Forthcoming changes in the Continuing Professional Development of CPAs

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The Board of Accountancy (BoA) is taking quality really seriously. From the revision of the syllabus for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure examination, implementing stricter and new rules on accreditation, new rules in the preparation of the financial statements, among others, and now, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The BoA will soon be instituting changes and improvements in the CPD for CPAs.

The changes and improvements include the following:

  1. The gradual increase in the number of CPD units required to be completed for the three year period from 60 units to 80 units for the period ended December 2016, to 100 units for the period ended December 2017 and 120 units for the period ended December 2018.
  2. Shift from the CPD learning categories of Thematic to Competence areas, to make it consistent with International Education Standards, with the Competence areas to be categorized into Technical Competence, Professional Skills and Professional Values, Ethics and Attitudes
  3. Clearer rules on the securing of CPD credits for self-directed and non-verifieable learning activities
  4. Encouraging the provision of more on-line CPD courses
  5. Encouraging more CPD service providers from the academe and government sectors
  6. Start of the use of monitors or proctors in CPD seminars who will be responsible for monitoring the attendance and presence of the CPD participants
  7. Requirement for the giving of a short quiz by the CPD resource person to all attendees at the end of the CPD session and the passing of said quiz by attendees as a requisite for earning the CPD units
  8. More streamlined monitoring of the CPD units by means of the IT Tracking System of the BoA

Rules are becoming stricter. This makes it even harder to comply, especially for those in the Small and Medium Practices (SMPs).  While we see the reason why should these be implemented, it’s becoming costly and burdensome and likely to kill SMPs. While some of the changes are beneficial, increase in the required CPD units from the current 60 to up to 120 by 2018, in particular, is very significant and burdensome to most SMPs.

If this continues, the changes that the BoA is instituting will soon make it impossible for a sole practitioner to continue practicing because of all of these requirements. The Philippines has a lot of competent and highly capable CPAs but instead of encouraging these people to practice, they are discouraged due to the tremendous and costly requirements and choose to be  regular employees. What remains are those big firms with clients who are able and willing to pay and those small practitioners who endures small fees from numerous small clients.

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Others think that this move of BoA is unknowingly killing the small practices and the small and medium-sized businesses. With the increased cost of compliance, SMPs are likely to charge small business with a higher fee, added to the already complicated and burdensome tax requirements, which may not be afford by the small clients. SMPs, on the other hand, might loss existing clients and lose business when these small clients started looking for a cheaper services.

Looking at the bright side of it, quality is upheld and BoA will be able to regulate the practice of the profession properly resulting in greater public trust and confidence.

But with more than 90% of the business belonging to small and medium category, the question is, which will be their priority? The quality or the price?

What do you think? 🙂


Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and information provided are for general conceptual guidance for public information and are not substitute for expert advice. Contact support@philcpa.org for more information and if you want to avail professional services. Find us on Facebook!



Orlando Calundan is a CPA who has exposures in FS audit of entities in various industries such as real estate, food/restaurants, manufacturing, service organizations and BPOs, automotive, holding/investment companies and more. He also has exposure on internal audit engagements.

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