Thomson Reuters has introduced a new certificate program for accountants who want to help their clients launch small business startups.

The Checkpoint Learning Small Business Start-Up Certificate Program targets accounting professionals who want to know more about small business issues. The U.S. has 28.8 million small businesses, employing 56.8 million people, according to the Small Business Administration. Small businesses (defined as those with fewer than 500 employees) comprise 99.7 percent of all business in the U.S. Only half of small businesses survive beyond five years.

The certificate program curriculum covers writing a business plan, new business financing options and reporting client data. It also includes fraud prevention, mobile applications for sales and taxes, entity comparisons, and the essential concepts of offering small business advice and consulting.

Accountants who successfully finish the course and pass the final exam will earn a Checkpoint Learning Small Business Start-Up Competency Certificate along with approximately 38 hours of CPE credit.

“Small businesses already represent a huge engine of economic growth, and given the potential for a reduction in regulations, startups may soon find themselves in an even more hospitable environment,” said Salim Sunderji, managing director of Checkpoint with the Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting business, in a statement. “CPAs who are poised to expand beyond their core practices into small business consulting services, particularly around decisions involved in early-stage development, may find themselves with a dynamic new source of growth for themselves and their firms.”

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