The Indiana CPA Society has established a CPA Center of Excellence to better prepare CPAs in the state and beyond for the challenges of the future.

The center aims to advance the CPA profession's critical success skills and core competencies, and offer various tools, resources and creative educational opportunities that will position CPAs to improve those competencies in order to meet future client, employer and environmental needs and demands. It will emphasize competency-based learning, as opposed to the current hours-based model.

The CPA Center of Excellence was developed under the guidance of David Griffiths, a Wales-based international knowledge management and complexity advisor. Nearly 100 INCPAS members have also been actively involved in various capacities as the CPA Center of Excellence came to life.

"The Indiana society's emphasis on competency-based approaches to training and learning is a major step forward," said J. Clarke Price, relationship manager for the CPA Center of Excellence and former CEO of the Ohio Society of CPAs. "It's something that is unique across the landscape of associations that are focused on the CPA community. The tools, programs and resources available through the CPA Center of Excellence are something that will change how we look at training and the preparation of professionals. It's a great step forward."

The CPA Center of Excellence Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indiana CPA Society. However, its products and services are meant to be relevant to CPAs not only in Indiana, but throughout the U.S. and perhaps even internationally.

Five main components of the CPA Center of Excellence are being released this summer. A new Web site, http://cpacoe.com, is live and open to the public. The site contains descriptions of the components, dates and ordering information.

Among the components is an 83-page handbook, CPA Excellence -- A Quick Start Guide to Defining and Mastering Vital Skills for Success, which contains charts, graphics and frameworks. It provides a step-by-step approach to help individuals and CPA firm HR managers master various critical success skills. Also included are the competency descriptors for seven core competencies. The book is available for $19.95, or $15.95 each if four or more copies are ordered.

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