

"I believe this coalition will result in better service to members, and any organization focusing on member service and providing high-quality, cost-effective CPE will find it attractive," Barbara A. Zorn, executive director of the Maryland Association of CPAs, said. "The network also is expected to include major independent vendors, and if they participate CPAs and state societies should not have a problem buying into it.

"We have to plan for the future," she said. "Looking at the long term - and at the rapidly changing technological environment - we must investigate CPE delivery methods. New accounting graduates especially, who are used to working with computers, will want to get their CPE that way as well. I do not believe that any one state society or organization has the money to fund that research and development; for that we will need alliances."

Joining the network

Although all the requirements for participating in the network have not yet been finalized, according to the ED any state society will be able to join and to receive discounts on seminars and course materials if it commits to obtain at least 50% of its CPE presentations, excluding conferences, through the network. That percentage may be lowered just for purchases made in the first year.
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Title Annotation:continuing professional education for CPAs
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 1, 1995
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