In accounting firms, compliance roles have been the traditional entry point for new employees. However, as the profession changes from a compliance focus to offering more advisory and consulting services, firms increasingly recognize the value of guiding their employees towards more advisory-focused careers.
This transformation isn’t just a change in job functions; it's a strategic move to retain talent and broaden the range of services offered.
So, how can firms effectively facilitate this transition and ensure they’re actively shaping a versatile, skilled, and future-ready team? Here are a few ideas.
Skill development programs
One of the cornerstones of a transition to advisory services is developing skills.
Many accounting professionals—new graduates and experienced professionals—feel their education and experience primarily focused on compliance services rather than advisory and consulting skills.
Your skill development program should focus on areas crucial for advisory roles, such as financial analysis, strategic planning, and client relationship management. By offering structured learning in these areas, you can help your employees build the necessary skills to excel in advisory services. This prepares them for new challenges and aligns their growth with the firm's strategic objectives.
Rotational programs are an excellent way for employees to gain diverse experiences within the firm.
Working in different departments allows individuals to discover where their passions and talents align best. This exposure is invaluable in helping them understand the various facets of the firm's operations and identify the niche where they can contribute most effectively while supporting the organization's broader goals.
Mentoring and shadowing
Mentoring is a powerful tool in career development. Establishing a mentorship program where more senior advisors mentor employees aspiring to transition to advisory roles can be highly beneficial.
This one-on-one guidance helps team members gain practical knowledge and insights that are crucial for success in advisory positions. Additionally, shadowing opportunities allow for hands-on experience, giving mentees a real-world perspective of the advisory role.
Developing advisory roles
To effectively develop advisory professionals within the firm, allowing for on-the-job training is essential. This approach ensures that employees learn theoretically and gain practical experience.
This training helps people enhance their skills and prepares them for the complexities of advisory roles.
Promoting a culture of continuous learning can keep your employees informed about the latest trends, capabilities and best practices in process and technology.
Give employees time and budget to attend workshops, webinars, conferences and other training and networking opportunities within and outside the profession. This encourages employees to expand their knowledge base and fosters innovation. This learning culture ensures that the firm's talent pool remains versatile and adaptable.
Regular and constructive performance feedback is crucial in refining skills and competencies. For example, at Boomer Consulting, we conduct yearly 'Stop, Start, Continue' evaluations. This approach provides employees with clear insights into their strengths, areas for improvement and guidance on aligning their efforts with the firm's expectations and their personal career goals.
Transitioning from compliance to advisory roles isn’t just about changing job titles; it's about fostering a culture of growth, learning and adaptability. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure your talent pool is equipped to handle the challenges of today and prepared to lead and innovate in the future. This transition is essential for retaining talent and expanding your service offerings in an increasingly competitive market.
Could your firm’s HR and talent leaders benefit from a peer network?
The Boomer Talent Circle is a community of talent leaders from forward-thinking firms who are committed to aligning human resources and firm strategy at the highest levels. Apply now to start shaping your firm for the future.
As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Kylie Pruser is excited about engaging with clients, helping them solve their problems, enrich their businesses and grow. Her primary focus is on communities, including the Talent Circle, Learning & Development Circle, and Operations Circles.