Posted by Amy Bell on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 06:00
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” If you want to invest in your accounting managers and put them on the path to success, offer them a first-class training and professional development program. In fact, some studies show a lack of training and professional development opportunities leads to lower employee-retention rates for organizations.
It’s no wonder 42 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said they are investing in training and development for promising workers, according to a Robert Half survey. Finance career development not only keeps accounting managers motivated, inspired and engaged, but also helps them stay on the cutting edge of accounting and finance trends.
Ready to give accounting managers the tools they need to excel at your company? Here are five tips for creating an unbeatable professional development program for accounting managers.
1. Offer online training.
Online training, or e-learning, is an affordable and effective professional development option for busy accounting managers. With online courses, accounting managers can learn at their own pace. They can access the course information anytime and may have the opportunity for real-time interactions with online instructors and classmates.
2. Provide classroom courses.
While some accounting professionals prefer to learn online, others thrive in a more interactive classroom environment. For this reason, it’s important to offer on-site training courses in addition to e-learning opportunities. Whether you hold a training session in a company conference room or send employees to a nearby college, classroom training gives accounting managers a chance to interact with colleagues and receive one-on-one attention from the instructor.
3. Assign mentors.
Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to train and develop accounting managers. When you pair a rookie manager with a veteran professional who’s “been there and done that,” the accounting manager can gain access to invaluable insights. A mentor can show a new accounting manager the ropes and offer on-the-job leadership training; in addition, mentors and mentees often develop long-lasting professional relationships. In the most successful cases, the mentor will continue to offer professional advice and guidance throughout the mentee’s career.
4. Tap into conferences and workshops.
When accounting managers attend conferences, seminars and workshops, they have a chance to learn about the latest trends in the finance industry. Networking opportunities at these conferences also allow managers to connect and brainstorm with other accounting professionals. Conference and seminar attendance can motivate managers, boost their careers and help keep them focused, inspired and engaged.
5. Encourage professional memberships.
From the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to the Financial Executives International (FEI), Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA) and American Accounting Association (AAA), there are numerous professional associations for accounting professionals. When accounting managers join these groups, they enjoy invaluable benefits — including professional development and continuing education opportunities.
A first-class professional development and training program for your accounting managers can help set them up for success — and help your company succeed as well.
What kind of finance career development opportunities does your firm offer? Please share your comments below.