#THISISWHY your peers earn certificates.

We asked finance and accounting professionals to share why they think it’s important to earn professional development certificates. The responses were beyond phenomenal inciting feelings of motivation and inspiration. Certificates are earned for more than just credits. They make your peers feel more equipped to grow and advance in the profession and fulfill personal aspirations.

Check out these thoughtful responses and get inspired to begin your journey to earning an AICPA certificate.

Name Why is earning professional development certificates important? Interested in earning the…
Christine Burns, Tax consultant In order to keep up with the changes in accounting and finance I believe it is important to continually expand my knowledge base. The AICPA certificate programs help me explore new concepts and learn new skills. Advanced SOC for Service Organizations Certificate Exam
Dibyendu Sundar  Ray, Professor Learning is a continuous process. Professional development programs play a vital role to develop and accumulate knowledge and skills in the lifetime of a professional. Hence it is desirable to be part of professional development courses from time to time. Advanced SOC for Service Organizations Certificate Exam
Do Hang A certificate in data analytics will enable me to have a competitive advantage in the accounting profession as it moves towards a data driven industry. I would like to take the skills I learn and apply them to the developing automation in accounting. Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
Weiying Huang, Conroller/VP Finance For fresh graduates the certificates mean solid knowledge; for experienced professional the certificates mean recognition for the processional experience. Some certificates help professionals stepping to the management level position. Other certificates can benefit those who want to change their careers. To sum up, the professional development certificates are beneficial to professionals seeking to launch, accelerate or change their careers. Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
Darrel Hawes, General Manager Accounting professionals need to adapt to an ever-changing business environment, and this means learning from a variety of sources. It also necessarily includes applying what you learn, sometimes in ways you did not anticipate. I learn how to make applications from a variety of industries, and I'm always looking for more tools for my professional "tool box". Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
Holly Soderbeck, Revenue Tax Specialist Professional development certificates are important to me to show the passion and commitment I have to my career. I always want to further myself and competing certificates through the AICPA is a great way to do just that. Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
Cheryl Coccaro, CPA The value I bring to clients has a direct correlation to the investment I make expanding my knowledge. Certificate programs offer participants a concentrated learning experience which stimulates engaging dialogue with peers, clients and other associates. AICPA attracts outstanding resources to present a wealth of topics in an evolving business market place. Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
George Melo Professional development certificates are ways to show your desire to continue to develop yourself and grow within your field. Someone could just stop at getting a bachelors or master degree, but with certificates you differentiate yourself from the crowd and advance your knowledge. Application of Data Analysis Essentials Certificate
Patrick O'Brien, Department Administrator/Professor Earning a CPA license is just the cornerstone of one's accounting knowledge. Maintaining those skill sets while also developing proficiencies in other ancillary areas in accounting, audit, and tax will only help one's career as well as protect the capital markets. Blockchain Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate
Farely Compres Tejada, Student Earning this certificate will enhance my understanding of Blockchain. I am a proud Hispanic and first member of my family going to college completing a bachelor’s in accounting. The business world is changing and Blockchain its part of the change, I want to become an expert in Blockchain for professional development. Blockchain Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate
Sean Marley, Firm Owner Learning can never stop or your firm stops progressing. When a business owner/advisor gets better, it impacts the organization and clients in very positive ways. Certificates demonstrate to clients and peers the commitment to learning and staying relevant and valuable in the business environment. Client Accounting Advisory Services Certificate
Greg Jackson, CPA Certification programs are an excellent way for individuals in the field to get a comprehensive look / experience with the program they choose.
The programs also assist in gaining new understanding in those areas and/or confirming or renewing their existing knowledge.
