CPA Center of Excellence® Wins Fifth Major Award in Just Two Years

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Indianapolis company receives highest honor from American Society of Association Executives

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Being able to learn topics immediately and on our own time is only part of it - this program is designed to ensure we don't learn in isolation; that we still collaborate and share knowledge.

The CPA Center of Excellence® has done it again. For the fifth time since 2014, a major award has been presented to the Indiana-based start-up for the ground-breaking work it has been doing in professional learning and skills assessment.

Out of a record 147 submissions, the Indiana CPA Society is one of only six associations nationwide to receive the prestigious 2016 'Power of A' Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives for its CPA Center of Excellence®. The award will be presented in Washington, D.C., on October 5. The 'Power of A' Awards are an annual showcase of how associations leverage their unique resources to solve problems, advance industry/professional performance, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions. It’s one of the highest honors an association can receive.

The CPA Center of Excellence® was nominated in the 'Power to Prepare for the Future' category, which recognizes associations that are helping members prepare for the future and are addressing critical factors facing the industry or profession. The CPA Center of Excellence® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indiana CPA Society.

"We're pleased and honored to receive such esteemed national recognition for our efforts to enhance CPAs' skills, advance their careers, and add greater value to clients and employers," said Indiana CPA Society President & CEO Gary Bolinger, CAE. "As CPAs, they are already proficient with their technical knowledge. The CPA Center of Excellence® enables them to develop the all-important vital business skills they need to succeed in today’s complex and challenging business environment.

The CPA Center of Excellence® is a comprehensive initiative created to better prepare CPAs for the opportunities and challenges of the future. Established in 2014, it has created new assessment and learning opportunities for the vital business or 'soft' skills that will set CPAs and other professions apart from colleagues and ensure their continued relevance as more accounting and finance functions become automated. The skills covered include leadership, communication, critical thinking, decision making, entrepreneurship, and networking and collaboration.

"Professional development that is both adaptive and social is critical to the future of work," said CPA Center of Excellence® Strategist Jess Halverson Bowyer, describing the flexible and interactive course modules. "Being able to learn topics immediately and on our own time is only part of it - this program is designed to ensure we don't learn in isolation; that we still collaborate and share knowledge."

Most significantly, the CPA Center of Excellence® emphasizes competency-based learning, a concept much different than the current hours-based model used by the CPA profession for decades that only measures time in class - not actual learning or retention. It also offers digital badges upon completion of its online course modules; a first for the CPA profession.

The CPA Center of Excellence® is a leader in the movement toward transformation of the current system of professional development and has been recognized with state, national and international awards. In 2014, it received a STAR Award from the Indiana Society of Association Executives as the Outstanding Individual Program. In 2015, the CPA Excellence handbook was named to Accounting Today's Summer Reading List for Accountants. In 2016, the Insight Toolkit was named as a Top New Product, also by Accounting Today. Also in 2016, an article about best practices in talent management implemented by the CPA Center of Excellence® in working with an Indiana CPA firm was named as the Management Article of the Year by the U.K.-based Chartered Management Institute.

The CPA Center of Excellence® components complement each other but are also beneficial independently. They include:

Insight Toolkit for HR & Development. A first-of-its kind assessment tool of the CPA vital business skills that can be used by individuals, firms, organizations or students for personnel evaluations, personal career development, client engagement reviews and project evaluations.

Online Interactive Courses. Competency-based, social learning courses developed by the COE® cover vital business skills and are the first competency-based courses in the country for CPAs.

CPA Excellence A Quick Start Guide to Defining and Mastering Vital Skills for Success. Contains charts, checklists and frameworks in a step-by-step approach for both individuals and CPA firm human resource managers to progress through and master these critical soft skills.

Online Community. A members-only Online Community as a private collaboration space for CPAs to connect with each other and share knowledge, issues and questions in a more efficient and effective way.

Member Networks. Several groups of CPAs that meet periodically to discuss issues and trends of common interest with the common goal of making their firms and businesses better and stronger.

Talent Academy. A five-day training for partners, CFOs and/or those involved in HR to learn award-winning strategies for staff recruitment and retention, appraisal, professional development, succession planning and ultimately revenue growth.

The CPA Center of Excellence® is currently poised to offer the first competency-based online course in the country to count toward CPA license renewal. If approved, this ethics course would become one of two new options for meeting the four-hour ethics requirement in Indiana that CPAs must complete every three years, joining the traditional four-hour classroom option. The third option would be experience serving in a non-compensated ethics capacity for an organization. The proposal for these two new options will be considered at the public hearing during the Indiana Board of Accountancy meeting on July 15.

The CPA Center of Excellence® is committed to transforming the professional development model of the CPA profession to a competency-based approach that is designed to meet the learning and development needs of individual professionals and increase their value to clients and employers. As a result, CPAs will be better prepared and positioned to respond to the emergent and dynamic business world of the future.

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ABOUT THE CPA CENTER OF EXCELLENCE®

The CPA Center of Excellence® was established in 2014 and has quickly become a national and international leader in the areas of competency development and skill assessment. It provides leadership, best practices, research, support and training for critical business skills. It has five main components. The Insight HR & Career Development Toolkit, the handbook CPA Excellence A Quick Start Guide to Defining and Mastering Vital Skills for Success, a series of online interactive courses, a multi-featured online community, and member networks in which CPA colleagues interact with each other in person and online.

The CPA Center of Excellence, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indiana CPA Society. Its products and services are relevant to CPAs not only in Indiana, but throughout the United States, as well as to accounting professionals globally.

For more information about the CPA Center of Excellence®, contact Jess Halverson Bowyer, strategist - CPA Center of Excellence®, at (317) 726-5027 or jess(at)cpacoe(dot)com, or go to cpacoe.com. Indiana CPA Society President & CEO Gary Bolinger, CAE, is also available for interviews by contacting Dave Shatkowski at (317) 726-5022 or dshatkowski(at)incpas(dot)org.

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Elise May

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