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How to keep up to date with accounting standards

    The fundamental brand of an accountant has always been compliance. Clients continue to rely on contemporary firms for on-demand and up-to-date technical knowledge, despite the fact that modern businesses have consciously shifted their focus to higher-margin advisory capabilities.

    Technical skill, in fact, remains at the heart of adding value. When you can alert customers to developments in accounting, auditing, and tax that they weren’t aware of and help them manage the commercial consequences with inventive solutions, you’ve earned their trust.

    But, with new advancements occurring all the time, how can you stay current on accounting and auditing standards?

    Recent changes in accounting standards

    Revenue recognition, lease accounting, and financial instrument accounting regulations have all changed in recent years. Amendments were made more recently to reflect the Interest Rate Benchmark Reform and Covid-19 concessions. There are also other factors related to several other world events.

    Standard-setters are still adapting financial reporting rules to our increasingly complex environment – a global baseline of sustainability disclosures is on the horizon, as are new reporting criteria for digital assets.

    Recent changes in auditing standards

    Professionals must also follow the new SAS 134-140 auditing criteria. These guidelines changed the format of the audit report, mandated improved communication between auditors and governance management, and mandated extra audit procedures for related party transactions.

    Clearly, regulations are introduced, updated, or removed at all hours of the day and night, and accounting professionals must be rigorous in their attempts to stay up to date. Clients may respond to changes strategically rather than reactively with fast and accurate information from their trusted advisors, and seize opportunities to improve their systems, processes, and controls.

    How you can stay current

    Accounting and tax professionals frequently use professional association tools to stay up to date on pertinent news. Thomson Reuters’ Checkpoint Learning platform offers a variety of CPE classes, as well as industry-leading conferences including SYNERGY and Gear Up.

    Firm-wide training events in which peers discuss their experiences in a certain accounting or tax field, as well as access to an internal knowledge centre, can help ensure that all employees have the same level of expertise. Other effective strategies to keep your finger on the pulse of your area of specialisation include signing up for industry newsletters and following industry leaders on social media.

    Why you need digital tools

    Being aware of the current changes in accounting and auditing standards is not the same as being well-versed in them: you must grasp the ramifications of these changes in order to bring value to your clients. However, as accounting rules get more complicated, they become increasingly difficult to understand and apply. While periodic training sessions can help to reinforce your overall competence, many professionals require more day-to-day support in order to swiftly and successfully find the proper solutions for their clients.

    This is where technology comes in: it allows you to get expert help whenever you need it.

    Checkpoint Edge and Checkpoint Learning

    Using technology like Thomson Reuters’ Checkpoint Edge to stay up to date on recent changes in accounting standards, auditing standards, tax legislation, and more is a wise move. Checkpoint Edge is a smart research tool that uses AI and machine learning to deliver focused answers when you type in a specific question. Checkpoint Edge is jam-packed with the most up-to-date advice from subject-matter experts, and with the ability to access content from other reputable public websites, you can quickly discover the proper answers for customers.

    Thomson Reuters also offers Checkpoint Learning, which is a portal to a wide choice of on-demand CPE courses and live events such as webinars, seminars, and conferences for companies wishing to develop their employees. Learning modules are presented by trusted professionals, and 10-minute nano lessons on a variety of topics are available for people short on time. Participants could learn at their own pace and in their own style while earning 1/5 (or 0.2) CPE credits for each course completed.

    You can quickly adjust to your clients’ ever-changing needs and generate new revenue streams if you have the correct learning materials and technology. You can also be more proactive in asking diagnostic inquiries to help your clients identify potential problems. When you can combine market knowledge with technical competence in new rules and best practises, you’ll be able to keep one step ahead of your clients rather than reacting to their needs.

    Learn more: How to keep up with tax law changes