Rationale of the Study
One significant thing that has been made by the government for the common good of the people was the Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The big noise made by the CPD in the country made us think to gather info about it and learn its advantages and disadvantages. It seems that CPD is really a big deal among the professionals. We have observed that CPD plays a vital role in the lives of the professionals, most especially the CPAs. However, there were some who were alarmed by the large increase in the required CPD units for the said field. The CPD Law enacted in the Philippines has caused a lot of problems for Filipino professionals. As a worst case, some professionals even decided to stop their professional journey. This phenomenon triggered us to do research about the impacts and/or effects of the CPD unit requirements especially on the increase in the unit requirements of the CPAs, which is the profession that has the highest unit requirement to be attained.
What is CPD? Let us refer to Allen’s (2009) definition. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or known before as Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is a process of tracking and documenting the experiences, knowledge and skills acquired by a professional gained either formally or informally. She added that CPD is acquired beyond the workplace and the experiences, learnings are applied, and is recorded to document an individual’s development as a professional. In addition, Tumapon (2015) stated that CPD is both training and knowledge, skills and values development that is relevant to a professional’s capability and competency. Moreover, Salazar (2016) stated that CPD has a purpose of ensuring that the CPAs and all other professions regulated by the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) continue to gain skills, knowledge, ethical values and non-stop learning. Tysiac (2013) added that because of the changes in the field of finance and accounting, regulators continue to add regulations like increasing CPDs for CPAs. It seems like every time there’s a change made, it’s to make it harder or to add another layer of regulatory oversight in some fashion.
There is a proposed revision of International Education Standard 7, Continuing Professional Development that improve current requirements and presses professional accountancy organizations to implement CPD systems that would enhance and maintain the professional competence of CPAs to give quality service to their clients, employers and others (International Federation of Accountants IFAC, 2017).
In the Philippines, CPD for Certified Public Accountants’ implementation is under the control of Philippine Regulatory Commission- Board of Accountancy. Salazar (2016) said, the Board of Accountancy (BOA) initiates to adopt improvements and developments in the profession of Accountancy and there are changes initiated by the BOA up to date, including the Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This is a strategic move geared to make Filipino CPAs more capable and competitive not just in the local setting but also globally thus having CPD requirement compliance as mandatory for the CPAs to renew their license (Salazar, 2016).
The Republic Act 10912 authored by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and entitled “An Act Mandating and Strengthening the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program for all Regulated Profession, Creating the Continuing Professional Development Council, and Appropriating Funds Therefor, and for Other Related Purposes” mandates the professionals to acquire CPD units (Roxas, 2017). The provisions of this law shall be implemented through the issuance of Operation Guidelines by each regulated profession’s CPD Council (Philippine Regulatory Commission-Board of Accountancy PRC-BOA, 2016).
We have consulted PRC-BOA (2016), and it said, with the constant changes enforced to improve the skills and knowledge of CPAs, BOA issued a BOA Resolution No. 358-2016 that supplies the rules of the gradual increase of CPD unit requirements for CPAs from 60 to 120 within 3 years and the move to competency CPD framework from thematic framework. Details of various activities or events that can qualify for CPD requirements of a CPA are also contained in the resolution. (Salazar, 2016)
The shift from Thematic Framework to Competence Framework has the purpose of alignment with the International Education Standards. Competence Areas are divided into 3 major categories: Technical Competence, Professional Skills and Professional Values, Ethics ; Attitudes (Professional Regulatory Commission PRC, 2017).
Despite the benefits forecasted by this resolution, issues have sprouted. In the study conducted by Day, Goodall, Harris, Lindsay and Muijs (2005), barriers are identified with the effective implementation of CPD. The main barriers are time and cost. The time spent in a CPD event and the time consumed upon implementing the changes and as for the cost, CPD events are expensive because of the cost to travel and other allowances needed (Day et al., 2005). Challenges are inevitable along with these CPD initiatives. The most affected are the small-and-medium sized CPA practitioners. Topmost concern is the additional cost with the additional CPD units’ requirements (Salazar, 2016).
We know that CPAs in Davao City also face the struggles brought by the increase in CPD requirements. CPD programs and events, sometimes, is not accessible at hand by most CPAs because of the cost and time consumed by conferences and conventions. Most of the CPD events are held at National Capital Region where the local CPAs need to spend on airfare and lodging expenses.
We aim to know the good, the bad and the ugly factors regarding the increase of CPD units for the renewal of CPA license.
Objective of the Study
Our study aims to answer the research question:
What is the good, the bad, and the ugly side of the increase in the required CPD units from the perspective of CPAs within Davao City?
Review of Related Literature
This chapter is focused on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It presents the scholarly writings of well-known figures and pronouncements or regulatory bodies in this discipline. It seeks to understand the notion of CPD and the related increase of the required CPD units. This chapter covers a wide range of topics which includes the history of CPD, what is CPD, effect of CPD on the work path of CPAs, and the issue on the increase of required CPD units for CPAs.
Evolution of Continuing Professional Development
Lindsay (2013) mentioned in her study that every practicing professional needs to engage in a lifelong learning for the highest standards of character and competence. Continuing education must also be designed to facilitate changes in the professional’s life or career paths (Houle, 1980). Lindsay (2013) concluded that mandatory Continuing Professional Education have been used by governmental bodies, professional associations, and employers as a method to suppress public concern about professional incompetence.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was previously known as Continuing Professional Education (CPE). In the UK, CPE had transformed to CPD which was deviating from CPE because it embraces and recognizes informal learning that can be achieved in practice (Lindsay, 2013). In the Philippines, the change from CPE to CPD is one of the salient features of the PRC Resolution 2013-774: The Revised Guidelines on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program for All Registered and Licensed Professionals (Cesar E. Santos CES Academy, 2017).
In accordance to BOA Resolution 59, Series of 2012, the term Continuing Professional Development is used in lieu of Continuing Professional Education to conform to the provisions of the International Education Standard No. 7 and the corresponding Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants (Sanvictores, 2015).
Continuing Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that a professional gain both formally and informally while working beyond any initial training (Allen, 2009). She added that it is a record of what a professional have experienced and learned. Kloosterman (2014) stated that CPD involves maintaining and enhancing the knowledge, skills and experience which are related to the professional activities that follows the completion of a professional’s formal training. Kinkaid (2016) mentioned that professional development consists of education, observation and mentoring which are helpful in enhancing the employees in a workplace. She added it might include training sessions or graduate classes, spending time with a mentor to observe how others handle conflict or challenges, or mentoring someone else who might be new to the field. According to McAfee Institute (2017), Continuing professional development is a commitment by members to continually update their knowledge and skills to remain professionally competent and to achieve their true potential. Kloosterman (2014) added that it is a process for setting objectives for development and then charting progress towards achieving them. The focus of CPD is firmly on results, which focuses to the benefits that a professional can bring into the real world through his professional development. This is important for it ensures a professional to be continuously competent in their profession and may even be a contractual obligation for several professions (The CPD Accreditation Group, 2017).
