Review: Online CPD for 2011-12

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Changing rules and regulations are a constant challenge for accountants, and new tools are springing up to help you keep pace. Nigel Harris takes a look at what this year's crop has to offer.

A year ago I had a look at online CPD options for 2010-11. From talking to fellow practitioners, eCPD has yet to eclipse face-to-face, live CPD seminars in popularity, but that hasn't stopped a new raft of suppliers entering the market.

When asked, a number of practitioners have told me at seminar events that they simply prefer to take time out of the office and like the opportunity meet up with their peers. This is particularly the case with sole practitioners. I suspect therefore that eCPD may well be more popular with much larger firms where a number of professional staff can gather in an office to use an online CPD course, perhaps facilitated by a manager, and then discuss the material among themselves afterwards. Saving chargeable time that would otherwise be lost in large numbers of staff travelling to seminars would obviously be a significant attraction for a larger firm.

New providers this year

While the providers listed in last year’s article continue to offer similar online CPD products at the same or similar prices, several new names have joined our list for this year:

  • 2020 Group
  • BPP CPD on Demand
  • Financial Fluency
  • CIMA 

The stalwarts

As already mentioned, there is not a lot too report about the profession's better known CPD providers, who continue to refine their online offerings.

  • CCH e-CPD continues to deliver the goods with two hours of new CPD training each month. The material is presented in bite-size (10-15min) modules every month. The material includes six business and personal tax topics, plus one each on audit and accounting. All are added to a library that can be accessed at any time, either online or via the monthly CD-ROM.
  • LexisNexis offers two alternative e-CPD streams under the LexisWebinars and Tolley Seminars Online  brands.
  • SWAT now has a huge library of recorded webinars and a full program of future live and recorded events, at CPD and trainee levels.
  • As promised last year, TaxTV has now launched a sister service, PayrollTV in partnership with Payroll World magazine.

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About Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris

I'm a partner with Burton Sweet, chartered accountants & business advisers, and run the Shepton Mallet office down in beautiful Somerset. Despite the name, Shepton Mallet is actually the home of Glastonbury Festival! I trained in audit and corporate tax with Grant Thornton and came to my current position in 1991 via small local practices and a stint with a training consortium.

I have the distinction of being one of the original members of the AccountingWEB editorial team, having been a freelance writer here for a year or so before John Stockdyk joined!



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24th Oct 2011 17:02

thank you

this is more useful

Thanks (1)
24th Oct 2011 23:16

Online Training

I use the SWAT cds extensively for both my staff and me - brilliant.  I listen to them on the way to work on the S1 Witney to Oxford bus.  There are now a lot of commuters who know about the latest frsse!



Thanks (1)
25th Oct 2011 12:41

pity Cameron

doesnt travel on that bus as well or does he !

Thanks (0)
to SJBeale
30th Oct 2011 17:38

David Cameron

carnmores wrote:

doesnt travel on that bus as well or does he !

I have not seen him on it yet but when he does I will make sure to unplug the headset.  What could be better for the country than David Cameron listening listening to Adrian Gibbons!



Thanks (0)
26th Oct 2011 14:24


You have overlooked a market leader in LIVE online VAT Training - please go to UK Training Worldwide's website for details.

A delegate said "I really liked the way in which the co-presenter prompted certain areas to be elaborated. She was very good at prompting for the right information in the right places. This helped cover all aspects leaving most questions answered and any unanswered addressed after sessions. I felt they worked very well together. Kevin was very clear and precise. I also liked the fact that he was an expert in this area so he could answer all questions fully and clearly with no hesitation. Everything flowed and was paced perfectly."

Thanks (0)
By fozia
27th Oct 2011 13:56

Here's another one...

We used Mentor UK this year, and have found it to be of a good quality and they cover a range of topics including management ones.  Very competitively priced too at £135 for 13 courses (each course is usually more than an hour).

Thanks (0)
28th Oct 2011 11:16

Ask the users

"As there is always pressure on time, a suggestion has been made that because we subscribe to TAXtv and most of the audience watch this every month, you should not cover in your talk anything that you and Giles have spoken about at depth in the webinars.

"You will be pleased to know that TAXtv is very well received by our team, which is quite an achievement as some of the comments made about webinars from other training providers that we have watched have been extremely negative!"

This from the tax partner of a large firm that books me each year to present their annual tax conference.  Our experience is that firms are adopting a mix and match approach to live and digital CPD.

Thanks (0)