Skip To Main Content
Businesswoman giving a presentation in the boardroom
The Profession

Use CPD to take you to the next level in your career

In today’s competitive marketplace, continuous upskilling is the key to success. Here are four ways to expand your knowledge base, while meeting your 2021 training requirements

Businesswoman giving a presentation in the boardroomAs the profession evolves, CPAs are expected to find new ways to add value to their organizations to succeed (Getty Images/Peopleimages)

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the business world as we knew it has changed. Many of the processes that were already under way—such as digitization—have accelerated and, in so doing, they have only accentuated the need for CPAs to continuously build their skills to remain relevant.   

“Expectations for accounting professionals have changed and continue to evolve,” says CPA Jeanette Hill, lead principal, member development and support at CPA Canada.  “Increasingly, accountants are expected to find new ways to add value to their organizations to succeed. From voluntary reporting to blockchain and robotic process automation, they need to become familiar with a steadily broadening array of new areas.”

Here are four offerings that can help you expand your knowledge base while meeting your CPA requirements. 


As climate change continues to wreak havoc on our natural world, businesses are developing strategies to address the impacts of climate change on their operational and financial performance.

“CPAs will play a key role in this area moving forward,” says Hill. “The demand for CPAs with a solid understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities, for voluntary reporting and disclosure is growing and the landscape here is moving and changing very fast.”

For auditors who want to respond to climate change risk in their audit program, this online course can offer the perfect way to get started. Using interactive case studies, theory and real-life perspectives from fellow CPAs and climate change experts, the course shows why climate change is an important matter for businesses and their financial statements, while helping auditors learn how to talk to their clients and employers about these issues.

The two-module course is available on demand ($179 for members, $259 for non-members) and is worth three CPD hours. [Note: A similar course for boards and executives is under development and is tentatively due out this month.]


In a few short years, blockchain has emerged from relative obscurity to become what has been called “a bedrock of worldwide recordkeeping systems.” Since it’s all about the transfer of ownership of assets and maintaining a ledger of accurate financial information, it could dramatically improve efficiency in the accounting world.

“Blockchain, along with the cryptocurrencies that are built using the technology, is rapidly transforming the global financial landscape,” says Hill. “For CPAs, gaining an understanding of the technology can give them a definite edge.” 

This certificate program provides a foundation in blockchain and crypto-assets, covering everything from practical application to trends, tech controls, best practices, risk management and more. It also includes key considerations to keep in mind if you want to implement blockchain technology with your own organization or for clients.

Offered on demand, the seven-module program costs $285 and is worth 12 CPD hours. 


As organizations look to digitize their processes, many are using robotic process automation (RPA) as a way to streamline their operations and do away with repetitive tasks.

“Soon, a full 40 per cent of accounting tasks will be automated,” says Hill. “It’s important for CPAs to learn how RPA technology can help an organization achieve higher productivity levels and cost savings.”

Two learning options are available: 

  • The RPA certificate ($759; worth 14 CPD hours) addresses the risks, opportunities and organizational impact of automation as well as the key considerations needed to build a business case and run a successful proof-of-concept. Each of the six online modules is followed by an online quiz to obtain the certificate.
  • RPA for accounts payable and receivable ($495; worth 14 CPD hours), looks at how to harness the benefits of robotic process automation for work in Accounts Payable  and Accounts Receivable.


For CPAs interested in pursuing senior positions in the public sector, this course could provide the foundation they need to thrive. 

“The public sector is a complex work environment, and it’s important for accounting and financial professionals to understand the unique characteristics of the sector,” says Hill.

The program, which is offered in two stages, covers everything from public sector accounting to governance and decision-making, financial management, operating and capital budgets, public sector auditing, ethics and accountability. 

  • Level I ($1,095; worth 40 CPD hours) looks at public sector foundations with interactive online learning and case studies. 
  • Level II ($2,395; worth 30 CDP hours) focuses on advanced public sector topics with 30 hours of interactive online learning and an in-person, two-day final capstone session ($1,505).

To obtain the certificate, you must complete level I and II as well as the capstone. (It’s possible to save 15 per cent if you purchase both levels together.)

Both levels of the program include access to Public Sector Connect, an exclusive discussion forum.


CPAs are more in demand than ever. Stay ahead of evolving knowledge requirements by learning about the new competency map and find out how to boost your personal brand

Also, check out Foresight: Reimagining the Profession, CPA Canada’s strategic initiative to reshape the accounting profession.