Free CPE that’s actually worth it?

Let’s be honest: most free CPE is either about a product they’re trying to sell you or a loss leader to get you to try a new CPE provider.

I occasionally will sign up for one of the latter type myself, and if I’m suitably impressed with either the:

  • Ease of finishing it, or
  • The value of what I learned

I strongly consider that CPE provider for a followup course.

In fact free CPE is exactly how my firm got hooked on webinars a few years back – which are both easy and informational.  You just sit and watch, sometimes learning valuable new information.  Better still the attendance test is usually just a one question quiz (or poll) they throw at you every 10 minutes or so to make sure you’re actually paying attention.  It took awhile before we tried one but when we did we found that webinars were easy, efficient and painless.

Interestingly though, I have NEVER signed up for a free CPE that also pitched a product, even if it was a webinar.  I just presumed it would be a bunch of self-serving sales drivel and declined (us CPAs are skeptical by nature aren’t we?).

Skepticism is a CPAs Primary Tool, but it Also Slows Our Growth

Webinars are great, and if you haven’t tried one you should.  Our whole firm should have tried one (just one!) years earlier than we did.  Instead our inner skeptic took over and we spent 40 boring hours a year doing what we’d always done: reading through paper based CPE or paying for expensive live seminars which we had to attend even if we were busy that day.

Have you tried a webinar yourself yet?  What else haven’t you tried?

Well, I haven’t tried vendor CPE yet, but I’m thinking I should.  Why?  Well I’m going to be offering vendor CPE for Cheqbook (and yes, it will be free).  Despite my concern the free CPE will be self serving, I really need to see if I’m actually missing something – like a product that will make my work life easier.

More importantly, I need to make sure we do a good job with our CPE by focusing on your needs rather than ours.  What better way than to learn than from others who went first?

Ready for something new?

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