Technology keeps evolving, which means keeping the team up to date with changes can be difficult for some finance managers.
Tech tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and big data systems are a critical part of modern accounting and finance departments, making it vital for your team to be comfortable working with these systems.
Here are some ways to help your employees grow their tech skills.
1. Start with an assessment
Find out what technical skills and knowledge your team members already have and compare them to your needs. You may find that they have expertise not currently being used but that could come in handy when the need arises.
2. Support education
Many accounting and finance employees are happy to pursue continuing education if they receive encouragement and support from their employer. Give them time to get extra technical training and reimburse them for costs upon successful completion of the program.
Here are some technology training options your team may find helpful:
- Certification programs, such as those from SAP or Oracle
- Courses at a local college
- Vendor-provided training programmes
- Conferences and other off-site events
- “Lunch-and-learn” seminars and other in-house training opportunities
- Webinars and online courses
Establishing mentoring relationships between select staff members and tech-savvy employees is often beneficial. These mentors can be experienced accounting and finance specialists or members of the IT department. A good working relationship with your organisation’s CIO can be helpful in identifying the best mentors for your team.
Another productive relationship is reverse mentoring, which gives an experienced employee the chance to learn from a junior colleague who may be savvier about communication via social media. However, beware of reinforcing stereotypes.
Less-tenured employees can offer more than just technology expertise; they also bring different perspectives on the world and different approaches to problem-solving the rest of the team may not be familiar with.
4. Give them a chance to grow
Many accounting and finance professionals have not expanded their knowledge of technology simply because they have not had an opportunity to do so. With their daily workload, there isn’t much time left to stay current with new technology. It’s up to you to make this a priority.
Talk to your team and discover who would like to help with a tech initiative, such as migrating to a cloud service or implementing or upgrading an ERP system.
Your support is the critical ingredient to helping employees stay current with new and evolving technology. Those who have the desire and aptitude, in particular, can benefit from your help and direction.