Professional accounting is a field unlike any other. On the one hand, there are standard skills and knowledge sets that are the foundation of success. On the other, new resource guides, breaking news, and online journals complicate things. Knowing everything there is to know in the accounting profession is near impossible. To add insult to injury, the differing rules, standards and regulations in accounting set by each country (for example, the US vs. Australia) can make the situation even more confusing.
Granted, most service sectors are subject to change. The difference for accountants is that the stakes for clients could not be higher. A mistake by an accountant can lead to much higher tax liability, missed investment opportunities or even criminal penalties. This is why a broad range of knowledge is essential for professional accountants.
Understanding the importance of continuing education
Accounting professionals must remain up to date on news and developments. Continuing education and online classes do an excellent job of educating accountants. In and of themselves, these resources are not enough. Accounting firms should learn with additional resources as well.
One invaluable resource? Accounting magazines.
The role of magazines in professional development
The quality of continuing professional education courses varies by a wide range. Some are excellent, others mediocre. At the same time, online courses will not always contain enough material. Accountants must stay informed about changes in regulations and financial reporting practices.
Reading industry magazines can provide accountants with more information. These magazines present an overview of what these regulations and changes entail. Magazines also often list upcoming courses for accountants to attend. This allows them to continue their education at their own pace and on their own terms. As an accountant, you can learn about the ethics and standards of your profession from colleagues.
The Four Best American Accounting Magazines for Accountants and Tax Professionals
This post will cover which accounting magazines best serve accounting professionals. These magazines help accountants stay informed and separate themselves from the competition. Reading these accounting magazines is no replacement for other professional development. Yet, doing so will keep you apprised of important developments in the field. The following four magazines focus on helping accounting practitioners and finance professionals. Each of these recommendations provides a wealth of varied and trustworthy information. They all also provide a unique point of view to the reader.
The CPA Practice Advisor is an invaluable resource to professional accountants. The material in this magazine addresses important developments in the accounting world. Some of these updates may otherwise go unnoticed. The articles are written by accounting professionals with domain expertise. Each piece provides insightful commentary on hot topics in accounting today.
It also features case studies that offer valuable lessons learned. Finally, the CPA Practice Advisor offers timely information about legal and regulatory changes. Additionally, the publication covers professional standards updates, emerging technologies, and more. This magazine is vital for accountants eager to stay up-to-date with their profession.
The Journal of Accountancy is a monthly publication for accountants published by AICPA & CIMA. The journal covers developments in accounting, taxation law, technology, and practice management.
The articles provide practical insights into today's most pressing issues. Articles cover topics such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance or ERP implementation. Journal of Accountancy features a wide range of subjects. These subjects include forensic accounting and tax preparation. It also includes content about corporate governance and audit committee oversight. The Journal of Accountancy should be an essential part of any certified public accountant's reading list.
The University of Chicago Law School publishes the National Tax Journal. The National Tax Journal covers a wide range of aspects of the law.
Subject matter includes:
- Tax law
- Estate planning
- Probate matters and;
- Bankruptcy proceedings
The journal publishes articles by leading practitioners in the field and also provides coverage of current events and developments in taxation. It is an excellent read for anyone interested in accounting or taxation.
The American Accounting Association publishes this venerable publication once per quarter. It is a great resource for CPAs interested in emerging trends in accounting. There is also ample information about developments that affect current accounting practices. The contents of this journal are often more theoretical than other journals. Those who prefer a more practical focus might find this journal less useful. Yet, it is a valuable read for those with an eye towards innovation and future trends in their field.
Excellent Australian Accounting Magazines
Australia has a number of excellent accounting magazines as well, which we’ll be introducing you to below.
1. In the Black
Published in over 100 countries, In the Black provides articles and insights about financial services and accounting, providing strategic information for those in the accountancy profession.
Published by Tax and Super Australia, Outlook Magazine is another excellent Australian accounting magazine. This publication provides insights on important and emerging accounting topics. The content is created by tax and superannuation experts, giving readers the confidence that the material comes from expert colleagues in their field.
Last but not least, Taxation in Australia is published eleven times each year and while many consider it a journal, the regular publication qualifies to many as a magazine. From a content standpoint, the material included in Taxation in Australia features a practical point of view to taxation and financial services issues that affect CPAs and accountants in Australia.
Should financial professionals read accounting magazines?
Online resources are a click away. Yet magazines continue to prove to be an excellent resource.
Financial services professionals enjoy understanding what pressing issues are affecting accountants. More informed financial professionals are better equipped to help clients. Accounting legislation, policy changes, and industry forecasts impact client work. Profit and loss statements and family financial planning are important. Shouldn't you stay informed?
If you are a CPA or bookkeeper, today's business environment demands staying up to date. You must understand best practices and the latest news from the industry. The wealth of resources at your disposal has never been greater. Magazines should still play a role in helping you stay informed. This means you can build your practice and serve your clients better than ever.