Sun, Sea and Learning – The Importance of Investing in training and development
Why do I invest so much in training, education & development? This month alone I have two conferences which are interstate that I will be attending.
And when I say I am going to the Gold Coast to attend the MYOB Partner Conference,
people say to me, “Oh, you are just going for a holiday!”
And I know they are only saying that in jest (well I think they are), but I really wanted to discuss why I spend so much money, and so much time, investing in my training and development, and also my staff’s training and development. And it is definitely not a holiday.
So each year, as a Chartered Accountant and BAS Agent we are required to do a minimum of 40 training and development hours – every single year. So that can be a combination of training sessions, workshops, webinars or conferences which obviously relate to my field of accounting and bookkeeping.
Only a certain percentage of that training can be outside of the specific accounting field. So 20% can be personal development, things like how to manage my staff, and how to manage my practice and personal growth. Those hours, obviously, add up to quite a bit of money. So along with my professional memberships which cost over $2000 each and every year (and yes I have to pay them each year to continue to be able to say I am a chartered accountant and that I am a member in public practice). The training cost is on top of that.
But, most people assume “you are learning about accounting, that is what you do, and you must love it”.
Yes I do love it, but do I want to spend another $5000 every year on training and development? If not more. And the simple answer is yes.
Without a doubt, training is a huge cost for my business, and that is just my own personal education and development. I also let my staff do training that is relevant to their job, or I do on the job training with them so I have a lot of meetings and videos that we share that are about the software we use, or about topics that directly effect our clients.
So while it is a cost to me, I see that I am increasing my skills, I am increasing my knowledge, I am enabling us to work smarter and faster in various software programs, which means our clients have a direct benefit.
So the reason that I spend so much time and energy on training and development is that I truly believe that the end benefit ends up with our clients. And everything that I do in my business revolves around my clients.
So, that starts with choosing their software, down to how do we work on their data file, how we communicate internally & externally, what checklists should we have in place, what processes do we have for that client, how do we communicate each quarter with their business activity statement, how can we make the process more efficient by using cloud software and everything inbetween.
There are so many things that we are learning, every single week, about various programs, and we want to be able to incorporate that into how we work as a business.
What most people probably don’t see and realise is that most cloud accounting programs do updates every 2 weeks. And this happens behind the scenes, so that when you are logging into the software it is working and it is as fast and as efficient as possible. But we, as a business, are keeping on top of those updates, what’s changing, what can we now implement and what should we be telling our clients about? So that next time you log into your accounting software, there might be a new feature that you didn’t even realise exists, but it could save you hours of time (and sanity).
And that is what we are learning about and paying for – to get that advantage, I guess, to tell you how you can use the software better.
Aside from wages, training and development is our biggest cost in business. And if it wasn’t I would be quite shocked. I think that every professional based business; whether it is accounting or bookkeeping or other, needs to make sure that their skills and knowledge are up to date.
So any business should be investing in training and development, not only for the business owner, but for all the staff that work in their business to ensure that everyone is applying best practice and providing the best service possible.