Art of Accounting: Training Staff Remotely

Your firm should have uniform systems to facilitate training



Training staff effectively and properly is a major reason for a firm’s success. With the switch to remote work it is harder to train one-on-one so new methods need to be developed. Here are some things you can try.


  • Set up a lunch-hour staff meeting on Zoom and have three staff people each prepare and present a 10-minute presentation to summarize a webinar they attended or a topic they were working on. Limiting them to 10 minutes will relieve any pressure they might feel from speaking to a group, it will force them to be succinct and to focus on the essential information. The meeting will reinforce what they’ve learned and perhaps start them on the road to being an “expert” in something. It will also “teach” the others. You can have a Q&A session afterwards or inject your opinion on the topic.

  • Have another hour meeting, also at lunchtime, where you assign a specific topic and make a half hour presentation on it, asking questions as you cover the topic. What I do is distribute some reading material such as a financial statement, an article, a court case or a revenue ruling and tell them to read it beforehand and be prepared to participate in the discussion. This will not only be a training session, but can provide insights into who takes the opportunity seriously and who does not.

  • Staff shadowing is an effective method. I described it in my June 25 column.

  • Depending upon the experience level, you can have a once or twice a day check-in time to review staff progress. Either they should call you, or should expect your call around the designated times. This will provide oversight and a quick review by you. It will enable you to get a handle on their performance and indicate how well they are sticking to the budget.

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Source: Accounting Today

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