Client Accounting Advisory Services Certificate
Kevin McCoy, CPA Learning and personal development is so important to me as a professional and as a father. I strive to show my kids that it’s never too late to learn something new. Client Accounting Advisory Services Certificate
Tehilla Lorkis, Tax Analyst "They can steal your money but they can't steal your knowledge." This is the motto that my grandfather instilled in me and one I live my life by. Client Accounting Advisory Services Certificate
Fei Person, Analyst Learning is always a fun process to me. The more I learn, the more confident and valuable to the business I become. Having certificates after learning is a reward as well as proof of credibility. Core Forensic Accounting Certificate
Wahab Syed, Senior Auditor Professional development certificates will add value to my growth. Career growth would help me achieve my professional ambitions as well as financial gain to live a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle. Core Forensic Accounting Certificate
Sean Harbert, Accountant Confidence in one’s self is priceless. The fulfillment of reaching goals creates self-assurance and the drive to achieve, be, and do more. With every feat on my path of success, I gain confidence to keep going. Professional development and earning certificates are important to fill skill gaps and increase confidence. Core Forensic Accounting Certificate
Victoria Cain Certificates set you apart from other candidates. I know that I am not going to be the best at everything but I won't be out worked. Certificates show that. It shows the employer and/or teacher that you are the person who is willing to go the extra mile in a specialized field to learn as much as you possibly can. Also gaining certificates keeps you current with knowledge concerning any changes, additions or new techniques in that field. Certificates equip you to be the shining star amongst your competitors. Core Forensic Accounting Certificate
Arnab De, CEO It sharpens your ability to perform. Professional development is like keeping your arrows sharp. You are a point above your competition of survival of the fittest. Most of all, you are able to stay relevant in the ever changing world of finance. Cybersecurity Advisory Services Certificate
Steve McFarland, CEO Trust. We spend years building it...yet it can disappear in an instant. Professional development certificates bring visibility and accomplishment that fosters trust. Ongoing professional development certificates provide assurance of competency but they also bring confidence - within the holder and the community - which perpetuates the cycle of trust. Cybersecurity Advisory Services Certificate
Ken Drossman, President I'm approaching 50 years as a professional, and yet there is always more to learn and more to offer to my clients. An AICPA certificate is evidence of one's commitment to lifelong learning and to providing expertise that can assist enterprises in navigating the challenging road to sustainable success. Cybersecurity Advisory Services Certificate
Jonathan Burns, Fiscal System Admin I have been nervous to get a certificate because of my learning disability. I've always said one day I will do it. My mother received her CPA license about 15 years ago, and I would sit with her while she studied and waited in the lobby while she took the exams.  It took her three tries and she never gave up, and I feel like that would be a great gift to her. Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Finance and Accounting Professionals Certificate
John Marsh, Director of Finance My company suffered a ransom ware attack in August, 2018.  We are still picking up the pieces as the overall cost to our business has been in the millions of dollars. I want to be educated and assist our IT team to ensure this never happens again. Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Finance and Accounting Professionals Certificate
Andrew DeJoseph, Associate Professor I am a teacher in a community college. I like to complete the certificate programs so I can share that knowledge with my students, many of whom will not go on to become accountants. I am hopeful that by sharing this knowledge it may motivate some students to change their career path and become accountants. Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Finance and Accounting Professionals Certificate
Jennifer Sandoval, Administrative Audit Analyst I believe that to succeed in a career you must continue to learn, push yourself, and find ways to grow. By earning a professional development certificate, it opens up doors and opportunities. I would like to earn a certificate to continue to grow and advance in my career. Data Analysis Fundamentals Certificate
Catherine Dickey, Budget and Resource Planning Manager My greatest joy is helping others. Through my work as a CPA, I bring clarity and increased understanding of finances to those within my institution. With the expertise of a Data Analysis Certificate, I will be even better able to answer challenging questions which will lead to better decision making. Data Analysis Fundamentals Certificate
Elise Boyas, Clinical Associate Professor Lifelong learning is essential. As an educator, I need to take my learning one step further and build new course content to keep up with the rapid changes in practice. Certificates help me to be confident that I have the competence to develop timely and relevant course material. Data Analysis Fundamentals Certificate
Troy Sallaway, Risk & Business Analyst Earn is the key word here - by putting in the hard work to complete the professional development certificates you are in a better position to help your customers and peers. Data Analytics Executive Series
Steven Morrison, Partner The accounting and auditing world is living and breathing and professional development can be an important part of a practitioner not just surviving, but thriving, and providing high-quality work with high-quality service. Data Analytics Executive Series
