Could accountants use a credential that is designed to measure their basic business knowledge? Or could technology resellers? There are some in both camps that need education.
There are computer consultants who barely know a receivable from a payable and accountants who know the numbers, but might not understand selling skills. There are a few of those, aren’t there?
Enter the Certified Business Professional credential—possibly. Introduced last year by the Miami-based International Business Training Association, the CBP isn’t designed, like the AICPA’s defeated Cognitor, as a sort of super-accountant credential. It is designed to teach professionals trying to move up in the business world some of the basic skills and could fit together with a professional credential, says Peter Masalin, IBTA president. Masalin noted that in college, “I never had a course on selling skills, leadership, or customer service.” Similarly, he notes that techies get technical certifications from Microsoft or Cisco, but “they don’t have a business acumen or skill set.”
The CBP is designed to piggyback on other credentials and the IBTA is seeking partners to expand its reach. One company that just signed on, Thomson Prometric, has become an authorized training partner for the credential and will provide Internet-based CBP testing for the next three years.
Masalin would love an introduction to the CPA community, and whether the CBP turns out to be the main vehicle for upgrading skills for either CPAs or computer consultants, it’s certainly an idea that should be discussed.
The AIPCA, which hired Thomson Prometric to test for the uniform CPA exam, has hung onto the Certified Information Technology Professional to provide some assurance about the level of CPA technology skills. If CPAs are to ever develop that much-vaunted, forward-looking mindset, then maybe a curriculum and some testing to make sure that mindset exists should be carefully examined.
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