The Importance of Training on your New Accounting Software

accounting software trainingWhy is it auditors working with nonprofit accounting software are reluctant to ask questions about their client’s GL system operation? Maybe it’s because they feel the need to be independent, maybe it’s an ego thing. But regardless, they rarely ask for assistance. Therefore, some of my most memorable encounters have been when I’ve helped out client’s auditors.
One such example took place early in my consulting career while working with a user of a DOS system. I happened to be at the client’s office at the same time as the auditor. Don was a likeable guy, and we got along fine. In fact he had helped select the GL system I had implemented. But on this particular day, while the client was out of the room, Don confided in me.
“I hate this system,” he said. I was surprised, as it provided some unique functions that the client needed, and should be making his job easier. “Why?” I inquired. “Because,” he said, “you can only print batch information in summary, so every time I need to trace a document I have to search through a whole batch!” Well, I knew that wasn’t correct. The GL printed in detail just fine – by date, account, batch, anyway you wanted it to. “Let me take a look.” I said.

Pulling up the reporting screen there was a check box that read “Print by Batch Summary” which was, of course, selected. I removed the selection and reprinted to the screen. All the documents were listed. Don’s eyes lit up, and I thought he was going to kiss me! “Do you know how much time I’ve wasted because I didn’t know that was there?” he exclaimed. “I prefer to think in terms of how much time you’ll now save!” I replied. Don and I remained good friends for a long time, and I heard from him frequently from then on with questions regarding this nonprofit accounting system which was used by several of his clients.

How much time do we all waste because we “don’t know what we don’t know?” Lot’s, I bet. And yet, when it comes to getting appropriate training on our systems so many times we don’t because it “costs too much.” The old adage of, “If you think education’s expensive, you should try ignorance,” definitely applies here.
So please, budget for training. Use those funds for training. Be serious about it. Keep yourself and your staff current. The expense of training has come down so much due to the availability of webinars and on-line sessions that it’s really a no-brainer on a cost-benefit basis. You’ll be glad you did. But please, no kisses.