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Microsoft Listens to Customers on Convergence CPE Credits

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group

Microsoft recently revealed that it would not be offering Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for sessions at their Convergence 2011 conference coming to Atlanta in April. It felt like Microsoft was abandoning a core set of Microsoft Dynamics users - accountants.

But faced with growing and vocal displeasure from both partners and customers, Microsoft has changed its tune.  While the credits that will now be offered leave some uncertainty depending on the state in which you do business - more details on that below - the change highlights the fact that the network of partners and customers that forms the basis of the Dynamics community can make a difference for their own best interests.

Certified Public Accountants are required to obtain a certain number of hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license. For Florida, where I live, it's 80 hours every two years. Most other states are similar, with requirements of around 40 hours a year.

For many users of Dynamics GP, Convergence is an important part of their CPE strategy. The availability of CPE credits at past conferences allowed CPA's to get roughly half of their required credits for a year.

CPAs need continuing education, but they don't have to go to Convergence. By providing CPE credits Microsoft gave accountants the chance to kill two birds with one budget line. It made selling the cost and time commitment of Convergence to management easier as well.

When the bad news broke, a number of partner firms and bloggers reached out to their customers. My customers reacted very negatively. I've mentioned before that I have a customer who worked to ensure that her upcoming wedding didn't interfere with Convergence this year. She needs the CPE credits and was, well, we'll ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

More about Mark Polino