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Accounting Hosts Second Continuing Professional Education Event

Neeley’s growing program helps Texas Certified Public Accountants earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit and network with industry peers. Session topics included financial reporting, treasury operations, and communication styles.

May 20, 2024

By TCU Neeley School of Business Accounting Department

TCU Neeley’s Accounting Department continues to provide access to educational opportunities that help accounting professionals stay current in their fields and maintain active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licenses. On April 19, the department hosted its second Continuing Professional Education (CPE) event, which provided participants five hours of CPE credit, lunch, and networking opportunities all free of charge.

Attendees included approximately 80 TCU alumni and friends, who were welcomed to Neeley’s Hays Business Commons to gain insights from six speakers and engage in discussions with practitioners from accounting firms, non-profit entities, investment companies, and other organizations. TCU Neeley Accounting Department Chair Bill Wempe welcomed the group and shared comments on the TCU accounting program’s significant growth despite a national decline in the number of students majoring in accounting. TCU Master of Accounting (MAc) Director Renee Olvera then closed out the first session by describing changes in the CPA exam and Neeley’s accounting curricula, including faculty’s introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in select classes.

Bill Wempe, Renee Olvera, Anne Albrecht, Evie Richardson, Kelly O'Brien and Brent Woodford

TCU Director of Finance and Treasury Evie Richardson presented the second session, which described TCU’s treasury operations, including new challenges in the area of cybersecurity. TCU Neeley Professional Development Center Director Kelly O’Brien followed with an engaging session on communication styles, and the importance of understanding one’s own communication style and adapting to colleagues’ styles.

“I enjoyed engaging with the conference participants,” O’Brien said. “Communicating effectively is crucial in professional settings, and it was a privilege to share my experience with the group and offer some helpful tips.”

Brent Woodford, Neeley’s Executive-in-Residence in Accounting and executive vice president of controllership, financial planning and tax at The Walt Disney Co, then shared an extensive description of hot topics in standard setting. TCU Associate Professor Anne Albrecht closed the program by sharing insights from her research about going concern audit opinions, and how she integrates her research in teaching Audit and Assurance to Neeley students.

“I was excited to share with professionals how my research and that of other accounting faculty can provide Neeley students a deeper understanding of critically important issues in accounting, auditing, and related areas,” Albrecht stated.

Wempe described the CPE event as a chance to help Neeley stakeholders maintain their CPA licenses, as well as an opportunity to re-connect with old friends and make new ones.

“We are delighted that attendance increased 30 percent over last year’s inaugural event. TCU’s faculty and other campus leaders were able to share insights in their areas of expertise, and it was good to see participants engage both with speakers and each other. As I noted in my presentation, I want to recognize the Accounting Department Advisory Board’s encouragement and support for the event.”

Texas CPAs must have 120 hours of CPE every three years. Many of the attendees expressed their appreciation for an in-person training opportunity for CPE, as well as the networking with fellow alumni. The Accounting Department plans to continue hosting the event in future years.