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Career Development Series

Understand and embrace concepts vital to your firm’s success and to your individual career. Our Career Development Series is designed to help accounting firms provide vital skill development training to firm members at multiple levels.

Career Development Series

Series run June through January each year

Each year we present several series geared toward specific firm levels: Operational Professional, pre-Manager and Manager.

Each series of eight one-hour webinars includes tools for generating discussion and encouraging immediate implementation of lessons learned, establishing a skill development process of listening to learn, learning to do and doing to become.

To ensure that as many people as possible receive value from your firm’s involvement in each series, there’s no limit to the number of individuals at that firm level who can participate in each webinar. 

Two weeks after the session, the firm also receives access to on-demand training to allow those unable to attend the live version the opportunity to catch up (and receive CPE). Participants will have one year to request CPE in this way.



To ensure that as many people as possible receive value from your firm’s participation in each series, there is no limit to the number of individuals at the firm level who may join us for each webinar.

$2,500 per firm ($2,100 for UAN members)

for Pre-Manager

Sessions held at 8am Pacific, 9am Mountain, 10am Central, 11am Eastern

As a professional in the changing field of public accounting, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the firm, your firm members and clients’ businesses. To make the most of your career you need to proactively and consistently improve your skills, confidence and ability.  This series will introduce you to the skills you’ll need for career development and best practices for continuous improvement.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Accounting firms are unique in their structure, organization and systems.  So, how well do you understand the metrics your firm tracks and what these numbers mean?  Let’s discuss firm structure, governance, metrics and responsibilities, so you understand your firm’s key metrics, and how to make strategic decisions that contribute to the firm’s financial health. Learn to balance client needs with the financial health of the firm, ensuring sustained success.

  • Recognize roles across the firm
  • Understand firm structures and governance
  • Determine key metrics and elements of success

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Looming deadlines, competing priorities, long hours, and high expectations can stress even the most seasoned accounting professional.  So how can you equip yourself with the mental fortitude needed to thrive?  Let’s explore practical techniques to manage stress, overcome setbacks, and foster a resilient mindset. Learn to bounce back from challenges, maintain focus and productivity in high-pressure situations, and ultimately enhance your ability to deliver quality service while sustaining personal well-being.

  • Understand your stress indicators
  • Increase focus and productivity in stressful situations
  • Foster a resilient mindset

Tuesday, August 20, 2024

Feeling out of your depth can be an indicator that you need to reach out for help, but it can also come from self-doubt.  Let’s discuss the difference, unpack the psychological and cultural aspects that contribute to imposter syndrome, and explore practical techniques to build confidence, recognize and celebrate achievements, and foster a positive mindset that empowers you to contribute effectively within the firm.

  • Understand the roots of imposter syndrome
  • Proactively reduce the effects of self-doubt
  • Gain confidence and positivity

Wednesday, September 18, 2024

Those who can’t delegate can’t advance, and doom themselves to repeating the same tasks over-and-over their entire career.  Done well, delegation allows growth and advancement both for you and those to whom you delegate.  Let’s explore delegation strategies tailored to different levels of responsibility, how to overcome common challenges related to trust, communication, and accountability, and a proactive strategy for empowering team members and ensuring tasks are well executed.

  • Understand delegation pitfalls
  • Determine the right delegation level
  • Create a strategy to ensure follow-through

Tuesday, October 22, 2024

Collaboration, innovation and a team mentality are almost impossible if you feel the constant need to safeguard your work, your position, and your expertise from others.  Too often individuals hoard resources to ensure continued success – which actually stalls growth and advancement.  Let’s talk about how to shift from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance, fostering a collaborative, innovative mindset, and positively impacting your decision-making, client relationships, and firm culture.

  • Understand the issues with a scarcity approach
  • Move toward an abundance mindset
  • Foster a collaborative team culture

Thursday, November 7, 2024

Creating strong relationships with firm leaders generates a wide array of opportunities – more interesting work, accelerated learning, greater mentorship, faster advancement, etc.  So how can you proactively build trust confidence, and mutual respect?  Let’s explore effective ways to learn and contribute to decision-making processes, present ideas, build credibility, and demonstrate value to firm leaders, showcasing your expertise, and contributing to a positive and collaborative working environment.

  • Understand how to build trust
  • Proactively build your credibility with firm leadership
  • Brainstorm ways to showcase your expertise

Thursday, December 5, 2024

Everyone acknowledges that generations differ.  Different experiences inevitably create different perspectives, priorities, and aspirations.  So, are we doomed to be divided?  Let’s explore proactive ways to increase understanding of the unique perspectives and strengths of each generation, find common ground and common goals, and foster an inclusive and cohesive work environment. Learn strategies to bridge communication gaps, leverage diverse skills, and build a firm culture that values contributions from all generations.