Friedman (2012) describes CPD as a way by which the professions across the world ensure that their knowledge and skills remain up to date and that is relevant to the changing needs and of the environment. He added, CPD is significantly contributing to the reputation and quality of the professions and consequently to the quality of national and international social life and economic well-being. Sometimes, professional organizations and even codes of conduct or codes of ethics mandate professionals to earn CPD units (Kloosterman, 2014).
As defined by Professional Regulatory Commission-Board of Accountancy PRC-BOA (2016), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the inculcation of advanced, knowledge, skills, and ethical values in a post-licensure specialization or it could also be in an inter- or multidisciplinary field of study, for assimilation into professional practice, self-directed research and/or lifelong learning. The purpose of CPD is to help professionals manage their own development on an ongoing basis. Its function is to record, review and reflect on what a professional was taught (Allen, 2009). Friedman (2012) suggested that CPD may be thought of as an “institutional wrapper” that is provided by professional bodies about what most professionals had made or attended in the past to keep themselves up-to-date and to develop themselves as professionals.
As pointed out by Kloosterman (2014), to maintain and develop professional competence, creativity and innovation, CPD should be a lifelong, systematic, and planned process. The CPD Certification Service (2016), added that once formally qualified, the CPD helps ensure that an individual enhances their skills and abilities.
Basically, CPD is still a requirement for professionals. It ensures professionals to continue to be competent in their profession (Kloosterman, 2014). It also ensures professionals to continually build the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the competitive business environment (The Institute of Certified General Accountants, 2016).
Benefits of Continuing Professional Development
Salazar (2016) stated that increase in CPD units has a purpose of ensuring that all professions under the supervision of the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) has the skills, knowledge, ethical values and lifelong learning. The CPD Certification Service (2016), added that in order to be confident there should be a recognizable improvement within an individual’s proficiency and skill sets. Thus, CPD helps ensure that further learning is progressed in a structured, practical and relevant manner.
Some of the seminars may be useful but many professionals have found CPD as burdensome, additional costs and time constraints are associated with the increase in CPD unit requirements (Regalado, 2018). This creates a negative impact to some CPAs, most especially the small and medium-sized practitioners. Along with this, the BOA is continuously communicating with the CPAs in the four sectors of accounting profession– Public practice, Commerce and Industry (Private), Academe, and Government practice, to create a program that would be beneficial to all the parties involved (Salazar, 2016).
Allen (2009) further explained the benefits acquired from complying with Continuing Professional Development (CPD). She further stated that aside from updating and developing your professional skills and knowledge, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) also benefits a professional by presenting an overview as to how much an individual has developed professionally and directs an individual to the right path thus keeping an eye on its goals. Kloosterman (2014) said that CPD, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impact of an individual’s work, can deliver a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional. Also, through CPD, the body of knowledge and technology of a professional are enhanced. CPD also exposes the skills, techniques, talents and capabilities by a professional and helps with their career development and may enlighten them to possibly change their career, and many other benefits (Allen, 2009).
In a study made by Megginson and Whitaker (2007), there are benefits brought by Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to the professional and to the employer. It is beneficial to the professional in a way that they are given the chance to reflect on themselves whether they are getting what they want in their professional lives or are they happy with their current professional life. Employers are also benefited by Continuing Professional Development (CPD) because the employees are being trained skillfully and developed ethically that is very helpful to the development of the company (Megginson & Whitaker, 2007).
Barriers Toward Continuing Professional Development
According to the study of Friedman and Phillips (2001), upon carrying out CPD, the common barriers are the time, cost and accessibility because aside from the time demanded by their work, professionals also have a life that consumes a part of their time and the CPD being added, time would really become a hurdle for them which makes CPD disadvantageous. PRC (2017) expounded that professionals face financial hurdles in complying with the required units, they may renew their license because they may not afford the trainings, seminars, or courses needed. Roxas (2017) added that professionals from far-flung areas have less access to PRC-accredited institutions, and are compelled to process their applications and complete the required CPD units in major cities.
Friedman and Phillips (2001) also added that professionals are heterogeneous and has differences in terms of career, preferred learning style, ambitions in life that affects how they take part in CPD. Lack of support from the employer is also a barrier, without their support, employees may feel unmotivated and be cynical towards the whole CPD process. Stannard (2011) added that the CPD program may be constraining because of its lack of understanding or the way CPD is perceived which points to ambiguity over its fundamental purpose.
Rules imposed with the implementation of increase in the compliance of Continuing Professional Development has made it even harder for the professionals to comply, especially those in the small and medium practices (Salazar, 2016). The increase may be beneficial to the professionals but along with this is a problem for all professionals that shell out personal funds for trainings and such, most affected are those workers with low wages (Calundan, 2016).
Agencies or organizations are encouraged to apply for accreditation as a CPD provider to help the CPAs, especially in the rural areas, so that it will be easier for them to attend trainings and seminars. Online or web-based training could be provided as an alternative for the CPAs have more and easier access through the aid of technology (Salazar, 2016).
Increase in the Required CPD Units for All CPAs and the Change of Thematic Areas to Competence Areas
The Board of Accountancy (BOA) has been directed to the adoption of several improvements and development in the profession of Accounting through its own initiatives. There already several changes instituted by the BOA that makes every Filipino CPA more capable and competitive not just in the national setting but also globally (Salazar, 2016). PRC-BOA (2016) added that some of these changes are the alignment of the Accountancy Curriculum to the K to 12 Program; the launching of the accreditation of CPAs in Commerce and Industry (Private); ensuring that universities and colleges allow only accredited CPAs to teach accounting subjects; the changes in the subjects as well as contents of the CPA board examination; and the preparation for the ASEAN integration.
A recent initiative of the BOA is the gradual increase of the CPD unit requirement from 60 to 120 units, within a compliance period of three years for all CPAs, starting in 2017 and was announced through the issued Resolution No. 358, Series of 2016 of the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy (PRC-BOA, 2016). Thematic Areas of CPD activities have also been changed to Competence Areas which aligns the International Educational Standards (Salazar, 2016). These have been divided into 3 major categories namely: Technical Competence, Professional Skills and Professional Values, Ethics & Attitudes (PRC, 2017). Section 10, Article III of Republic Act No. 10912 or the “Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016”, provides that compliance with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement in the renewal of Professional Identification Cards (PICs) (PRC-BOA, 2016).
Authored by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act requires professionals to earn CPD units as a requirement for the renewal of license on the Professional Regulatory Commission (Ramos, 2017). PRC-BOA (2016) added that starting 2017, under the new matrix for CPD requirements in this Act, all accountants need to earn 120 units for the next three years.
According to Pasion (2017), CPD units can be acquired through attending seminars, enroll in graduate studies, enroll in online courses and many other means. Ramos (2017) added that some CPAs may resort to pursuing a graduate degree, but this will only be credited to a one renewal period which only lasts for three years. PRC (2017) added that there are many ways on how to gain CPD units as the licensed professional can acquire units through Professional Track, Academic Trach, Self-Directed Training, and other activities recommended by the CPD council.
The increase in CPD units is only one of the changes done by the BOA that is a strategic move geared towards making not just a capable Filipino CPA but also a competitive one, not just in the local area but also globally (Salazar, 2016).
