Banking & Finance, Higher Education, and Technology

Startup launches web app for continuing education students

July 23, 2015
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Encoursa is a web application that helps professionals manage their continuing education requirements. Photo via

A startup has launched a web-based platform that helps accounting and finance professionals manage their continuing education hours and certifications.

Encoursa in Grand Rapids said this week that it has launched its flagship web application for the continuing professional education, or CPE, market, beginning with the accounting and finance industries.

In the future, the startup team would like to branch the platform out into other industries.

How it works

Encoursa’s web app allows users to find professional training courses based on personal preferences and incorporates a dashboard for professionals to monitor their progress toward certification requirements and upload course support materials.

The free platform enables professionals to search among thousands of courses based on various criteria: online or live delivery; date; location; price; and peer-review ratings.

Matthew Briggson, co-founder of Encoursa and certified professional accountant based in Grand Rapids, said the web app compiles courses into one platform and allows professionals to compare, register and monitor the training.

“We have a full, robust online tracking that enables professionals to tell Encoursa what their needs are, what their requirements are for certification, so professionals can track that,” Briggson said. “It is a one-stop shop for people to manage their training, search for training and free up the administrative side of it.”

Saving time

Encoursa’s web app is intended to reduce the amount of time professionals spend on the administrative tasks of searching and registering for CPE courses.

“I think the big thing is the time saving,” Briggson said. “We kind of allow them to forget about the administrative side and focus on the learning side of the training.”

Jim Kaplan, president and CEO at AuditNet, said Encoursa provides an automated solution to the repetitive annual ritual of CPE reporting for professionals.

“Encoursa provides an easy-to-use solution to find quality CPE, track progress and maintain certificates that facilitate the process,” Kaplan said.

The company

Encoursa was founded in 2014 by a five-member team of accounting, finance and information technology professionals.

Team members based in Grand Rapids who focus on the technology side of Encoursa include Jason Beach, Jesse Vista and Jonas Beel. Jamie Ontiveros, who is based in Seattle, focuses on the business aspect of the company with Briggson out of Grand Rapids.

“We started working on this about one year ago,” Briggson said. “I found it very difficult to find continuing education courses, because there are so many options out there and different delivery models. We built Encoursa to help professionals find training all in one spot.”

While some of the courses listed on Encoursa were compiled by the team members with links to third-party sites, Briggson said a number of CPE providers are beginning to reach out to the company to have their training included on the platform.

“We are partnering with some CP education providers,” Briggson said. “It has been really positive so far.”

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