Jeffrey McGregor, Auditor II In today's world, you need to show that you are constantly working on yourself, personally and professionally, in order to compete in the business environment. Competition is fierce, as there are a lot of qualified individuals. Therefore, you need to obtain quality certificates from quality organizations, like the AICPA. Data Analytics Executive Series
Funwayo Nkhata I am currently working as a management accountant and I need to keep developing my skills to be able to provide management accountancy support to my superiors. My role requires a wide diversified knowledge and earning professional development certificates will help achieve that. Data Analytics Modeling Certificate
Jason Burkett, Manager, Healthcare Financial Analytics You can only ride along on your college education for so long. Eventually, you will need to update yourself with training on the latest tools, technologies, and trends. AICPA certificate programs can provide you with skills you need to better yourself and become a key asset to your organization. Data Analytics Modeling Certificate
Jeff Hales, Director of Accounting Quite simply, continuous learning is a key (if not the key) to career fulfillment and advancement. AICPA certificates can be a great component of this strategy, while also earning CPE, and earning a resume enhancing certificate that documents your accomplishment! Data Analytics Modeling Certificate
Christine Shin, Senior Fund Accountant The tangible benefit of earning a certificate to showcase an accomplishment is inherently rewarding, as well as the intangible: for the love of learning. Data Visualization Certificate
Mary Benvenuto, Financial Consultant Learning is constant and professional development/mentoring is crucial. Unfortunately there are years in our lives that prevent us from maximizing our development.  Some factors are money, families, illness, life. But a certificate program can be one way to "get back in the saddle, not spend a fortune and boost one's confidence! Data Visualization Certificate
Mike Moehlenhof, Senior Cost Analyst Professional development certificates provide the fundamental backbone to the accounting and finance professions. Certificates also provide credibility and distinguishes one from the competition. Data Visualization Certificate
Mark Palmrose-Krieger, Pension Auditor Creating positive habits and accomplishing goals makes me a better person. Certificates provide an added bonus that they also enhance my career, to learn something new, and make me more valuable to my agency, but these are added bonuses. EBP - Advanced Defined Benefit Plans Audit Certificate
Carmen Rangel, Senior Director of Operations Professional development certificates are a fantastic way to target specific areas of subject matter expertise and to show others that you are competent and capable in that area. Your CPA license demonstrates that you have broad knowledge; a certificate is a way to go deeper into an area that is relevant to your professional goals and career. EBP - Advanced Defined Contribution Plans Audit Certificate
Jennifer P., Audit Manager Certificates help enhance our professional credibility and prestige in our profession.  Most importantly, professional development trainings equip me with new skills and perspectives to help my organization to be more efficient and productive. Forecasting and Predictive Analytics Certificate
Jason Tellone, Senior Accountant For the same reason a professional athlete trains in the gym to grow stronger and faster to compete, CPAs must constantly develop and learn to keep pace with our ever changing financial environment. Forecasting and Predictive Analytics Certificate
Nonnie Onyancha, Controller Earning professional certificates is learning with a prize at the end!  I had the structure I need to grasp new concepts and testing at the end to prove my knowledge to myself and others. Forecasting and Predictive Analytics Certificate
Jaylun Brumfield, Intern Having a professional development certificate shows that you don't mind taking the extra steps to build competencies. The extra skills can lead to a multitude of opportunities. Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program
Camille Guillot, Sr. Director Tax Planning & Financial Reporting In today’s world earning additional professional certificates is essential for professional growth. I have been a CPA for 20 years, to be competitive for the next 20 I need additional knowledge in new areas of accounting. The love of learning and desire to be a forensic accountant motivates me! Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program
Kim Pearse, Internal Auditor CPE is fine, but truly expanding my knowledge in a particular field by delving deeper and studying to know something well enough to pass a certificate test truly makes the knowledge stick, keeps me more accountable, and improves my overall effectiveness and marketability as a CPA. Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program
Audrey Blackburn, President I earn professional development certificates for my clients. I want to be the best at what I do so they have the best taking care of their needs. Earning certificates keeps me at the top of my game with knowledge and allows me to serve my clients well. Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program
Tahir Naquash Professional development certificates are important because, first thing is personal grooming, of course, it will be helpful for career growth as well, and third leadership skills, we can get valuable knowledge through professional degree, but professional certificates groom us and it helps us in our personal development. IFRS Certificate Program
Bobby Farley, Audit Associate Never stop learning, never stop challenging yourself, and never consider yourself set. Professional development certificates push you to learn, resulting in a more marketable you and better service for your client. Commit yourself to the accounting profession and take initiative to strengthen our community by enhancing your skill set. IFRS Certificate Program