Agencies or organizations are encouraged to apply for accreditation as a CPD provider to help the CPAs, especially in the rural areas, so that it will be easier for them to attend trainings and seminars (Salazar, 2016). Ramos (2017) added that CPAs could have an alternative in an easier access to CPDs through the aid of technology by having an online or web-based training.
The declared increase in CPD units has not been well received but rather is viewed as costly, in terms of finances and time investment (Burao, 2016). Medenilla (2017) has written in an article that professionals need not to spend a single peso in complying with the CPD requirements and there are employers who offer seminars for free to their employees. Hernandez (2017) cited in that the professionals of a company could get CPD units at no cost by attending company seminars, once the company has been accredited.
In a research done by Rothwell and Herbert (2007), results revealed that attendees at a branch event most associated CPD with courses, reading, and attending branch events provided by their professional body. They conclude that the provision for future CPD needed to be less supply-led and more demand-driven. As studied by Lindsay (2007), she found out that the employer’s influence is significant in the choice of learning activities for the professionals.
The PRC Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Standards and Inspection Division, Maria Luiza Hernandez, has stated that a company will only have to pay P5,000.00 for the accreditation and this will be good for three years and Human Resources Office of a company could apply each of their seminar programs for P1,000.00 (Medenilla, 2017). Hernandez (2017) stated that Private Companies and Government Agencies are required to include CPD as part of their human resource development program pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10912 of the CPD Law.
Medenilla (2017) added that PRC released a circular also that allows government agencies to register as free CPD providers. This a move to lessen the burden with the provisions of Republic Act No. 10912 of the CPD Law. PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr. mentioned that the government agencies such as State Universities and Colleges (SUC) and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) are given the authority by the PRC to provide free CPD programs to the professionals under their agencies for free.
Academic means like enrolling in postgraduate degrees and other activities related to their professions, doing socio-civic activities and others, could also be converted into CPD units in an amount of P1,000.00 (Medenilla, 2017).
Medenilla (2017) stated that PRC is encouraging the public and private sectors to provide CPD programs to professionals to lessen the costs to be incurred by those affected by the increase. According to the PRC (2017), CPD providers all over the country are at 115 only while there are 6,815 programs offered.
Our study is anchored on the proposition of Houle (1980) that ‘learning’ is better than the usual ‘education’ and emphasis is placed on the thought of achieving the full potential whether an individual or a group. Houle (1980) felt that it is important for a professional to have the enough ability to guide their career. He thought that this will be achieved through engaging in lifelong learning or study, an individual may achieve the highest standards of character and competence.
In addition, the theory of Adult Learning-Andragogy by Knowles, Holton and Swanson (1973) suggested that adults could learn differently from children. Andragogy, a term introduced by Malcom Knowles (1973), describes the science of helping adults learn. Adult learners are known by a wide variety of names—including non-traditional students, returning adults, adult students, adult returners, mature learners, and many more—and they have an even wider variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, abilities, responsibilities, and experiences. Adult learners have unique and distinct characteristics. Adult learners are precisely those whose intellectual aspirations are least likely to be aroused by the firm requirements of authoritative, conventionalized institutions of learning.
This chapter presents the research methodology which explains the study design, study participants and selection process, research instrument, phases of exploration, role of the researchers, trustworthiness of the study, and ethical consideration.
Our study uses a method of qualitative research. As discussed by Cole (2017), qualitative research is a type of social science research that collects and works with non-numerical data. It also seeks to interpret meaning from these data that help people understand social life through the study of targeted populations or places. Our research includes observation and immersion, interviews, open-ended surveys, content analysis of visual and textual materials, oral history. It is typically focused on the micro-level of social interaction that composes everyday life. Qualitative research investigates the meanings that people attribute to their behaviour, actions, and even interactions with others. It is designed to reveal the meaning of the action or outcomes that are typically measured by quantitative research.
This qualitative research is phenomenological in nature. As described by Lester (1999), the purpose of phenomenological approach is to illuminate the specific and to identify the phenomena through how they are perceived by the actors in a situation. Martin (2008) emphasized that phenomenology is focused with the study of experience and how people experiences such situations. It studies structures of conscious experience. It is a method of inquiry in philosophy that is based on the presumption that reality consists of objects and events called phenomena, as they are perceived or understood in the human consciousness, and not of anything outside of human consciousness.
Since our study is focused on the views of Certified Public Accountants, the participants of our study were all CPAs employed in the Public, Commerce and Industry, Government, and Academe sectors. Purposive sampling was used in the conduct of the study. As defined by Dudovskiy (2017), it is a technique in which the researchers rely on their own judgment in choosing members of the population to participate in the study. There are three (3) samples for each of the four (4) sectors, for a total of 12 respondents.
The primary instrument that we used in this research is the interview guide questionnaire. The interview guide questionnaire that we used is designed to draw information about the comments of CPAs in relation to the increase of the required CPD units from 60 units to 120 units to determine the good, the bad, and the ugly matters about it. We have drawn information about the experiences of CPAs on their compliance of the CPD programs. The interview guide questionnaire that was used is a modified questionnaire from a specific study. This was given to panel of experts to was validated to make sure that the components match with the purpose of the study. The questions in the interview guide are of two sections: the main questions and the probe questions. The first research question is “What are the experiences of Certified Public Accountants in Davao City in earning Continuing Professional Development units?”, there are three main questions which revolved on the way on how CPAs participate in earning CPD units, how is their level of involvement in earning CPD units, and the problems they have encountered in earning CPD units. Moreover, the first research question has two probe questions which communicate how helpful Continuing Professional Development is in their field and how their experience could help in their professional growth and development. The second question is “What are the insights of Certified Public Accountants regarding the increase of Continuing Professional Development unit requirements?”, it has three main questions that talks about the benefits of CPD programs, how they deal with challenges of CPD programs, and how can CPD help them as an accountant. The second research question has three probe questions, which discusses what their learnings in their compliance are, their suggestions to improve CPD programs, and what lessons they could give to other CPAs as they earn CPD units.
For better footage and documentation, we used voice recorders and video cameras. These were used for the cross checking of the conversation between the respondents and the researchers, this was useful for the transcription of the words.
Phases of Exploration
We submitted a letter of permission to conduct the study to the Dean of College of Accounting Education. For the CPAs employed in private and public companies, firms, schools, and in the government, we have given them a letter certifying their consent or approval to commence the study.
The first technique that we used was to contact few of the CPAs we personally knew, who have worked in the various sectors in Davao City. We have asked for the respondents’ vacant time to be able to conduct the interview at their proposed schedule. Since there are 12 respondents needed, but the number of CPAs we know is quite only a few, we asked help from our friends who also CPAs working in the various sectors in Davao City. We also used the social media to reach out to some CPAs.
Different entities were visited to search for potential respondents of the study. For the Academe sector, Holy Cross of Davao College and The University of Mindanao was visited, and we were able to conduct interview to some CPA instructors. For the Government sector, we were able to snatch an interview from a guest speaker who was working as an accountant at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) during one of our seminars, invited one CPA from PhilHealth for an interview, and visited a government agency to conduct an interview. For the Public and Private sectors, we have contacted our CPA friends and have conducted interview to them.