  • Understand why generations differ
  • Find common ground
  • Communicate in a way that builds bridges

Tuesday, January 21, 2025

As Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.” Developing a strong business network enhances your professional growth, and allows you to harness additional brainpower for your clients’ needs and your firm’s growth.  Let’s discuss networking strategies, relationship-building techniques, and effective ways to leverage your connections to enhance your career and contribute to the success of your firm.

  • Develop a plan to connect with the right people
  • Work toward a customized networking style
  • Create win-win relationships

for Managers

Sessions held at 10am Pacific, 11am Mountain, 12noon Central, 1pm Eastern

One of the most pivotal (but challenging) points in an accounting career is the advancement to Manager. When you become a Manager, you accept greater responsibility for the success of both your team and the firm.  Implied in this commitment is your best effort to proactively improve both your skills and your ability to contribute to firm success. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

CDS M 01 When planning transitions, firms often focus solely on a retiring partner’s role, forgetting that’s only half the battle. So, what can you do to ensure leadership transitions are smooth, effective and efficient? Let’s explore the responsibilities and challenges associated with leadership changes, whether due to retirements or promotions. Learn to adapt your role, contribute to a smooth transition, and foster continuity in firm operations during times of leadership evolution.
  • Build trust with the transitioning partner and firm leadership
  • Proactively assist with knowledge transferr
  • Ensure the transfer sticks

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Often networking focuses solely on building lists (and ideally relationships) with those outside the firm – clients, prospects, and referral sources.  But building an internal network allows you to not only explore cross-selling opportunities but also more effectively help clients.  Let’s talk about how to harness the power of internal networking by learning to identify cross-selling opportunities, leverage team expertise, and enhance client relationships through effective collaboration across service lines.

  • Meet those within the firm
  • Create relationships with other firm members
  • Ensure your relationships are mutually beneficial

Tuesday, August 20, 2024

Studies show that finding purpose in work has a major impact on team members’ work satisfaction. So how can you help your team recognize their connection to the firm’s mission and initiatives? Let’s explore ways to communicate organizational goals effectively, integrate firm and team goals into daily operations, motivate team members, and foster a sense of shared purpose, driving collective commitment toward achieving the firm’s objectives.

  • Communicate firm initiatives effectively and compellingly
  • Tie daily work to firm initiatives
  • Tie career development to firm success

Wednesday, September 18, 2024

Whether you’re delivering information, teaching a skill, advocating a position, or influencing client decision-making, nearly every accounting professional has opportunities to present.  So, what are the steps you need to follow to help ensure success?  What do you need to do to be fully prepared for opportunities and ensure impactful presentations?  How can you identify (and avoid) your personal pitfalls?  Learn how to make your next presentation a great one!

  • Organize your thoughts and presentation content
  • Engage your audience
  • Deliver a compelling message

Tuesday, October 22, 2024

Finding, attracting and retaining top people is one of the most important (and most difficult) on-going firm challenges.  Let’s take some of the guesswork out of the process.  We’ll explore innovative approaches to attracting top talent, creating a positive purpose-driven culture, and positioning your firm as an employer of choice. Learn how to draw exceptional people and allow them to thrive, making it hard for them to contemplate ever leaving.

  • Draw top talent
  • Create a purpose-driven workplace
  • Be seen as an exceptional place to work

Thursday, November 7, 2024

To turn your best clients into raving fans you can’t treat them like every other client.  So how do you treat your A-level clients so well that they’re not only loyal to your firm but rave about it to others?  We’ll explore high-value client relationship management, personalized service approaches, and strategies to exceed client expectations and help take your client relationships to the next level.

  • Define A-Level
  • Build a relationship of trust
  • Develop a client service plan for your best clients

Thursday, December 5, 2024

A culture of unity, trust, and teamwork allows your team and the firm to work more collaboratively and effectively.  Let’s talk about how to strengthen bonds with firm leadership and contribute to a positive and cohesive work environment that promotes shared success. This session provides guidance on building strong relationships with firm leaders, fostering open communication, and building trust through transparent decision-making and collaboration.

  • Understand the role of firm leadership
  • Strengthen relationships with firm leadership
  • Communicate openly

Tuesday, January 21, 2025

When creating a new service or specialty, banking on passion without taking profit into consideration (or vise versa) can be a recipe for disaster. Let’s talk about how to find the intersection of interest and profitability to transform your passion into a business opportunity that’s not only fun, but profitable. We’ll talk about how to identify market needs, develop niche expertise, and differentiate and leverage your offering.

