Accounting | The Profession

Free virtual learning resources to sharpen your professional skills

Keep up-to-date with industry trends, technology, and more with this on-demand collection of publications, webinars and podcasts

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Focused businessman in headphones writing notes watching webinarWhile the COVID-19 pandemic is a trying time for both individuals and businesses globally, it has also given some people extra time, which they can use to keep up-to-date professionally (Getty Images/fizkes)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations’ employees to work from home, including CPAs. While a trying time for both individuals and businesses globally, it has also given some people extra time, which they can use to keep up-to-date professionally. If you’re one of them, here are some free online resources available to you:   


Coding for CPAs: It’s not just for programmers
Learn how coding skills can benefit CPAs in finance and accounting roles, which programming languages are in demand and how to get started.

A CPA’s introduction to AI: From algorithms to deep learning
Learn the fundamentals of artificial intelligence (AI) in the first of a planned series of publications that explore AI and its impact on the CPA profession. 

How are big data and AI transforming accounting and finance?
The potent combination of big data and AI is set to reshape the profession. Learn more from a CPA’s perspective on how these disruptors may impact traditional accounting and finance roles. 

CPA perspectives on blockchain and crypto-assets
How will blockchain and crypto-assets impact CPAs and their future roles? Find out first-hand from CPAs working with the technology today. 

Drivers of change: Navigating the future
Looking out to 2030, what are the key challenges and opportunities for the Canadian and global business community? What dialogue should organizations start today for a prosperous future? The purpose of this report is to spur discussion among leaders in business, not-for-profits and government. 

State of play: Study of climate-related disclosures by Canadian public companies
Climate change has been recognized as one of the biggest risks facing businesses. This report highlights key findings from a CPA Canada study and suggests opportunities for CPAs to kickstart the dialogue to enhance climate-related disclosures in regulatory filings.

Enhancing climate-related disclosures by cities: A guide to adopting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures
Canadian cities, such as Vancouver and Montreal, are responding to the effects of climate change and this guide explores some of the actions they are taking.

Accounting for Sustainability (A4S): Social and human capital accounting
With shifting business priorities, learn how four Canadian companies—such as Brookfield and Manulife—are integrating social and human capital into their decision-making based on the A4S Essential Guide: Social and Human Capital Accounting.


Mastering money: the educator’s edition
This CPA Canada podcast touches on trends, key issues and advice related to financial literacy. Topics covered have included planning for retirement, dealing with debt, the behavioural economics of money, and more.

Fintech Impact
Hosted by award-winning financial planning adviser Jason Pereira, this podcast examines all things related to financial technology. Episodes feature interviews with different fintech entrepreneurs about what they do and their impact on consumers, incumbents and the industry as a whole.

This podcast explains the trends, applications and implications of AI. Each week, host Daniel Faggella interviews top AI and machine-learning executives and researchers. Find out how these new technologies are enabling breakthroughs in sectors like pharma, banking and defence. 

Women in Data Science (WiDS)
Data science is a game changer in many areas. The WiDS podcast gives a voice to women who play a key role in this emerging field. Host Margot Gerritsen, a professor at Stanford University, co-founded WiDS in 2015. Interviews include Meltem Ballan, a data scientist working on connected cars at General Motors, and Elena Grewal, Airbnb’s chief data scientist. 


Remote work and cybersecurity: Tips to protect your organization and staff
With many Canadians now working from home, this webinar (live on May 4; available on-demand after) will cover how hackers are trying to attack organizations and what measures companies can employ to protect themselves from potential cyber risks. It accounts for one CPD hour.

Optimizing cash and lender dealings in the current crisis
CFOs, financial executives and business owners will benefit from this hour-long webinar that covers critical knowledge, such as debt restructuring ideas, to successfully engage Canadian lenders to expand capital availability and amend key terms.

Responding to COVID-19 - Insights for finance leaders
How will your company be affected by COVID-19? This webinar will discuss concerns business leaders are facing, including employment law considerations, cash flow management, supply chain considerations, accessing government programs and tax relief, and more.

COVID-19: Special edition practitioner’s pulse (April 2020)
In response to the ongoing pandemic crisis, this webinar—which earns CPAs one CPD hour—aims to answer frequently asked questions around practice management issues and financial reporting and auditing implications of COVID-19.

CPA Canada Foresight: Reimagining the profession
Earn one CPD hour with this webinar, which explores the key themes that emerged from Phase 1 of CPA Canada’s ambitious, Foresight: Reimagining the profession initiative, that asked members to weigh in on how the profession should respond to issues impacting the accounting world. 

You can also stay in touch with other CPAs and have your say on the Foresight digital engagement platform.

Canadian public company financial reporting update: Q1 2020
This webinar (April 16) for the first quarter of 2020 is part of the IFRS webinar series and provides the latest updates on issues of relevance, including key changes to IFRS and Canadian securities legislation. Bonus: it accounts for one CPD hour.

This platform offers CPAs several free one-hour webinars. Topics include fintech trends to watch in 2020 (April 3) and the real cost of manual accounting (April 16).

CRA payroll audits: Are you ready?
If you offer your clients payroll services, you won’t want to miss the Canada Revenue Agency’s webinar on its payroll examination process. It’s now available on the CRA Business Video Gallery website.   

CPA Academy
The platform offers numerous free or reasonably priced webinars. Topics covered include forecasting the economic impact of COVID-19 to cannabis and taxation.


Open Culture online courses
On this site, you’ll find hundreds of free courses offered by universities around the world. For example: Economics of Money and Banking, a 13-week program you can audit free of charge at Columbia University.

TED Talks
These well-known short presentations cover a wide range of topics, including digital government, COVID-19, the influence of algorithms, and even tribology (or the study of friction). 

Mastering Excel 
CPA Canada has numerous articles on accountants’ favourite application. Here are a few that will help brush up your skills:

You can also view this video to learn 50 tips and tricks to become an Excel champ.


Provincial accounting bodies, such as CPABC, offer many free online resources to improve your professional skills. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BDO Canada has put together resources to help your business manage its response to the crisis. You could also watch this webinar to learn how the coronavirus is affecting global trade and how your company can be protected.

*The article was updated on May 4, 2020, to include information on the latest CPA Canada webinars.