Before the interview, respondents were notified that we will be recording them through voice recorder and video camera. Their identity was kept for some confidentiality matters in accordance to the ethical requirements of the study. Our main goal, which is to be able to draw the necessary information needed in the study—the comments about the increase in the CPD units, and their experiences related to it—was achieved.
We compiled the voice and video recordings of the interviews. The information was checked and transcribed and was then given to the data analyst.
Role of the Researchers
Since the required Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units was increased from 60 to 120 units, this study will be a way to know the opinion of Certified Public Accountants in various sectors within Davao City. Through this study, their point of view will be expressed in a way that could help improve or develop a program that could benefit all parties involved. In gathering the needed information, the researchers acted as:
Interviewers. As researchers, we were responsible to gather primary data that could best provide and lay down sufficient knowledge regarding our study. We personally interviewed all the participants. Our values, knowledge and skills have helped us in interviewing and gathering relevant information to make our study factual and have substantive data. Also, we have aid ourselves with skills of establishing harmonious relationship with the participants in successfully conducting a clear and unbiased discussion.
Observers. We have observed all the non-verbal cues of the participants, their emotions, gestures and behaviour during the personal interview.
Interpreters. We have analysed the unsaid feelings of the participants. Both verbal and non-verbal cues of each participant was matched and given an overall implication.
Encoders. After gathering all the information, we have properly encoded all the information that we have gathered.
Translators. We have translated all the vernacular answers of the participants to let other readers understand the message given by the participants and have a more comprehensive presentation of their answers in this study.
Trustworthiness of the Study
Trustworthiness for qualitative studies means that the study establishes credibility, transferability, confirmability, and dependability. Credibility is how confident we are that the research study’s findings speaks for the truth and can be trusted. The results derived from data gathering of our study were transcribed accurately and no other words or phrases added to falsify the interpretation. This contributes to the trustworthiness of the data based on the following attributes: prolonged engagement, persistent observations, triangulation, peer debriefing, member checks and referential adequacy (Devault, 2018). Transferability implies how we demonstrated the research study findings for it to be applicable to other contexts. It is described by Devault (2018) as the generalization of study findings to other situations as well as contexts. The interpretation used in the results has touched several topics or subjects. The Audit Trail Code (ATC) used is from the answers of the respondents based on our interview guide questionnaire. For example, we have used AFRQ1:MQ1 code. This means that it is the answer for Research Question 1, Main Question 1. The other Audit Trail Codes used are AFRQ1:MQ2, AFRQ1:MQ3, AFRQ2:MQ1, AFRQ2:MQ2, AFRQ2:MQ3, which are the answers for the remaining Main Questions 2 and 3 from Research Question 1 and 2. Other Audit Trail Codes represent the answers for the Research Question 2, Probe Questions 1, 2, and 3. These are AFRQ1:PQ1, AFRQ2:PQ1, AFRQ2:PQ2, and AFRQ2:PQ3. Confirmability means that the study results are based on the participants’ responses and not based on our personal motivations or any potential bias thus making sure that the interpretations were not skewed to make sure it is fit for the assumptions. As mentioned by Trochim (2006), it denotes to the degree of the results based on how it could be confirmed or corroborated by others. From the beginning of the data gathering up to the end, we remained neutral and understood the purpose of the study. Any personal motivations were disregarded, and we only stated the actual data gathered from the participants. Lastly, dependability is when the study could be repeated, and the results would be consistent. The Universal Teacher (2018), it is the stability of data over time and conditions. Our study is based on the current issue about CPD and this is a matter that changes over time thus allowing other researchers to conduct on the same study and still have, if not all the same, almost same results.
A letter to conduct the study was signed by the dean and was presented to participants. A letter was also prepared signed by the adviser addressed to the participants if they have any questions regarding the validity of our study. The participants were also informed of the audio and video recordings. They were given the informed consent wherein they could sign, meaning, they are allowing us to conduct the interview. They were also informed beforehand that their identities could be hidden anonymously.
Upon collecting the data, the participants were directly interviewed after orientation, so they could proceed to their works and not waste more time. Some of the participants who were available after their work time was invited for dinner to compensate their effort.
While the participants express and share their own ideas, we remained neutral and open-minded with the knowledge we might acquire from their own experiences. The data gathered were transcribed in a verbatim manner. It was also translated from vernacular to English with the nearest meaning from the original statement.
Results and Discussion
This chapter presents the results obtained from the participants. The results gathered from their answers to our research questions and probe questions shall be disclosed under this chapter. The questions were split into 4 contents: participation in continuing professional development, benefits, learning from continuing professional development, and suggestions for its implementation.
Participation in Continuing Professional Development
The usual way for the respondents to participate in CPD activities were through conventions, workshops, and conferences that are accredited by the Professional Regulatory Board. Most of the respondents attend to CPD activities provided by Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).
Our respondent from the Government sector, Yellow:
“Ahh the way I earned professional… continuing professional development by attending seminars, annual conventions, and seminars normally conducted by PICPA. Which are expensive.”- Yellow, CPA AFRQ1:MQ1
A respondent from the private sector also stated a related answer:
“Naga participate ko ug CPD units, naga join ko ug mga seminars ug mga workshops. Naga plan pako mag take ug CTT, kay mag review ka maka earn naka ug 16 units pa lang wala paka naka pasar.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ1:MQ1
(I participate in CPD through seminars and workshops. I also plan to take an exam for CTT because upon reviewing I could earn 16 units already.)
The respondents from the public sector basically join seminars;
“Seminars gyod.” – Pink, CPA AFRQ1:MQ1
“Basically, by attending seminars and enrolling master’s degree”- Magenta, CPA AFRQ1:MQ1
One respondent from the academe sector supplied the same answer:
“Right now, the only way that I could participate is through attending seminars and conferences wherein maka-earn ko ug CPD units.” – Silver, CPA AFRQ1:MQ1
(Right now, the only way that I could participate is through attending seminars and conferences wherein I could earn CPD units.)
The respondents also discussed their level of involvement with Continuing Professional Development and all of them joined the activities as participants only and didn’t join as speakers. The respondents attend because they were compelled for the renewal of their license. Otherwise, their license will not be renewed.
Respondent Yellow stated that he was forced and was not joining voluntarily,
“Actually, I will be forced to join the seminar for purposes of… ahh renewal of my license. The main objective why I attended, and maybe that is true to all, to many not all, that they are forced to attend the seminar because of the CPD requirements. Not because they want to grow professionally.”- Yellow, CPA AFRQ1:MQ2
One respondent claimed that his involvement was low and joins seminars as a participant and supported by a statement from Silver:
“Dili sya kaayo deep na involvement kay naga apply kog seminar kay ddto sa private, third parties na naga seminar. Mostly ako mga kauban sa seminar kay dili mga CPAs tana, join ko kay naay CPDs.” -Blue, CPA AFRQ1:MQ2
(I don’t have the deep involvement because I join seminars conducted by third-party CPD providers. Mostly, the participants are not accountants.)
