The Synergism of the Staff Training Mix--Power!

A CPA firm’s staff training goal should be to improve the performance of its personnel to increase engagement and firm profitability. Someone said it this way, “We’ve got to spend money to make money.” I like to say it my way, “We’ve got to spend money THE RIGHT WAY to make money.” Here are four of those right ways:

• Practically-designed orientation training.
• Regular in-firm group training.
• Out-of-house CPE.
• On-the-job training.

To get the most out of our training investments we must remember that staff training and development is a process, not an event. How well we integrate the parts of the process determines the long-range returns on our investments. High-quality training and development inputs result in high-quality performance outputs. “Train to retain” may be a good motto. The ultimate “multiplier” of training occurs when well-trained staff personnel stay with a firm for a long time!

Marketplace power originates from formal, detailed planning of the staff training and development process. The power resides in a staff resource base that is stronger than all a firm’s competition. That power is the ability to survive and succeed in the difficult years ahead. That power is for a CPA firm to be known primarily for its quality services and its quality people.

The capstone for maximizing the benefits of the training process occurs during engagement performance and review. The test question is: Does the on-the-job decision making and documentation of work reflect application of the resources developed through the firm’s staff training and development process. Policies that embody the principles of learning in a holistic approach to staff development must be reflected in the results of engagement procedures. In my next blog, I’ll focus on how good orientation training can result in huge engagement time savings. Please post your comments!

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by Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC - Larry has over 40 years experience as a CPA practitioner, author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs.  He is co-founder of CPA Firm Support Services, LLC (www.cpafirmsupport.com), an organization providing resources, training and consulting to smaller CPA firms.  Larry writes a weekly blog on AccountingWEB.com focusing on small audits, reviews and compilations.  He is currently developing documentation manuals and handbooks for small audits, reviews and compilations and related electronic practice aids.

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