Training your accounting graduates

Female office worker looking at whiteboard --- Image by © Natalie Faye/Corbis

How can your firm train and retain its talented accounting graduates?

For many busy tax and accounting firms, putting together a strategic training programme for new graduates can be a pressing challenge.

Limited time and in-house resources can mean the details of effective training for graduates can often be overlooked in the initial nurture-and-development phase. But it doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task.

Here, we take a look at how to effectively streamline a comprehensive training programme that can provide the right foundations for your graduate staff at a grassroots level, ahead of our free ebook, Developing the best talent for your firm.

Invest in training

Finding, training and retaining the best talent helps grow your business and is critical in shaping and defining the working culture of your firm. At the same time, providing the right training from the outset can give your graduates peace of mind and put them at ease that their skills and talent will be nurtured and developed within your firm.

Having the right training around internal systems, cloud-based software solutions and internal digital processes can significantly boost graduate staff productivity and accuracy. It also educates your future talent as to how much the firm values digital innovation, accounting agility and business efficiency in today’s digitally competitive tax and accounting environment.

It’s also critical to train new graduates on internal compliance systems, cultural expectations and ethical obligations so their actions are consistent and aligned with your firm’s fundamental legal and ethical obligations to its clients. It sets clear and firm ground rules for your graduates as to what is expected from them and what their duties are to the business and to the firm’s clients.

Look beyond the traditional

Having said that, it’s no longer enough for staff to simply receive legal, HR, technical, compliance and administrative training. A progressive accounting firm understands the long-term value of developing their staff’s ‘soft skills’, which are now an increasingly critical component of any professional development programme.

By putting in place an effective, relevant and timely training programme, firms can ensure their graduate talent have the competitive edge in handling unique and complex tax situations, and understand the importance of best practice when it comes to truly serving your clients.

At the same time, they will gain the right fundamental communication skills to work cohesively and effectively within internal and external team environments. Importantly, the right ‘soft skill’ training, coupled with effective leadership training, can help pave the way for the future generation of managerial talent within your firm.

Ask for help

While in-house training is essential, many firms do not have the internal resources or time to give their graduates the best training they need to kick-start their careers.

Investing in external training providers, workshops and programmes can help your graduates achieve their full potential not only in their first year, but as they move forward in their profession as well.

Setting up a streamlined and comprehensive training programme doesn’t need to cost the earth, nor should it be considered a drain on resources. Rather, it should be seen as an invaluable investment in your future talent pool. Find out more in our free ebook, Developing the best talent for your firm.

About the Contributor

Azadeh Williams

Azadeh Williams is an international journalist and editor with over 500 articles published in over five continents including Reuters and The Times (UK). A former banking and finance solicitor, she holds an LLB, BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney and an MA from the City University London School of Journalism. Azadeh currently lectures in business and professional news practice at the Macleay College faculty of journalism.

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