“In terms of level, dili lang man ingon-ana ka unsa, basic lang. Normally, participant lang man ako sa mga seminars and conferences na pwede maka-earn ng CPD units.” -Silver, CPA AFRQ1:MQ2
(In terms of level, I’m not that into it, it’s only the basic. Normally, I’m a participant at seminars and conferences where I could earn CPD units.)
In contrast with the respondents who answered low involvement, one respondent stated a high involvement,
“Maybe, high, since that we are in public practice we are assumed to be/ compulsory to update ourselves because we are in a wider field wherein we are handling different establishments or clients in different business perspective. More of that, we need to complete the CPD course for the renewal of our accreditation.”- Magenta, CPA AFRQ1:MQ2
From participating in CPD activities, Certified Public Accountants also encountered problems. These problems usually are the time constraint because the activities sometimes conflict with their schedule. Another one is the budget constraint, money is a problem paired with this law because CPD training registrations are expensive, the seminar fee does commensurate with the number of units earned, and the seminars usually have the same topic, re: PFRS or PSA, BIR regulations and etc., but they have to attend most of it to earn CPD units.
These are supported by these statements from the respondents:
“Ahh problems… number 1 ang time, especially if you are working in the government pagkatapos you will not be allowed to join by your employer. Then second is money… of course you have to pay and then good if the seminar is done in the city so that is fortunate for the city CPAs. What about those CPAs in the provinces normally ang seminar is 2 days. Tapos ila expense sa transportations, and ilang stay sa city plus the seminar fee. So maybe that is again counterproductive to the CPAs.” – Yellow, CPA AFRQ1:MQ3
(Number one is the time. Especially if you are working in the government and then you will not be allowed to join the seminar. Then second, the money, of course you must pay and then good if the seminar is done in the city so that is fortunate for the city CPAs. What about those CPAs in the provinces, normally seminars are conducted for 2 days. So, they will have expenses for transportation, stay in the city plus the seminar fee. So maybe that is again counterproductive to the CPAs.)
“Ang pinaka jud kay time. Kay mag earn lang ka ug 8 units kailangan nimo mag render ug 8 hours sa seminar. Plus kwarta pa, ning gasto naka sa time, ning gasto paka sa resources ninyo. Kay sa amoa man gud kay nagapa sponsor man ko sa company namo pero naa jd silay gina-disapprove tapos pag gusto jd nako na nga seminar kay magpagawas jud ko ug sarili. Ang seminar matunong ug Friday so mag battle paka sa imo self unsay unahon nimo ang seminar or imong work. Mayo unta sa one day maka earn ka ug 100 units. Usahay ang speaker pd padagan-daganon ang time, mas dghan istorya kaysa learnings.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ1:MQ3
(It really is the time. You must render 8 hours or seminar to get 8 units. You already spent your time plus you spend money. Our company sponsors seminar but sometimes they disapprove. If I really want to join that seminar, I must personally draw out money. Then sometimes you must battle with yourself if you will attend to your work or go to the seminar. It’s better if in one day I could earn a hundred units. There are also speakers who doesn’t make use of the time and does not focus on the topic)
“Commonly the topics were redundant or similar from one seminar to another. Meaning, there are updates, like example, the TRAIN Law, in every seminar I attended from a schedule is the same topic for another, but I can’t pick up the topics and only for it because the price is for the whole event of the seminar. In addition, the professional council or the BOA push through the 120 CPD units to enable Filipinos to level up with other ASEAN countries’ accountants, disregarding the quality of topics distributed in seminars or evaluating if the topics are really can enhance the profession because sometimes the topics were somehow inappropriate in the accounting profession.”- Magenta, CPA AFRQ1:MQ3
Despite the problems encountered while participating in CPD activities, the purpose of CPD is still instilled and has helped the CPAs in their professional career. The respondents mentioned that CPD is helpful because the participants were informed on updates related to their work. The CPAs are acquainted with the new standards and policies.
Respondent Red, Gold, and Gray has related statements:
“It’s very helpful. Especially on the updates. So, like, the train law so at the office it doesn’t much discuss it’s just self-learning. I printout the new train law then I read it. CPD is very helpful in a way that one session of the CPD is the train law update. So mas maraming expert na you can ask questions, it’s a venue for asking questions. So very helpful.” – Red, CPA AFRQ1:PQ1
(It’s very helpful. Especially on the updates. So, like, the train law so at the office it doesn’t much discuss it’s just self-learning. I printout the new train law then I read it. CPD is very helpful in a way that one session of the CPD is the train law update. There are experts you could ask questions, it’s a venue for asking questions. So very helpful.)
“Makatabang sya kay ma-update sa mga bag-o na standards sa PFRS ug PSA ug sa mga bago na regulations sa BIR, SEC, ug other government agencies na related sa work sa CPA.”- Gold, CPA AFRQ1:PQ1
(It is really helpful because you may be updated of the standards of the PFRS and PSA and for some new regulations of the BIR, SEC, and other government agencies related to the work of a CPA)
“It’s very helpful because considering that we have graduated very long time ago, so whatever updates on the profession, not only in terms of accounting, but also other skills, other sub-skills, leadership, it’s very helpful to learn the new knowledge in not only in accounting but also in leadership and governance.”- Gray, CPA AFRQ1:PQ1
Benefits of Continuing Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development serves as venue for new knowledge and updates. These activities often serve as a refresher course for the accountants. It is most helpful to those accountants who became CPAs from years before and is not familiar with the new standards.
Respondent Red has this to say,
“Basically yun lang, you won’t be stagnant on the knowledge. So CPD units are a venue for new knowledge to come in and yung mga existing knowledge na obsolete, they’re gonna be updated.”- Red, CPA AFRQ2:MQ1
(Basically, you won’t be stagnant on the knowledge. CPD units are a venue for a new knowledge to come in and the existing knowledge will be updated.)
This is supported by Blue’s statement:
“Daghan oy siguro kung naapilan nako tanan. Una, updated ka. Kaduha, padungag sa resume. Mudagdag sa imong added value sa imong career. Makadagdag sa profile. Dagdag sya ug opportunity. Ika tulo, pwede ka mag speak sa uban na wala kabalo unya ikaw nakabalo ka so naa kay chance na mag speak gud. Makadagdag pud ug self-confidence. Ma refresh ka, ma ano… ma remind ka. Kanang seminar about sa ethics na maapply jud sya.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:MQ1
(If I was able to join them all, it would be a lot. It adds value to your career, to your profile. It adds up more opportunity. Third, you can impart your knowledge to others and adds up to your confidence. It refreshes you and reminds you. Seminars about ethics also could be applied in the workplace.)
Continuing Professional Development has a lot of benefits to offer but there is always a downside for everything. The high number of CPD unit requirement forces the CPAs to attend CPD activities.
Respondent Yellow does not view CPD essential for professional growth,
“As I have said, there are benefits. But as I have said we can grow without these. You will grow professionally by attending.”- Yellow, CPA AFRQ2:MQ1
This statement is supported by respondent Gold:
“Forced learning pero that depends on the learner if gusto nya maka-learn during the seminar.”- Gold, CPA AFRQ2:MQ1
(Forced learning but that depends on the learner if he/she is willing to learn during the seminar)
Paired with CPD are problems that are existent when complying with the required units. In line with this, CPAs have found a way to deal with these challenges. They work hard to earn more money they could allot for CPDs and have an extra savings for them to join the CPD activities.
The following statements given by the respondents show and explain how they have dealt with the challenges brought by CPD unit requirements:
“Nah! Grabi jung work work work! Para maka kwarta jud ka. Maka afford ka sa CPD seminars. Labi na nang annual convention, nah dili man jd ko i approve ana. Kung dili ko mag ipon para ana, di ko ka join ana. Zamboanga pa jud. Sa katong CTT, kailangan jd ka mag study ato kay part man to sa imong challenge kay nag CPA man ka. Sayang kaayo. Dawaton pod nimo ang CPD as part sa imong profession. Dawaton sa sarili nga naa jud CPD.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:MQ2
(Work, work, work! So, I could have money to afford CPD seminars. Especially annual conventions. Our company does not approve those kinds of seminars, so I must save so I could join, and the seminar will be held at Zamboanga. For the CTT, I must study. It’s a challenger since you are already a CPA. Accept that CPD is part of the profession. Accept that there is CPD.)
“Find a means, alangan, ngita gyud kag kwarta aron naa kay pambayad. Financial, of course. It entails financial matters to attend CPDs required to update your profession.”- Maroon, CPA AFRQ2:MQ2
(Find a means to find money for payment. Financial, ofcourse. It entails financial matters to attend CPDs required to update your profession.)
One respondent also opted to join on free seminars because there are seminars conducted that is for free but gives a little amount of unit only. Respondent Pink attends on free seminars and stated,
“Mangita ug libre. Oo, mangita jud ko ug libre sa online kay ana man ang PRC na naa daw lagi mga libre, makakita tuod ko pero ang mga libre sad kay tag 1 unit lang, 2 units, lisud kaayo tigumon. Tapos magsalig pud ko usahay sa among boss na mapadala mi sa seminar ang problema lang and seminars usahay kay Sabado, Adventist man ko so dili ko kaapil.” – Pink, CPA AFRQ2:MQ2
(I look for free seminars. I look online because PRC said there are free seminars. But these seminars only give 1 or 2 units so it’s hard to earn units. The boss will send us o seminars also but I am and Adventist and it is usually held on Saturdays. Therefore, I couldn’t join.)
Respondent Gray has expressed that acceptance was the key.
“Kuan raman gyud ni, in dealing with the challenges in complying with the requirements is just acceptance. There are so many CPAs who find it so difficult to comply. Until now they are questioning the CPD requirements. Mura bag wala nila nakita ang positive outcome of the CPD because they just look at it as a requirement or they just want to attend to comply but if they really would like to take this as an opportunity, from this I learned, maski ginagmay, slow but surely I learned something out of it. Like daghan gud sa mga college sa among time, daghan gyud lesson which were not discussed to us in the past. Ako, in dealing with the challenges, I just be opened to the situation and accept it lightly because I don’t have the choice and take advantage to it.”- Gray, CPA AFRQ2:MQ2
(it’s just, in dealing with the challenges in complying with the requirements is just acceptance. There are so many CPAs who find it so difficult to comply. Until now they are questioning the CPD requirements. It’s like they did not see the positive outcome of the CPD because they look at it as a requirement or they just want to attend to comply but if they really would like to take this as an opportunity. From this I learned, even little, slowly but surely, I learned something of it. During our time in college, there were many lessons not discussed to us. Me, in dealing with the challenges, I just be open to the situation and accept it lightly because I don’t have the choice and take advantage to it.)
As an accountant, CPD activities help in terms of professional growth. The knowledge acquired, and the updates learned boost their confidence. Confidence in the sense that they already know the updates in their field thus keeping them prepared from the demands of their field.
Respondent Green and Blue expressed that CPD has helped them boost their confidence.
“You have the confidence. You have growth professionally. Hindi ka obsolete.” – Green, CPA AFRQ2:MQ3
(You have the confidence. You have growth professionally. You are not obsolete.)
“Nakaapil ko kas-a ug costing na seminar. Ganahan ko ato kay nakatabang jud sya sa akoa. Pag abot sa seminar about costing, makadungog ka sa iyang story sa actual ma compare nimo. Mag share siya ug actual na application maka ana nga ka nga pwede diay to. Ma apply sa office, ma review dayun ang work. Naay realizations. In terms pd sa personal growth, mas confident ka muatubang sa boss kay naa kay knowledge.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:MQ3
(I was able to join a costing seminar once. I really like it since it helped me a lot. I heard actual stories from the speaker and I was able to compare it with my actual experience. I was able to review my worked and have the realizations. In terms of personal growth, I am more confident to face the boss because I have the knowledge.)
Certified Public Accountants needs to have a positive outlook with regards to Continuing Professional Development. They must view it with the right perspective.
Learnings Acquired from Continuing Professional Development
The updates on accounting standards are the usual learnings acquired in attending CPD activities. The tax updates, new regulations about tax, and the changes in standards. Respondent Blue expressly stated that there are learnings acquired from attending CPD activities:
“Update sa accounting standards na nag change. Naka learn sguro pud ko adto. Kadtong auditing theories na, risks sa FS. Sayang na topic na dili maapply sa work pero soon siguro.. paningkamutan lang na maapply nimo soon. Mag apil lang jd ug seminars kay wala ka kabalo ba, ang turnover man gud sa amoa kay paspas gud. Basin anytime pwede ka ibalhin sa laing department. Pero dili kay naka seminar ko ani, ana ba. Atleast naay learnings. During meetings, naa ang mga boss, pag naay ing ana nga topic dili ka blind ana nga topic. Ana jud pinaka nindot sa CPD, continuing man gud, ma develop ang profession dili ka ma stuck.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:PQ1
(Updates on the accounting standards that have changed. I learned something from it. About audit theories, FS risk. I couldn’t apply it on my work but maybe someday I could. I just attend seminars because you might now know there will be changes in our position, our workloads. Anytime there will be transferring of positions. So at least I have the learnings because I attended seminars. I’m also not blind about certain topics on meetings with the bosses. In CPD, you continually learn and not get stuck.)
This statement is supported by respondent Magenta’s answer:
“Obviously, current updates and changes on standards and accounting profession and its environment and how is it applicable to me in my current professional field.”- Magenta, CPA AFRQ2:PQ1
Aside from the usual updates on standards and regulations, respondent Gray added additional learnings acquired from CPD activities:
“Marami akong learnings. As I said, in terms of soft skills, leadership, communication skills, enhancing my social skills, emotional skills, although I learned it through experience but added to that learnings, I also learned from the seminars I attended.” – Gray, CPA AFRQ2:PQ1
(I have a lot of learnings. As I said, in terms of soft skills, leadership, communication skills, enhancing my social skills, emotional skills, although I learned it through experience but added to that learnings, I also learned from the seminars I attended.)
Although they see CPD seminars as a challenge, they also acknowledged the fact that there are new learnings that can be gained from these activities that is helpful in their professional growth and career. Moreover, they advised other CPAs to attend in these activities seriously.
