Before extension season starts, take the off-season to upskill your team with new knowledge and experience they’ll need to succeed in a modern accounting firm. The upskilling opportunities you pursue will depend on your firm’s needs and/or your staff’s abilities and interests. Here are just a few ideas.
Brush up on technical skills
Technology has changed how accounting firms do business. Keeping up with technological change will be one of the profession’s biggest challenges in the short and long term. Because technology is constantly changing, your staff should plan to upskill continuously throughout their careers.
- Software refresher training. Your software changes all the time, but many people do not keep up with the latest features and enhancements. Regular refresher training, online or at user conferences, is a great way to learn about new productivity tips and best practices.
- Data analytics training. With all that data moving around your firm, data analytics is a valuable skill to have. Learning to use business intelligence tools like Microsoft Power BI can help your firm analyze data and take action to make improvements.
Building soft skills
The accountant who sits behind a desk and crunches numbers all day is a thing of the past. Clients expect more now. And as a result, accountants are increasingly being asked to develop client relationships earlier in their careers. Here are some ideas to help them upskill in this area:
- Job shadowing. Give younger staff an opportunity to sit in on client meetings. These opportunities to see and model good client interactions, but also widen their networks and make them more engaged in the firm’s business.
- Growth mentality. Business development does not come naturally for most accountants, but becoming a trusted advisor often involves recommending new products and services to clients. Help staff become more comfortable in this role by giving them opportunities to practice, offering networking opportunities, and helping them understand their strengths.
Get started today
Extension season will be here before you know it, so begin your strategy to upskill your team now. Download our new whitepaper, “Non-Accounting Skills Every Accountant Needs” written by Sandra Wiley and Amanda Wilkie of Boomer Consulting.