  • Identify where passion and profit might intersect
  • Develop your niche expertise
  • Leverage your offering

for Operational Professionals

Sessions held at 12noon Pacific, 1pm Mountain, 2pm Central, 3pm Eastern

Our profession is unique and making a positive impact on the firm and your firm members means understanding what makes accounting firms tick and your role in the firm’s success.  During this series, we’ll focus on how you as an operational professional (HR, L&D, COO, Firm Administrator, etc.) can make the most of your career by proactively and consistently improving your skills, confidence and ability. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Conflict serves as a necessary component of open, honest discussion and helps with the resolution of important issues.  But what do you do when conflict escalates to an unhealthy level?  Not dealing with disruptive conflict can create ambiguity, repressed irritation, and impaired teamwork.  Let’s talk about how to successfully discuss and resolve conflict in a way that moves toward understanding, respect, common purpose, and better relationships.

  • Hold a respectful, relationship-building discussion
  • Listen and be heard
  • Determine when a third-party is needed

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Change initiatives generally start with optimism and energy, but the excitement and drive necessary to keep them on track and moving forward can be hard to sustain.  So how do you keep change initiatives going as you face competing priorities, lagging attention, and internal and external resistance and roadblocks?  Let’s discuss common change challenges and strategies to communicate successfully, inspire and engage team members, and create an atmosphere that embraces change.

  • Understand common challenges to change
  • Help team members engage with the change
  • Ensure your culture can embrace change

Tuesday, August 20, 2024

A perfect template for leadership style doesn’t exist.  The best leaders use their unique talents, interests, strengths, and experiences to contribute to the development of a diverse and impactful leadership culture within their firms. Let’s explore how to analyze your leadership style, increase your self-awareness, and refine your unique style to maximize your positive impact within the firm by aligning your leadership approach with organizational goals.

  • Define your leadership style
  • Understand how to use your leadership style to affect change
  • Use leadership to make a positive impact on your team and fir

Wednesday, September 18, 2024

Firm members’ physical, mental, and emotional health are unalterably linked.  Ignoring this can lead to poor performance, declining retention, and a toxic culture that’s hard to manage. Let’s explore how to promote wellbeing by implementing strategies to support the whole person. We’ll explore wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and positive life balance initiatives. Learn to cultivate an inclusive environment that enhances overall employee satisfaction, resilience, and performance.

  • Understand consequences of poor employee wellbeing
  • Brainstorm wellness program ideas
  • Enhance employee satisfaction, resilience, and performance

Tuesday, October 22, 2024

Often feedback and goals focus on problem areas.  While damage control for flaws is important, focusing goals on ways to play to team members’ strengths will always produce the best results, both individually and for the firm. So how can you work toward identifying, discussing, and focusing on individual strengths?  Let’s talk about how to optimize your evaluation process to align individual strengths with firm goals and foster professional growth.

  • Prioritize both financial success and employee interest
  • Take a collaborative approach to opportunities and challenges
  • Tie growth objectives with individual strengths

Thursday, November 7, 2024

Technology can be a two-edged sword – providing a wealth of information and opportunities for automation, while simultaneously causing an endless cycle of changes and the fear of either falling behind or getting too far ahead.  So how do you decide what to use and what to put on the back burner?  Let’s explore tools and strategies for automating routine tasks, streamlining workflows, and integrating technology solutions to optimize business processes.

  • Analyze technology to determine viability for the firm
  • Determine when to jump and when to take a step back with tech
  • Create a plan for rolling out new tech 

Thursday, December 5, 2024

Often accounting firms’ attention to detail and vast knowledge of business and financial principles translates to processes, procedures, and technology that beg to be extended to clients.  So, what does it take to turn operational tools into new services?  Let’s talk about identifying opportunities for service expansion, creating a framework for successful service launches, and leveraging operational excellence as a catalyst for introducing new and innovative services.

  • Analyze opportunities to leverage operational services
  • Determine a market and leveraging opportunities
  • Create a plan for a successful service launch

Tuesday, January 21, 2025

Managing a team can be difficult, but it can be even more daunting when you’re managing without the camaraderie, spontaneous idea-sharing, and personal connection that happens more organically with in-person interactions.  So how do you hold a team together when their interactions are usually as heads on a screen?  Let’s explore effective leadership strategies, communication techniques, and team-building practices to help you foster collaboration, maintain team cohesion, and ensure productivity.

  • Communicate effectively in a hybrid environment
  • Foster collaboration and team cohesion
  • Craft guidelines to ensure productivity

Meet Your Instructors

Director At
Upstream Academy

Director At
Upstream Academy

Satisfaction Guarantee

As with everything Upstream Academy does, your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not completely satisfied with the value you receive, we will either refund your money or accept a portion of those fees that reflects your level of satisfaction.

Upstream Academy is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: