Tax & Accounting Blog

The Software Training Cost Paradox: Part One

Global Tax Compliance, ONESOURCE, WorkFlow Manager January 15, 2013

RTR39T4Q_5688Professionals that work within specialized fields are required to participate in educational training in order to maintain their professional certification. Each year, there is a minimum number of training hours (CPE) that individuals such as Engineers, Attorneys, Law Enforcement, and Accountants must complete.

For accountants, there are multiple avenues available to obtain the necessary hours such as online recorded classes, live webcasts, in-person training, and live seminars.  A third party, usually a professional organization or legislative branch, determines the amount of time required and provides guidelines on  what qualifies as training.  If you fail to meet these requirements, you may lose your certification.  One of the reasons why a third party sets these standards is to bring consistency based on collective requirements and not on convenience.  By convenience, I mean availability of time and costs. This is how you maintain standards.

Over the past 20 years, businesses have moved from manually driven efforts to hardware and software.  Data moves at the speed of light; millions of calculations are occurring instantaneously and reports are automatically created.  Professionals can now focus on the tasks they were hired to do.  When I first practiced law, I had to learn how to type certain forms because there were different requirements (you could have a document rejected because it was not in the appropriate style or format).  Now, that is all automatically done if you know what you are doing.

So what do professional CPE requirements have to do with the growth of computers and software in an organization?  It is estimated that over 40% of all time associated with working with a computer or software is inefficient.  That is a staggering number.  Even if you believe it is less, at 25%, you may work 40 hours a week but 1.25 days are lost or not useful.  Why does this occur? A lack of understanding of how the software or hardware works is at the core of the issue. Training cannot be seen as a luxury item but rather a necessity.  People receive training, but study after study has shown that a single training event is not sufficient.  Too much information is lost because learning is a process, not an event.

Join us on Thursday for Part Two, which will provide insight on how you can be more efficient with your software.