According to AICPA, CPE credits ensure that CPAs remain up to date with the latest changes in the fields of tax and accounting. In theory, this requirement makes sense. But in recent years, the accounting industry has evolved faster than many education programs can keep up—rendering CPE training a box to be checked, rather than an opportunity to enhance professional development. Practitioners tell stories of how they attend CPE webinars, only to tune in when polling questions are run to meet participation requirements. Does this sound familiar to you?

And yet, applicable training has never been more important than now, given the speed at which the pandemic has accelerated clients’ need for people-oriented advice and highlighted the important role accountants can play—if only they have the right foundational knowledge.

People Advisory Certification

To help accountants prepare for the future of the profession and also provide clients with needed people-operations advice, Gusto launched our People Advisory Certification program. Completed by nearly 1,000 accountants, the 4-hour eLearning course is a unique training in payroll, benefits, and HR designed specifically for forward-thinking accountants.

And now accountants can get credit for investing in their professional growth. In collaboration with – the industry’s premier provider of CPE credits – accountants* can earn 4.0 CPE credits for completing People Advisory Certification.**

Certification accelerates firm growth

Certified People Advisors have the confidence, knowledge, and skill-set to transform payroll from a compliance-based service to an inroad for deeper advisory and provide new and expanded services to clients.

Launch a new service-line 

The team at Aprio cloud immediately recognized the opportunity with People Advisory and launched a dedicated service-line in Fall 2020. Clients have seen the value in the deeper advice on their people operations and Aprio’s people advisory practice is on track to become a $1 million business-line. Director of Business Development, TIm Cofrin, shared that:

Director of Business Development, TIm Cofrin

“People Advisory Certification expanded my team’s expertise and gave us deeper insight into what client’s and their employees’ value. Aprio cloud’s people advisory offering has successfully driven results for our firm because we provide the guidance and technology clients need to improve their business’ people functions.”

Formalize & expand services

Certification has also given firm owners the framework needed to formalize and charge for people-operations advice that they may have given away ‘on the house’ in the past. Gusto partner, Nayo Carter-Gray, owner of 1st Step Accounting – shared that:

Nayo Carter-Gray, owner of 1st Step Accounting

“Since becoming People Advisor Certified, I’ve been able to formalize, automate, and charge for my advice. As a people advisor, I’ve expanded the services I provide which is particularly important now given clients’ needs to onboard, offboard, and take care of their team amidst a pandemic.”

Develop a great firm culture

The program has been key to helping accountants build firms where their team and clients feel equally valued and supported. Given the need to evolve skills beyond core accounting and also the acute talent shortage, investing in education is a win-win for firm owners and their team alike.

Justine Lackey, owner of Good Cents Bookkeeping, had her whole team get certified and shared that: 

Justine Lackey, owner of Good Cents Bookkeeping

“Supporting my team to become People Advisor Certified builds trust at our firm, and with trust comes quality relationships and employee retention.”

Certification and CPE credit 

To keep up with the future of accounting, CPAs need to do more than check a box by fulfilling their CPE requirements. They deserve education that teaches both the technological and soft skills that help advisors automate workflows and effectively communicate with clients. That’s how People Advisory Certification was built. By partnering with to provide 4.0 CPE credits for certification, Gusto is delivering the training and credits you need to meet today’s demands, while also future-proofing your career and firm.

Fine print

*People Advisory Certification is exclusively available as a free benefit of Gusto’s partner program.

**CPE issuance is in coordination with Certificates will be made available by the following Friday of your course completion. You will receive an email notification from when your certificate is available. CPE credits can only be provided to partners who enroll in People Advisory Certification starting December, 7th 2020 onwards.

Jaclyn Anku Jaclyn is the Partner Education Manager at Gusto. She started her career as a small business consultant and is passionate about teaching small business owners financial literacy and arming them with great advice. Before joining Gusto, she led business education for accountants and bookkeepers at Xero. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Oakland, CA.
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