Globally, finance companies are experiencing an accounting skills gap. These companies must constantly improve performance, therefore their accountants are being stretched to attain capabilities that go beyond typical audit and technical tax skills, according to Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). A contributor to IMA wrote,
“As a result, accounting professionals are challenged to keep up, and entry-level workers often lack the skills needed for long-term success — contributing to a global skills gap.”
The solution to accounting skills gaps is providing effective training for current employees as well as new hires.
3 Tips for Closing Accounting Skills Gaps
Are you ready to see unparalleled growth in 2019, expand your finance team, and offer new services to your clients? If so, upskill your accounting employees using the following tips:
1. Measure current skills gaps — To effectively train finance professionals, determine what skills they are lacking. There are several ways to do this. One is to administer employee assessments using online tests, quizzes, or practical real-life assessments. eFront Learning stated,
“One key point here is to base the assessments on real work scenarios, to identify the actual skill gaps.”
A contributor to eFront Learning suggested using at least three methods of identifying skills gaps, but said using assessments is a great place to start.
2. Use mobile learning to deliver training in small spurts — Due to the requirements of their job, accountants are usually tech savvy. Because of this, they will probably respond well to mobile learning, which delivers training content in small chunks.
Say an employee is deficient in customer service skills. This individual can access blog posts, short videos, or succinct audio recordings on the subject of customer service via smartphone, tablet, or laptop a couple of times throughout the course of the work day. These small spurts of training really add up over time.
Mobile learning is also great for accountants who need to keep training right at their fingertips (for example, new hires who are interacting with customers over the phone and need to quickly reference training materials).
3. Turn seasoned accountants into strategic leaders — Leadership skills are critical to the success of any finance company, but they are hard to come by for employers. Many accountants are great employees but aren’t natural leaders. This doesn’t mean they can’t be trained to lead.
“The days of accountants working solely as ‘number crunchers’ essentially have disappeared or at least dissipated. Experienced employees may find that the current skills they possess are not enough to succeed long-term, especially for strategic leadership roles and the C-suite,” wrote a contributor to Training Magazine.
As accounting becomes more technology-driven, your firm will need leaders who can create new company strategies and hold them together. An important step in closing accounting skills gaps is turning seasoned accountants into strategic leaders via mentoring and leadership training.
What Accounting Skills Gaps Are Your Finance Professionals Missing?
All finance teams have skills gaps of various types and sizes. Are you willing to measure current accounting skills gaps, give employees the option to learn via mobile device, and provide training that encourages seasoned accountants to become strategic leaders? If so, you’ll help close current accounting skills gaps and prevent new ones from forming in the future.