Respondent Green has this to say:
“Kung practicing ka talaga, dapat seryosohin mo talaga ang CPD kasi ito yung bread and butter mo eh. Kung wala kang employer, capitalan mo talaga ito. Do not look at it as an expense. Look at it as an investment. Kung hindi ka naman practicing, sobra2 naman ang iyong pera you join. Kung tama-tama lang naman ang sahod alangan naman diba, magiging least priority mo talaga. Of course, unahin mo talaga yung bigas. Mahirap naman unahin mo yung CPD kesa bigas.” – Green, CPA AFRQ2:PQ3
(If you are practicing, you must take CPD seriously because it is your bread and butter. You really must capitalize for it. Do not take it as an expense but as an investment. If you are not practicing and you have a lot of money, you join. If your salary is only enough, it would be your least priority. Of course, you will prioritize the rice.)
This statement was reinforced by respondent Blue:
“Siguro kay kadto jud acceptance ug take it positively. Ayaw pud pasagdi ang time na mulabay na wala kay na earn. Dili lang earn by number pero sayang ang time ba na wala kay na learn dapat naa ka na learn ana pero imo gi foregone. Wala lagi kay gigasto pero as a CPA… ana gud. Ang CPA hawud man jud mag kwenta pero di lang unta mag kinuripot gud, take it as an investment. Dili lang man ang CPD para sa imoha, maka impart ka, maka bilin ka legacy. Daghan ka natun an, maka impart ka. Magpa nurture ka sa imo sarili na di nimo pabayaan ang time na mahuman ang isa ka tuig na wala kay g apilan na CPD.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:PQ3
(Acceptance and taking it positively. Do not let time pass that you are not earning CPD. You should be learning through time, but it is forgone. CPAs always compute for money, but CPAs should take CPDs as an investment. CPD is not just for yourself but you can impart your knowledge. Nurture yourself and always see to it that you can join CPD activities yearly.)
Suggestions to Improve Implementation
Most of the CPAs don’t support the increase in the CPD unit requirements and are pleading to reduce the number of unit requirements. This is one of the suggestions expressed by the respondents. They have also suggested to reduce the cost of seminar registration fee, proper scheduling of CPD seminars to avoid conflicts with their schedules. It was also suggested to consider crediting one’s experience as CPD units.
Respondents who suggested these ideas, expressed these statements:
“Ahh.. number one is yung sa mga community like PICPA, GACPA and all so mas maganda na gawin nating localized yung mga convention na mag-aadd ng CPD kasi usually national tapos minsan regional sa ibang lugar and and ahh tapos yung mga CPA na nasa specific industry mas maganda na yung company nila or kami kunyari yung agency namin, magpa accredit sa PRC para sa mga related sa CPA like I don’t know maybe training in Microsoft Excel, training on mga bagong update sa taxes. Mga withdrawal.. ah withholding taxes, etcetera. So… ano lang ang point is i-ease ang availability kasi mahirap maghanap ngayon so mas maganda mas maraming options. Tapos yung cost, so you make the cost a little more.. hindi naman sya ganun ka mahal pero there are some professionals which is basically yung concern nila is yung cost. So what if… gumawa sila ng package like at this much you’re gonna get this much units so magkakaroon din tayo ng standards na every CPD unit is worth one thousand.”- Red, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(Number one, for the communities like GACPA, PICPA and all, they should localize the conventions that could add CPDs. It’s better of our agencies or companies apply for accreditation on PRC for those seminars related for CPAs. Maybe Microsoft excel, trainings on new updates on taxes. Point is, ease the availability because it’s hard to look for it, many options is much better. Most of the professionals, their concern is the cost. So, what if, there are packages that are not that expensive. You are gonna get this much units for this amount. Like, every unit is worth a thousand.)
“Number one, ireduce talaga yung number of units. Pantay-pantay lang din sa ibang kurso. Ireview natin yan kasi sobra naman. Pangalawa sguro, tingnan rin natin kung meron din ba tayong magandang lane diyan sa PRC na neglect tayo as professionals kasi sa PRC para hindi tayo na treat as professionals. Maganda siguro hindi tayo pahirapan sa proseso para naman ma update natin. Number 3, actually naappreciate ko ginagawa ng PICPA ngayon na kung miyembro ka inactive meron silang amnesty, atleast makabalik ka talaga bilang PICPA member. Hindi yung parang na penalize ka talaga. Tapos mahal masyado mabayaran mo. Kaya nakabalik ako dahil sa amnesty.” – Green, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(Number one, reduce the number of units. It should be fair from the other courses. Let’s review that because it is too much. Second, we should have a proper lane at PRC. They are not treating us as professionals. Processing of license should not be difficult. Number 3, I appreciate PICPA’s move to give amnesty to inactive members. Not that they should be penalized and pay a big amount of money. That’s why I came bake because of the amnesty.)
“Grabe gyud akong rejection dati na 120. Dati positive man jd ko sa CPD. Pero kanang gi 120 lisud jud akong pagdawat ana kay murag sobra 100 thousand jud imong gasto. Ang imong vacation leave, ang sick leave sa seminar nimo nagasto, nagamit para sa seminar unta naa pud seminar leave. Naa silay ipanghatag na time. Kung inyo man lang gipatas-an ang number of units, gipabarato nalang unta ninyo. Unya more NGOs pa ba na nagaprovide ug free CPD unit sa seminars. Giisip pud nila ang salary bracket sa CPAs kay dili baya tanang CPAs dagko ug sweldo. Iimprove pud nila ang areas asa ka mkaa earn ug CPDs, daghan na man jud mag masteral ka, mag buhat ka libro, mag learn ka ug another language pero kanang pasaklawon pa nila ba. Basin diay magtudlo ka ug bookkeeping sa daplin mag video lang ka, dili na bitaw gasto sa kwarta.” – Blue, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(I have a hard rejection for the 120 units. I was positive before with CPD but the 120 units is too hard to accept because I have to spend hundreds of thousands. Our vacation and sick leaves are being spent on seminars. I hope there is also a seminar leave. We wil be given time. If there is an increase in the required units, I hope they will lessen the costs. Provide more NGOs that offer free CPD units. Salary brackets should be considered also. Improvement of areas where we can acquire CPD units. )For free na sya. Or miski dili nalang sya free, lesser nalang sya. Ang uban man gud kay murag gina-negosyo nalang sya. Medyo mahal man pod gud sya. Siguro ang government pod, maghatag og free mga pila lang. Si PRC, mag considerate pod unta enough. – Violet, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(That it would be for free or even if not for free, it would be on a lesser rate. Others make it as their business. It’s quite costly. Maybe, the government could give free seminars even for once or few seminars. The PRC should also be considerate enough.)
“Siguro meron yung ano noh, merong credit units yung experience. Maganda sana yun. Kung meron lang credit units yung self-directed learning, meaning yung mga seminars na na-attenan, not necessarily CPD, pwede rin siguro ma-credit yung work experience, kasi diba sabi pa nila “Experience is the best teacher.” Siguro pwede gawan ng PRC ng mechanism na pwede ma-credit yung experience mismo ng professional sa ano, in terms of CPD.” – Silver, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(Maybe having the experience credited with units. If there are units given with seminars that are not necessarily CPD, experience should also be credited. They say, “Experience is the best teacher.”, so maybe PRC could have a mechanism where experience will be credited as CPD unit.)
