The business landscape is not the same as it once was and many professional firms are struggling to face this reality. Everchanging legislation, rapidly evolving technology, and the diminished quality of college education during the pandemic are just a few of the challenges being thrown at businesses today, and the accounting industry is no exception.
Because of the highly technical nature of accounting, skill and capability training is a crucial component in the way accounting firms operate. Accountants must complete rigorous training to even be able to work on client projects, let alone be compliant with the many regulations of the industry and stay in lock step with the rapid pace of change.
This, combined with the current challenges facing all businesses, has made the role of effective training and education in the accounting industry more important than ever before.
We sat down with our Senior Manager of Learning and Development, Kati Wheeler, to gain a better understanding of how TBG ensures that our professionals are equipped to navigate the changing landscape, gain the necessary technical skills, ensure quality and compliance, and develop their career in a way that works for them.
Take a look at the below to learn what factors our firm leaders and Bonadio University team keep in mind when developing technical skill training programs at TBG.
Maintaining Regulatory Compliance
Maintaining technical skill compliance requirements is a priority consideration when developing our technical skills training program here at TBG. Equally important is ensuring that we’re growing our PEOPLE and developing their capabilities while reinforcing or developing new skills.
The accounting industry is subject to various regulations and standards. Therefore, knowledge of relevant accounting software and tools helps accounting professionals ensure compliance with these regulations. If our People do not meet regulatory compliance, they would not be able to serve clients to begin with.
Accounting for Change
As mentioned above, all businesses are facing change in a number of facets. The way we educate our People at TBG is directly correlated to the changes that may impact their work.
Changes in Legislation
From tax codes to financial reporting standards, these rules are subject to frequent updates, amendments, and introductions of new regulations. This perpetual state of change is something we must account for when training our People. Education is needed more than ever before to keep our People up to date and aware of any changing legislation that may affect their work.
Changes in Technology
The rapid amount of technological change in the accounting industry has also significantly impacted the way we train our People. Our firm is comprised of people of all ages and backgrounds, and it is crucial that we provide our People everything they may need to adapt to technological changes more quickly than ever.
“When there is a technological change in the way we do things at the firm, we make it a priority to educate our People on it and explain specifically how it will impact their work,” shared Kati.
Changes in College Education Quality
Another change that impacts technical training at TBG is the amount of knowledge recent graduates possess when they start their entry-level accounting position. To no fault of their own, college graduates are entering the workforce without all the necessary technical accounting principles skills they need. Colleges are doing their best to adjust curriculum to keep up with industry changes and TBG's education builds on this foundational knowledge to ensure all our professionals have what they need to succeed. “The quality of college education was somewhat diminished during COVID. We've learned that during that time, it was a challenge for students to learn technical accounting skills remotely and we are still feeling the effects of this,” shared Kati.
One way we have worked to account for this change at TBG is by providing more training flexibility to our newer, younger employees.
“We want to do everything we can to help our younger folks start out successfully, which is why we have given them a choice of when they would like to start. Instead of making them wait until the traditional fall level training, we are providing more training sessions throughout the year,” she added.
Elevating the Learning Experience
Aside from all the change and compliance requirements, we also aim to elevate the learning experience for our People wherever we can to make it more interactive, balanced, and efficient.
Beyond Checking a Box
At TBG, our goal is not just to get through required content and check a box— we want our People to truly understand and engage with the content.
We consistently work to achieve this by planning our curriculum ahead of time, so our People know what to expect and when to expect it throughout the year. “This allows our people to really engage with the material since they know it will be integrated throughout the year rather than sprung on them last minute.” added Kati.
Learning from the Experts
Another key component of many of our technical training sessions at TBG is learning via our firm leaders. Many of our People have the opportunity to learn from the very people they work with each and every day. This allows for a more personal learning experience as well as ongoing conversation.
While much of our skill training happens in house, there are also benefits to outsourcing education, and we try to leverage these benefits wherever makes sense.
Through partnering with highly regarded vendors for some of our technical training, our People are exposed to more case studies, interactive activities, breakout sessions, and other resources they may not have had exposure to otherwise.
Promoting Ongoing Learning
Above all, we realize that technical skill training must be ongoing to be effective. This type of training is simply not something that can be fully learned at one time. In fact, it is an ongoing process that spans across one’s entire career and the education our People gain from intern to Partner builds on itself and becomes more advanced as they progress.
“There are different skills needed for each team, role, level, etc. and we aim to provide what our People need to know when they need to know it,” said Kati.
Additionally, not every person is going to understand every aspect of the training every time. “If there is a need for follow-up, we will provide it because our ultimate goal is to educate our People in a way that supports their success as much as the firm’s.”
To learn more about the various learning and development programs at TBG, click here. If you’re interested in finding out what a career at The Bonadio Group could look like for you, reach out today or check out our current openings here.