If money is the key to power, are finance departments the most important aspect of business? Well, some of the C-suite might not agree with that sentiment, but as a financial professional, you can probably relate. Without you and your co-workers, there would be no earning statements, portfolios or other financial reports. However, if you believe that your role and other positions in your department are essential, why isn’t financial training and career development available at every corporation? Simply put, it should be.
Robert Half reported that there are many reasons to train finance professionals, noting that career development practices can keep accounting managers engaged and motivated, as well as help finance teams keep up with today’s trends and technologies. The good news is that many chief financial officers recognize the importance of finance training, with a Robert Half survey finding that 42 percent of those individuals said they plan to invest more in the development of “promising workers.”
After all, the finance industry is wrought with laws and standards.. Employees must be properly training in both technology and best practices to ensure success. Everyone in your finance department needs to learn those regulations, how to use accounting platforms, as well as business rules and goals.
There are so many financial laws out there that you can’t know them all without referencing books and manuals. Whether it’s tax regulations in your industry or antitrust laws, there is always another resource from which to absorb information. Of course, you can’t forget about payroll systems and affiliated state and federal laws, payment processing guidelines and compliance requirements – this one is particularly challenging given the modern landscape of cybercrime.
You need to help train your department on the numerous technologies and software at your disposal. Entrepreneur reported that investors have sunk just under $4 billion into the “fintech” (financial technology) industry, and it’s set to skyrocket as more startups and established tech firms continue to release new and improved accounting, invoicing and other financial software. While you might have a firm grasp on how SAP FI works today, tomorrow there could be new features and capabilities. Or, better yet, you simply don’t have the time to train every new finance employee one-by-one on how to use fintech, which means that they need training strategies in this regard.
Corporate Practices Demand Finance Training Policies
Then, you must consider the numerous corporate policies and practices that finance departments force adherence to – this isn’t a bad thing by the way, as accountability in finance is king. New employees must be comprehensively trained on your company’s way of completing tasks, using platforms and securely sharing financial records. Contributing to the Wall Street Journal, Robert Profusek, head of mergers and acquisitions at law firm Jones Day, recommended that businesses do not take a cookie-cutter approach to corporate governance, as every department and company has different needs. So, in that regard, training your coworkers on specific corporate policies is incredibly important, since you don’t want their old habits to travel with them to their new jobs.
As virtually the case with any initiative, cost can be an issue. But, as Financial Post explained, spending on employee training and creating corporate learning cultures can reduce turnover, improve engagement and help make everyone more productive. This all means that professional development strategies can positively contribute to the bottom line.
How to Train
The next step is developing these finance training programs. As a finance professional, this task might seem daunting, but it really is easy to get started. Let’s take a look at four best practices for corporate career development:
- Mentoring: Never discount the value of having a mentor. Robert Half explained that creating mentorship programs is “one of the most effective ways to train and develop accounting managers.” It’s simple: You can start by matching higher-level staff with new employees. The experienced professional can pass on quality advice and valuable tips to rookies.
- Courses: Once new hires arrive on the job, send them to training courses. Teach them how to use software, corporate policies and relevant laws in a classroom setting to ensure everyone learns. All it takes is an hour per day for one week, and you’ll have highly trained finance professionals ready to hit the ground running. Of course, current employees should also participate.
- Training Manuals: With a class comes a textbook and coursework, so provide these to guarantee employees always have reference points.
- Online Resources: Humans lose things – this fact cannot be argued. Be sure to put coursework and financial training documents on an online digital content platform, and your staff will always have access to relevant career development materials. If it’s cloud-based, they can read up, regardless if they’re in the office or on the train.
Now get out there and start training your finance colleagues!