FAE Enhances Course Offerings, Lowers Pricing

By:
Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
Sep 20, 2019

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The Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) is expanding its range of courses so as to better serve NYSSCPA members, and in recent months, has also significantly reduced prices for early registrants and those attending webcasts. M. Jacob Renick, president of the FAE board of trustees, said that the FAE, a separate a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Society, is “a benefit for the Society’s members; its sole purpose is to provide education to members.”

Renick said that 29 conferences are planned for the current fiscal year, explaining that the NYSSCPA’s committees are responsible for programming the conferences: “They get the speakers, they do the whole thing.” In addition to conferences, which run for eight hours, he said that 147 seminars are planned, ranging in length from four to eight hours. Roughly half of these seminars are offered by outside vendors, and the ones that the FAE presents feature speakers from within the Society, such as Sidney Kess, he said. The FAE also coordinates with Society committees that offer hour-long committee continuing professional education (CPE) sessions at their meetings.

Recently, the FAE began to offer lower fees for webcasts of both conferences and seminars, as well as “Early Bird” prices for people who register for courses three weeks or more in advance. Renick noted that webcasts of an eight-hour seminar used to cost $279. “Now it’s $199, and the Early Bird discount is $149—that’s a significant change,” he said. A four-hour seminar that used to cost $169 is now $100 for the webcast, and the Early Bird is $75. “That’s more than a 50 percent discount,” he said. In addition, the FAE features an on-demand library consisting of both conferences and seminars that were presented four months ago or longer. The library is free to all NYSSCPA members.

The Society’s chapters often develop their own CPE courses, which run from one to three hours, Renick said. He noted that Kevin Matz, the past president of the FAE trustees, began a dialogue with chapter leaders last year. In the coming year, Renick himself plans to continue to expand the FAE’s outreach to chapters. It is his goal that chapters look at the FAE as a true partner in offering educational programs to their members.

In addition, Renick said that the FAE recently launched Customized Training Solutions, a service that tailors educational offerings to the needs of individual firms. Rather than sending several members to a seminar, he said, “the whole firm can gain the knowledge,” and do so more economically. “On a per person basis, it’s a lot more efficient.” Courses are available in seven areas of practice: accounting, auditing, consulting, forensics, industry, public sector and tax. More information is available at nysscpa.org/cts.

Another FAE initiative, to be launched in the fall—in partnership with CTR Factor, Inc., a leadership, diversity and inclusion (D&I) consulting firm—will focus on D&I training. The program is called the Certificate of Inclusive Leadership in Accounting Seminar Series. Recognizing the importance of D&I in the workforce, the FAE will offer three levels of courses designed to serve every facet of the accounting profession. When participants complete all the courses in a level, they will receive certification in “Inclusive Leadership in Accounting.”

Renick emphasized that the FAE tailors its courses to the professional development needs of its members, and offers courses of high quality. There are services offering CPE at lower costs, he said, “but the quality is not the same. We’re looking to provide not just credits, but excellent education.” FAE courses address new laws and regulations—there were several focused on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act soon after it was passed—as well as important new technological developments, such as data analytics. Specialty conferences focus on topics of growing importance to the profession, such as D&I and the cannabis industry, each of which will be the focus of a conference this fall.

The FAE’s first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Conference will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., at the Society’s offices at 14 Wall Street. Sessions will include “Who Deserves a Seat at the Table? You Do!” featuring Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett, the first black man appointed as vice president of diversity and inclusion for an NBA team, as well as “Managing Unconscious Bias,” featuring Suri Surinder, co-founder and CEO of CTR Factor. Following the program, from 6 to 7 p.m., there will be a networking cocktail reception.

The FAE’s second annual Cannabis Conference will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. at Baruch College. Among the programs that Zachary Gordon, chair of the NYSSCPA’s Cannabis Industry Committee, has lined up are sessions focused on investing within the cannabisindustry, an update on tax and compliance, and another installment of the “Cannaquiz” game, which was a hit at last year’s conference.

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