Pandemic forces accounting firms to adopt new training methods | Surgent CPE

While technical expertise is fundamental to our profession, certified public accountant (CPA) firms that have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on professional development have an advantage over the competition.

CPAs who’ve advanced their skills in interpersonal communication, leadership, corporate culture, and work-environment inclusiveness are more equipped to serve their clients in today’s pandemic environment.

To varying degrees, most professionals have struggled with the transformed work environment induced by COVID-19. CPAs need to adjust to this new atmosphere where face-to-face interaction, opportunities for real-time coaching, and on-the-job development have decreased.

Proactive CPAs are engaging in training programs emphasizing improving their communication skills, especially the ones utilized in a virtual work environment. These include developing skills such as effective listening and identifying barriers and solutions to effective virtual communication.

With less one-on-one engagement, firms have emphasized training that develops coaching skills like problem identification and solving, critical thinking, and increasing employee motivation. These skills greatly enhance employee retention and commitment. An engaged employee is generally a happy employee.

Given the above and reflecting on current staff retention challenges, firm leaders have focused their training on creating a demanding yet engaging culture that affords ample opportunity for all employees to thrive.

While money will always matter, training that concentrates on identifying what motivates employees and recognizes their contributions creates a competitive advantage – especially in a period of tight resources.

While there will always be the need for formal and on-the-job technical training for CPAs, the firms proactive in developing professionals with a well-rounded skill set will have a significant competitive advantage in our dynamic professional environment.

Surgent CPE offers a variety of professional continuing education (CPE/CE) courses geared toward improving interpersonal skills, enhancing your corporate culture, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work environment. For more information, go to Surgent CPE today to sign up for CPE/CE courses and learn how you can help improve your firm.

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