Execs Dissatisfied with Finance and Accounting Training for Employees

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Only 22 percent of corporate finance and accounting executives are satisfied with the training options available to their employees, according to a new survey by KPMG.

Constrained budgets are limiting the ability of companies to explore new training options, however.  More than two-thirds of respondents to the survey said they expected their training budgets to either decline or remain flat.

Over 100 human resources, accounting and finance directors participated in the survey which aimed to better understand why training programs aren’t working and determine what types of learning services might better serve employees.

The business executives surveyed reported that they would value new training options for their finance professionals and expressed declining levels of confidence in the effectiveness of their existing programs. 

“Companies were found to be just trying to meet the immediate needs of their employees,” said KPMG Learning executive director Patricia Maslov in a statement. “Companies are facing significant challenges in developing workforce capabilities within their finance and accounting functions to ensure they compete effectively in the years ahead, especially considering when the importance of keeping their staffs current on industry trends and regulatory issues. Budget constraints represent a significant challenge in meeting these objectives.”

More than a third of the survey respondents said specific, structured and easily accessible training would be beneficial and improve training at their companies.

In the survey, 22 percent of the respondents said they expect their training budgets to increase next year, but 17 percent anticipate their training budgets will decline, and 61 percent predict spending for training would remain flat.

Half of the survey respondents said that investing in finance and accounting training programs is important to the future viability of their company, yet nearly an equal number (44 percent) said that finding sufficient funds and resources to be their biggest challenge in executing a compliant and valuable training program.

Two-thirds of the respondents indicated the ideal amount of training for employees is 21 to 80 hours per year. However, 40 percent of all respondents reported that their employees are only required take 10 hours or less of training per year.

“This disparity, between the required amount of training taken versus the ideal amount of training taken, indicates executives are looking for more relevant, streamlined learning programs to keep their employees current on changing rules and regulation,” said Maslov. “Forward-thinking companies are taking steps to prepare their staffs to respond to market demands.”

The survey found a disconnection between how human resource and financial and accounting professionals viewed training programs. While only 22 percent of financial and accounting executives ranked their company’s program offerings as excellent, nearly double that number of HR executives (44 percent) ranked their company training programs as excellent.

Finance and accounting executives also disagreed with HR executives regarding both the type of training required, but also the number of training hours employees should complete. While 38 percent of finance and accounting respondents said they would simply welcome an increase in training, 46 percent of HR respondents believed offering more specific, relevant training was a better solution that merely increasing the amount of training taken.

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