Ashley Vencatagadoo, CPA The professional development certificate would boost my confidence. It would show to the public that I have the experience necessary to undertake the project. It would provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake the project with efficiency. IFRS Certificate Program
Gordon Craig, CPA The learning is what's important. As the profession changes and client needs evolve, we need up to date knowledge to remain relevant. A certificate shows we have it. Not-for-Profit Certificate I
Cindy Cerbone, District Manager Every day is an opportunity to learn and to use new knowledge to help others. By earning a professional development certificate, one has this chance to not only better themselves, but help their clients, co-workers and those around them. Not-for-Profit Certificate I
Marlene Kanipe, Assistant Controller I think it's important to earn a professional development certificate because it shows my commitment and dedication to excel and wanting to advance in my field. As a leader in my office, earning a certificate shows my team that learning is important and one is never to old to learn. Not-for-Profit Certificate I
Ashley Willcox, Accounting Manager The AICPA certificates are a great opportunity to dive deeper into the details of a specific topic, as well as get a well-rounded exposure. Even if you’re experienced in the subject matter, the range of the certificate’s topics allow you to learn about things you don’t deal with regularly. Not-for-Profit Certificate II
Victoria Tiutyama, CFO For me earning professional development certificate is important because I feel like it takes me to a new level not just in my knowledge but also my personal development. It also adds another level of trust for my clients and colleagues. Not-for-Profit Certificate II
Celeste Knapper, Controller I love the opportunity to learn more about my field as I am passionate about the work my non-profit does. Completing the certificate programs makes me more successful in my job and in turn makes my organization more successful. Not-for-Profit Certificate II
Karla Jones-Weber, Chief Financial & Accounting Officer Being in the field for a number of years, it is important to me to stay current and on top of new information and trends.  A certificate is a way to show everyone that you are committed to continuing to grow as a professional and expand your knowledge! PFP Estate Planning Certificate
Donald Farrey, CFO Learning is growing. It challenges you to master new skills and improve yourself. It may open doors to something that becomes your new passion in life. PFP Estate Planning Certificate
Nicole Easton, Marketing Officer As a CPA who changed the course of my career from auditing financial statements to marketing wealth management services, it is important for me to earn professional development certificates to be able to develop and demonstrate a level of expertise around the services I am helping my firm to market. PFP Estate Planning Certificate
Kristin Carter, Tax Officer Furthering your knowledge and expertise as a CPA helps keep you sharp and brings value to your clients and yourself.  It’s a win-win! PFP Estate Planning Certificate
Michael Monahan, Principal After retiring from a long corporate career, an AICPA certificate is the perfect way to add new skills, sample a new domain of interest and to get the benefits of an AICPA-sponsored professional accreditation. A great way to jump start the next chapter of my career. PFP Investment Planning Certificate
John Charles Payne, Senior Associate A CPA with an AICPA certificate in several areas of Personal Financial Planning is distinguished as a trusted advisor, perhaps as a highly skilled fiduciary. There are so many who need the help of CPAs with personal financial planning capabilities to plan for retirement, invest wisely, and manage his/her risks. PFP Investment Planning Certificate
Elizabeth Devino, Accounting Manager When you continually strive for excellence AICPA certificate programs get you there. The robust content and flexibility of being able to access coursework and lectures from anywhere allowed me to balance my workday while continuing to acquire valuable new knowledge. PFP Practical Applications Certificate
Jay Baker, Faculty Today a degree you earned either 5 or 20 years ago may no longer have the same weight as it did when earned. Earning a current professional certificate especially those with continuing education requirements demonstrates to employers, clients and peers that you are current and competitive with your market discipline. PFP Retirement Planning Certificate
Michael Convey, Financial Advisor I am 57 years old always looking to take professional development courses to enable me to provide more services to my clients.  I am always looking for a better way to manage my business and have taught my staff not to do things because "that's the way they have always been done" but to understand why and then they can add value. PFP Retirement Planning Certificate
Angela Malley, Senior Manager, Income Tax Accounting Knowledge is power!  The certificates are a great way for CPA's to build upon learning already achieved to grow their knowledge in new areas they may be interested in learning more about! PFP Retirement Planning Certificate
Linda Sharp, CPA I have a large variety of clients and so I need a large diversity in skills! I love learning new skills that I will be able to help my clients! PFP Risk Management and Insurance Planning Certificate
Rachel Schlepp, Associate Principal I give better service to my clients, my firm, and my community when I educate myself beyond my compliance experience. PFP Risk Management and Insurance Planning Certificate
Robert Misra, CPA I think it's always important to keep learning. The work world is very competitive, and you need to keep your skills sharp.  It's also fun to be able to learn something new. Robotic Process Automation Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate Program
