Now more than ever organizations need accountability and effective stewardship of financial resources. We all know how important it is to build a strong financial management team that can play a key role in your organization's success. If you are responsible for finding new talent for that team and providing them with the right training, then you and I have something in common.
Our goal in this article is not to actually provide any financial training, but rather to offer some thoughts and resources for you to consider as you develop your financial management team. (We’ll leave the formula for future value of annuities for another time.)
Build a Training Plan for New Members of your Financial Management Team
To start with, it helps if you can find the right person who will be accurate and dependable. You are looking for somebody who already has, or who can reasonably develop, a foundational understanding of accounting, auditing, internal control, budgeting, and general financial management.
In terms of building out a training plan for new employees, there are some automatic must-train things, and then the rest will depend on filling gaps in the person’s educational and experiential background.
The key piece for every team member is training in your parochial processes and systems. It helps to have a very clear pathway for the person to learn the ins and outs of your particular software, file storage, and workflow processes. You don’t personally need to be the one to teach it all; share the responsibility (privilege) with others on the team. It will help develop relationships alongside the required knowledge, too.
Beyond that, for self-motivated individuals who are willing to read their way through textbook-style material, check out this free online financial management training. Each course also has a quiz at the end, which you could use to do a gap analysis in the new person’s training and experience if that would be helpful.
Ongoing Financial Management Training for Experienced Team Members
No doubt you already know this, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it in the context of this article: if you hire a CPA, don’t forget to budget both time and money for ongoing Continuing Professional Education credits.
And lastly, in my opinion you always want to build in the expectation for ongoing Excel training. It’s such a powerful application with a vast feature set. And with Microsoft’s release of Office 2016, they are signaling their intent to push updates more frequently. But it’s painful for users because it feels like the software is always a moving target and people find it hard to keep up with the latest changes and features. When our Excel expert trainers work with accountants, we are sometimes surprised at just how much time they could save in Excel if they knew more of the tricks and shortcuts.