“Lesser fee para maka-attend tanan. Naay uban pangwarta ila ana. For example, national convention, I have renewed my PRC license tapos I have already attended 160 units tapos ang i-credit lang diha sa PRC, 48 lang. How come. I have attended the national convention tapos wala pa na-credit unya pila lang ang national convention. Ana lang, compliance. Dapat unta, BOA will consider that if you have already one accreditation, no need to apply for accreditation for other fields.” – Maroon, CPA AFRQ2:PQ2
(Lesser fee so that all can attend. There are some who are making it as an additional source of money. For example, for the national convention, I have renewed my PRC license and then I have already attended 160 unites, and then PRC will only have to credit 48 units. How come. I have attended the nation convention and it wasn’t credited.)Chapter 5
Data Cross Analysis
Presented in this chapter are the analysis and explanation of data from the research study conducted entitled “Continuing Professional Development of Certified Public Accountants: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Lens of CPAs in Davao City.”
Participation in Continuing Professional Development
We have observed that many respondents participate in the CPD programs through conventions, workshops, and conferences. PICPA seminars are joined mostly by the CPAs in Davao City which, for them, is costly. Others say they are not joining the CPD programs and activities voluntarily, but it was somehow a forcing action for their license to be renewed. Meaning, most CPAs join the CPD programs and activities not wholeheartedly. They joined because it was compulsory for their chosen sector of work. Also, the respondents join merely as respondents and not speakers. It’s obvious to say that they attend as respondents only because they were joining seminars, workshops, and conferences involuntarily. The level of involvement in joining CPD programs was mostly low but there was one who said that his/her involvement was high.
Most CPAs encountered problems in joining such seminars/workshops/conventions, etc. Time constraint and budget constraint are the main problems mentioned by most CPAs. Another problem is the low quality of learnings from the seminars they have attended due to the similar topics of such seminars. Sometimes, they attend seminars with the same topics thus, lowering their level of eagerness to join such seminars. But because it would be credited for additional CPD units, they still must join in order for their license to be renewed.
Although many problems were mentioned, there were still positive things related it that were reiterated. The respondents said that CPD seminars were very helpful in updating their knowledge on current issues relating to their chosen field. They were happy that aside from updating their knowledge in accounting and other related field, their professional ethics or leadership and governance skills was also touched by those seminars.
Benefits of Continuing Professional Development
The CPAs have appreciated the benefits they got from the CPD programs, but it was more appreciated by those CPAs who graduated more than 10 years ago. Joining CPD activities updates your knowledge and adds value to your career. It adds more opportunities to them and by joining seminars, they have the chance to share their knowledge to those who are still not knowledgeable of the updates.
Even though a lot are appreciating it, there are still CPAs who view it as a negative thing. They view it as a thing in which it will not definitely help them grow professionally due to involuntarily joining such activities because for them, they can learn even without attending these seminars. They can just open the books or search the internet about the updates and then learn from it without having to spend so much of their money and time.
To cope up with the problems commonly encountered by CPAs in joining CPD activities, they work hard and allot money for the seminars that are available at hand. Other CPAs resort to joining free CPD seminars although a little amount of unit will only be credited. Others rely on the seminars that will be sponsored by their employers. Acceptance was the key. Challenges are overcome by accepting that there really is CPD attached to their profession. Professionals only must look at the positive outcome, see it as an opportunity, and everything will be easy and light.
In terms of professional growth, the CPAs have benefited from the CPD activities by boosting their confidence as an individual and in their working areas because of the knowledge they have acquired from joining seminars, conventions, etc.
Learnings Acquired from Continuing Professional Development
Most learnings acquired from CPD are the updates on regulations and standards, especially on tax. Thus, many CPAs have been updated on the standards and in the accounting profession. The learnings they got from the activities they have attended are of great help in their job, although some learnings may not be applicable to their assigned jobs but eventually, they are hoping that they may use it in the future when their area of work would be on a different aspect of their profession. They have also learned a lot that improved their leadership, communication, and social skills.
Because of the learnings they got, they always have something that they would like to impart to those CPAs who are still planning to join such activities. Their advices to others is that weigh everything. Set priorities. When you have more money, take it as an opportunity and join CPD activities, but if you only have less income, then it would be your least priority. It would be rice over CPD units.
Suggestions to Improve Implementation
Time and budget constraints were the most echoed problem by the CPAs attending CPD activities. They have suggested to lower down the cost of CPA conventions and seminars and plead to have more available options on the seminars. Many CPAs wanted free seminars from the government. For them, it would be best if governments will offer free seminars so that many CPAs could join and earn additional CPD units. Others suggest lowering down the CPD unit requirements for CPAs and to have it in equal level for some other professions. It would be easier to earn CPD units if the PRC will give them easy processing of updating licenses. Another suggestion that was substantial is that experience should be credited as experience is viewed as the best teacher. Maybe, PRC could have a mechanism in which experiences will be weighed and be credited as a CPD unit. The CPAs just hope that their plea would be heard by the PRC.
Continuing Professional Development has been paired with a lot of challenges and issues. The CPD Law made a fuss especially on the part of Certified Public Accountants. This profession was given the highest number of CPD unit requirements to comply with a number of 120 units while the other professions require only a half of a CPA’s required CPD units.
Some found it to be beneficial and gave a positive outlook with the implementation. They say it helps in improving their professional knowledge, influences their professional growth, updates them with the latest standards, and many more benefits. Truly, CPD activities provide adequate information about the latest updates that could influence with an accountant’s professional growth and direct one’s career path. But most of the CPAs had a hard time to accept CPD as a requirement for the renewal of their license.
CPD unit requirements cause CPAs to shell out additional expenses from their own pockets to attend seminars, conventions, and conferences that would give them CPD units. Seminar fees are usually expensive and does not compensate with the units received from that activity. A CPA has spent few days of seminar for also a few number of units acquired. Compliance with CPD is a must for them to renew their license thus forcing them to join these activities. Joining CPD activities also does not excuse an accountant from being absent with their work. Being absent also means that there is no salary for that day. Which is another downside that the CPAs experience with this law and must sacrifice to renew their license.
The CPD activities conducted were also not that accessible to all CPAs. Some of them travel for hours just to attend conventions and other CPD activities. They spend money on lodging and food, plus the expensive registration fees. Continuing Professional Development has really become a burden to CPAs nowadays because of the increase in the unit requirements.
Continuing Professional Development activities help in molding one’s professional growth. They view CPD as a burden but accepted that it also has benefits that could help them perform their work well. The corporate world is fast-changing, and the accountants need to cope up with the changes and CPD activities could provide help.
Weighing the benefits and its downsides, the current implementation of CPD law has shown to be a burden to the CPAs. Not everyone has enough wages to support this kind of activities. There are other ways to promote professional growth, not just with compulsory participation to CPD activities. That was the idea suggested by the CPAs, consider other ways to improve one’s professional growth and not just measure it through joining CPD activities.