Advisory

Why accounting firms need to prioritise CPD for staff

CPD is the best way to enhance the qualifications of your staff. It’s the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training.

What is CPD good for?

It’s a great way to combine education and work. The hours spent and credited must be recorded. The learning hours spent are usually converted into points and are defined through training, online testing, seminars and workshops.

Your staff will become agile – able to adapt to changes and developments in the industry and in your firm – and have the ability to identify and close up gaps in their knowledge.

For your firm, your brand perception will be increased, and employing it internally encourages and promotes a good learning culture. In turn, you’ll notice that your team are more fulfilled in their roles, so staff retention will not be a worry.

Walk before you run

We’ve noticed that many CPD suppliers have introduced very broad courses. While it’s great to obtain a broad knowledge we’ve found, from speaking with our community of bookkeepers and accountants, that what’s needed is a ‘back to basics’ introduction to advisory and grows from there.

Like with any course, you need to start at the bottom: walk before you run. Browsing courses, you’ll notice that many promote themselves in such a way that opens up an individual’s job opportunities. We really do believe that it’s more important for people doing CPD to understand the value of what they do for their clients, not just themselves.

Business is becoming more complex, so it’s fundamental you must keep up. We know that people learn in different ways, so that’s why we’ve ensured certification is a varied course, covering different topics in diverse ways.

Happy staff will stick

Your staff will appreciate additional training. Giving them the support to grow their skills and knowledge is going to benefit both parties, as you’ll find you can adjust your pricing structure with more valuable services.

Your team will feel nurtured, and having the ability to sell their clients better services they actually need will increase their job satisfaction. Nobody wants to be shackled to endless compliance tasks, so entering them into a CPD will help them have more fun at work.

Humans are a social bunch in general, and contact time with clients will enable your team to grow meaningful professional relationships with clients. Most accountants are a dab hand at maths, but after years of staring at a wall of numbers their clients don’t understand it’s time to evolve the working day to have variety. It’ll keep your staff engaged, and there will be no more sleepwalking through the day.

Unify the team

Get your entire team on board. Once the entire team is trained up, you’ll find you can add a lot of revenue to your bottom line. When we spoke to early adopters of advisory services, Blu Sky Chartered Accountants, Lead Account Manager Sam Wood told us,

“The whole team are now so eager to sell forecasting to clients because they understand the value of it for businesses across the board, not just larger companies.”

You can see this adds a whole lot of value to services. Certification takes you right from the basics of forecasting, right up to what-if scenarios, and in-depth non-financial forecasting.

If you consider how much a given business would benefit from these services, upping their revenue and streamlining their operation, just think how much you could be charging for them.

Educate and deliver

Business owners expect and demand higher levels of service than ever before. But, we know change is hard. That’s why we’ve focused on your education and implementation. It’s crucial to get both sides of this right, as without the right delivery you may find there’s little to no interest in your new services. Certification lays out a step by step process for you to promote your new services.

You’ll be loaded up with information as to how and why your clients need your new services. When you near the end of our course, you’ll see some more insight from Blu Sky. They’ve positioned their new services so successfully, their firm is all but unrecognisable.

You’ll need to prepare yourself for a big overhaul of your website, social media and perhaps even branding, as you need to align your entire firm with advisory. You’re jumping from a standard to high-level place in industry, so it’s essential to get this right from the off.