How to keep investing in your education without spending money

So you’re fully qualified? Congratulations! But the learning shouldn’t stop here or you’re in danger of being left behind, however many qualifications you have.

We all know just how quickly the world of business is moving and without continual learning and development, you’re effectively going backwards.

Adopting a ‘never graduate’ attitude will make you stand out in the workplace as someone who’s intelligent, forward-thinking and driven which can only have a positive effect for you professionally and personally.

Some of the main benefits of continuous learning

  • It will reinforce the things that you’ve already learnt.
  • It will provide you with a wealth of inspiration and ideas.
  • It will accelerate your career progression.
  • It will help you win and retain clients.
  • It will allow you to adapt and respond to changing business environments.
  • It will help keep your mind sharp.
  • It will give you a great sense of achievement.

Ways you can continually learn for free

How can you maintain a breadth of knowledge without going back to school or spending lots of money on courses? There are plenty of online and offline tools that you can explore like webinars and events which can be a really good way to learn for free and in a varied manner. Take a look at the recommendations below to get you started.

CPD with the AAT

The AAT’s continued professional development (CPD) will help you to develop your existing skills, as well as keeping you up to date about changes in legislation, technology and working practice. AAT members can attend networking events where they’ll meet lots of other like-minded professionals. Members also have access to a huge range of online resources including award-winning e-learning with tests, podcasts, blogs, videos, webinars, articles and forums.


Podcasts are a brilliant way to consume information without lifting a finger. You can listen to them on your commute, at work, in the gym or while cooking and they’ll make mundane tasks seem like they pass quicker. You needn’t even listen to purely accounting and finance focused podcasts. They are a great way to acquire a wide range of expertise and inspiration about all aspects of business. You can play these podcasts online from a variety of apps including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher Radio and Podbean. 

10 podcast recommendations for accountants:

  1. Accounting Best Practices with Steve Bragg
  2. Grow my Accounting Practice
  3. The Tim Ferris Show
  4. Freakonomics Radio
  5. The Big 4 Accounting Firms Podcast
  6. TEDTalks Business
  7. PwC’s Accounting and Reporting Podcast Series
  8. Accounting Today Podcast
  9. The Accounting Success Podcast
  10. The Journal of Accountancy Podcast


Get down to your local library and pick up a few books or ask your fellow accounting colleagues if they have any good books that you can borrow then set aside a bit of time to read each day. Here are a few books recommended by accountants to get your reading list started…

5 must-read book recommendations for accountants:

  1. Selling to Serve by James Ashford
  2. The Numbers Business by Delia Hudson
  3. The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend
  4. The Highly Profitable Accountant by Rudi Jansen
  5. The Pioneering Practice by Amanda C. Watts


If you don’t feel like you have the time to get through a whole book right now then blogs are a bite-size way to consume information. Perfect for reading on your lunch break or before you check your emails in the morning. Blogs and podcasts are also a really good way to find out the latest information, where books can quickly go out of date. Sign up to your favourite ones to get them delivered straight to your inbox or start an RSS feed. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to start your own blog.

5 brilliant blog recommendations for accountants:

  1. AccountingWEB
  2. Gorilla Accounting
  3. AAT Comment
  4. Accounting Insight News
  5. BookMarkLee

Other ways to invest in your education with the AAT

The AAT has many events running including the two-day annual AAT Conference where members come together for inspiring talks, debates and workshops about the major issues facing the industry today.

There are also lots of accountancy and finance courses and masterclasses to help with professional development which are open to AAT members and non-members. AAT accredited employers can get a discounted rate on these courses.

Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.

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