Tax & Accounting Blog

THE SOFTWARE TRAINING COST PARADOX: Part Two

Global Tax Compliance, ONESOURCE January 17, 2013

On Tuesday, we discussed several inefficiencies apparent for professionals using tax software.

OSU blog2Here is the problem. The first number to be cut from almost every operational budget is training.  In fact, during the implementation of software, people who do not understand the complexity of how the software operates pride themselves on reducing the purchase price by minimizing or eliminating training costs. Many say, “We do not need it, we can train ourselves.”  This thought process is perplexing and also explains why most software companies do not provide support without charging for it.  Why should they?  If clients do not value learning how to use the software, it is almost impossible to explain how to use the software in a single call.

Just like CPE is required to maintain your professional status, a standard should be set for all people in any organization that uses software.  An investment in training is critical to the retention of knowledge and operational efficiencies.  Also, the training plan should not be repetitious in terms of the manner in which people learn.  It must have direct interaction and indirect aspects, such as live training led by a professional trainer as well as recorded classes.  In addition, the benefits of the learning must be factored into the learning effort.

Software is just as valuable as learning the specific domain knowledge.  I still love reading the old books when looking up cases, but I get a lot more done using software.  Software is designed to increase the proficiency of the operations.  Not understanding how to use the software is actually decreasing this effort.  Accordingly, getting the appropriate training plan in place is more valuable to the organization than being rewarded for reducing that cost.  Maybe sometime in the future, the professional organizations we all are members of will require software training.  Until then, it is incumbent on us to get the training embedded into the organizational mind frame.

What are your thoughts on promoting software training throughout organizations? Let us know in the comments below.