Compliance has always been an accountant’s core brand. Even though modern firms have strategically pivoted their focus to higher-margin advisory capabilities, clients continue to count on them for on-demand and up-to-date technical knowledge.
The reality is, technical competence still lies at the heart of adding value. When you can flag changes in accounting, auditing, and tax that clients didn’t know about, and help them manage commercial impacts with innovative solutions, then you’re well on your way to gaining their trust.
But how do you stay current on accounting and auditing standards when there are new developments happening all the time?
Recent changes in accounting standards
The last few years have seen changes to accounting rules for revenue recognition, lease accounting, and financial instruments. More recently, amendments were made to reflect the Interest Rate Benchmark Reform and Covid-19 concessions. And, there are additional considerations attributable to various other world events as well.
Standard-setters are continuing to adapt financial reporting requirements to our increasingly complex world — a global baseline of sustainability disclosures is on its way; new reporting requirements for digital assets are also in the pipeline.
Recent changes in auditing standards
At the same time, professionals must adhere to new auditing standards SAS 134-140. These standards revised the way the audit report is presented, called for enhanced communications between auditors and managers charged with governance, and prescribed additional audit procedures for related party transactions.
Clearly, regulations are brought in, revised, or withdrawn around the clock and accounting professionals must be diligent in their efforts to seek out the latest developments. With timely and accurate information from their trusted advisors, clients can respond to changes strategically rather than reactively, and harness opportunities to improve their systems, processes, and controls.
How you can stay current
Accounting and tax professionals often take advantage of resources from professional associations to keep abreast of relevant news. Thomson Reuters offers a variety of CPE classes through its Checkpoint Learning platform, as well as industry-leading conferences, including SYNERGY and Gear Up.
Firm-wide training sessions where peers share their experience of a particular accounting or tax area and access to an internal knowledge center can ensure consistent expertise across all staff. Signing up for industry newsletters and following industry leaders on social media are other great ways to keep your finger on the pulse of your area of specialization.
Why you need digital tools
Being aware of the changes in accounting and auditing standards that are happening isn’t the same as being well-versed in them: you need to understand the implications of these changes to add value to clients. But as accounting standards become more complex, they’re also harder to interpret and apply. While periodic training sessions can reinforce your overall expertise, many professionals need stronger day-to-day support to find the right answers for clients both quickly and effectively.
This is where technology comes — to provide access to expert guidance whenever you need it.
Checkpoint Edge and Checkpoint Learning
Leveraging technology, such as Checkpoint Edge from Thomson Reuters, is a smart way to stay current on recent changes in accounting standards, auditing standards, tax regulations, and more. Checkpoint Edge is an intelligent research tool powered by AI and machine learning, meaning you can input a specific query and expect targeted results. The tool is packed full of up-to-date guidance from subject-matter experts, and with the ability to access content from other trusted public websites, Checkpoint Edge ensures you can easily find the right answers for clients in less time.
For firms looking to nurture team members, Thomson Reuters also offers Checkpoint Learning, which is a gateway to a wide range of on-demand CPE courses and live events such as webinars, seminars, and conferences. Learning modules are delivered by trusted experts and for those short on time, there are 10-minute nano lessons on a diverse range of topics. Participants could grow their knowledge at a pace and in a style that suits them while earning 1/5 (or 0.2) CPE credits for each course undertaken.
With the right learning resources and technology, you can quickly adapt to the ever-changing needs of clients and benefit from new revenue streams. You can also be more proactive in asking diagnostic questions to spot potential issues for your clients. When you’re able to combine industry knowledge with technical expertise in evolving regulations and best practices, then you can stay one step ahead rather than simply react to what clients need.
Ready to help clients see around corners?
If you’re looking for innovative technology to upskill your organization, streamline your technical research process, and help clients anticipate how evolving regulations might affect them, then look no further than Checkpoint Edge and Checkpoint Learning. Both tools have been designed to bring you high-quality content quickly through a user-friendly interface, so you and your team can gain new skills and deliver the right advice to clients. Get started with Checkpoint Edge and Checkpoint Learning today!