Andy Meiklejohn, Senior Tax Manager Professional development certificates are a great way to expose CPAs to new areas of accounting they may be unfamiliar with.  For example, my department is looking to automate processes with AI and robotics.  A certificate in this area would help me to better integrate these enhancements into the departmental workflow. Robotic Process Automation Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate Program
Lizbeth Rojas, Accounting and Budget Senior Associate Education is a determined factor, I’m committed to my profession and willing to invest in my future. Earning an AICPA certificate is a way to grow and enhance my leadership skills. One of my dreams is tell my three children “I earned a certificate”, to make them feel proud of me. Robotic Process Automation Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate Program
Ishan Tuli, Branch Operations Coordinator To me a professional development certificate is a treasure to keep for lifetime and keep on building knowledge up to date by re-taking the certificate again if need be. It enhances our career skills and makes us apply those skills and knowledge in our field nicely. Robotic Process Automation Fundamentals for Accounting and Finance Professionals Certificate Program
Tabitha Lewis, CFO Earning professional development certificates is important, because it both provides essential learning and demonstrates a desire to stay relevant in our professional role. Robotics Process Automation Strategy for Business Leaders
Stephanie Blanco, Partner To increase my credibility as a female in a male dominated industry and to inspire younger staff to always strive to continue to grow professionally. SA - Advanced Single Audit Certificate
Kody Clontz, Student It is important to earn professional development certificates because of the meaning behind them and the knowledge you can gain. Earning these certificates means you were dedicated enough to expand your horizon of knowledge and attaining them increases your knowledge on all sorts of topics. Overall, these make you a more productive and sought after individual. SA - Advanced Single Audit Certificate
Joo Yeol Han, Accountant In the modern job market, it is crucial for each employee to develop professional skills and build confidence in the work they perform. The AICPA professional development certificate will boost my career and give more opportunity in my career. SA - Intermediate Single Audit Certificate
Riane Jirak, Quality Assurance Consultant Time and money spent on degrees do not yield the same perceptions or values that certificates can. I have always found the value in going beyond work experience and college to grow your knowledge and show your dedication. SOC for Cybersecurity Certificate
Yves Delma, Senior Accountant Cybersecurity is a growing problem for all organizations because of the financial interest it involves for cyber criminals. It is important for organizations to be educated and equipped to ensure the protection of their sensitive information. A certificate will give me the tools and credibility to help these organizations. SOC for Cybersecurity Certificate
Matthew Cooper, Senior Consultant Certificates demonstrate a practitioner's competence in his or her field. They also provide assurance that a professional is informed of the latest trends and specialized knowledge in the field. SOC for Cybersecurity Certificate
Candida Moyer, CPA/PFS, CFP® Professional development certificate programs help you gain knowledge to provide more service for clients. Even if it's an area that isn't your expertise, a situation could come up where the information you learned will help your client. Achieving a certificate differentiates you from others and shows your desire for growth. Specialized Forensic Accounting Certificate
Ashley Hope, Assistant Professor of Accounting We only stop learning when we die! As a CPA and teacher, I have a constant drive to keep learning. Not only to prepare the next generation of students, but also to grow my own footprint in our field. Certificates are a strong, short, encapsulated way to grow one’s skills! Specialized Forensic Accounting Certificate
Pamela Esquilin-Carrero, Senior Internal Auditor I firmly believe it is important to continue developing our talents and knowledge. Part of our professional journey is nurturing our God given skills, working hard to continue developing them and never stop learning, to enrich ourselves and to be examples for future generations. Specialized Forensic Accounting Certificate
Edmund Grove Learning - just like living - is a lifelong responsibility as well as a challenging privilege.  With AICPA’s user-friendly platform covering cutting-edge development, we are empowered to maintain our professional stature, and still maintain a fulfilling balance in our work life. Specialized Forensic Accounting Certificate
Keki Pagdiwala, Finance and Business Intelligence Manager My career of over 30 years has taught me that professional certificates and experience work hand-in-hand to further your career objectives. Certificates open new doors for you. Certificates plays the role of an independent and unbiased reference for your expertise in the related field to a prospective employer. Go Certificates! XBRL U.S. GAAP Certificate Program
Nick Wuensch, Accounts Receivable Specialist Provides me a seat at the table for my career aspirations. Without it, I may not get the opportunity for an interview. Professional devolvement certificates help me achieve my enteral goal of being savvy in the language of business. XBRL U.S. GAAP Certificate Program
Mariel Bastidas Semtei, Accountant Today’s world is a very competitive place to live in. If you want to stand out, you need to make yourself better. Acquiring and improving your skills will take you there. Getting a certificate from a prestigious organization endorsing your skills set, it’s just smart! XBRL U.S. GAAP Certificate Program