Staff Training Platforms - LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com)? Other platforms for standardized US Bookkeeping and Accounting Training?

  • 22 June 2022
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I am starting a trial of LinkedIn Learning next week to see if it meets our needs, but I’m looking to give our staff a baseline

Intention

All staff trained the same way without drawing resources form existing staff members.

Roadblocks

In the past, staff training is sometimes really good if we are organized and the people with the knowledge are available to train. Other times, we hire staff and are already behind on capacity, so the training isn’t handled well and new staff are left floundering.

I’ve looked to the AICPA and other groups for standardized training for things like sales tax, bookkeeping, etc., but have come up empty handed.

We will still do hands-on over-the-shoulder training, so no need to convince me of the importance of that. I’m curious if anyone has used and likes a standardized training platform or has any suggestions for how I might standardize my training without pulling away my highly skilled staff to train fundamental concepts.

Other Ideas

We are also working to develop internal training with sandbox accounts and work that go through the regular workflow of prep and review. This would be something that people start after they go through the initial training.


9 replies

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Following as I’ll be looking for some out of the box courses for bookkeeping/QBO/Xero trainings and Canadian Sales Tax.

My role is actually as Learning & Development Lead so I’m fortunate that my entire job revolves around developing and implementing training and best practices for our team of around 90. I’m going through the process of implementing a platform to manage and host all of our training and have been developing a lot of content specific to our processes.

We also have sandbox accounts for Dext, QBO and Xero which are really useful for creating generic training material (screenshot guides, videos etc.), but are also very valuable for testing features. The team have full access and I know of a few that make use of it.

 

Before I started in this role though we were in @max’s position, and any training was informal and preparation had to fit in around our regular work. We had (and still have) a half-hour weekly zoom meeting in the calendar which we call “teachback”. We started by basically crowd-sourcing concepts/skills to teach each other, based on either new skills we’d learned ourselves or gaps we’ve seen in our teams. These sessions are recorded, usually as multiple videos (one for each skill or concept covered), which are then available to the team and organized into folders. This meant we could start building up a rudimentary library of resources that was provided to new staff, but also could be searched or provided to each other on an ad-hoc basis.

 

@max how have you found the LinkedIn content so far? I searched on Udemy and a couple of similar platforms while researching LMS but they were really lacking in accounting related content!

 

@max @jens @Kim Clemmer I did find this course on Coursera that we had a couple of people in our Marketing team take and they gave it positive reviews, but it might be targeted below what you’re looking for. https://www.coursera.org/learn/bookkeeping-basics#about

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also very valuable for testing features. The team have full access and I know of a few that make use of it.

 

Before I started in this role though we were in @max’s position, and any training was informal and preparation had to fit in around our regular work. We had (and still have) a half-hour weekly zoom meeting in the calendar which we call “teachback”. We started by basically crowd-sourcing concepts/skills to teach each other, based on either new skills we’d learned ourselves or gaps we’ve seen in our teams. These sessions are recorded, usually as multiple videos (one for each skill or concept covered), which are then available to the team and organized into folders. This meant we could start building up a rudimentary library of resources that was provided to new staff, but also could be searched or provided to each other on an ad-hoc basis.

 

@Rebecca Williams we also have a team member dedicated to developing training and development of our staff and your comment ‘I know of a few that make use of it’ struck a struggle we have. Engagement in learning beyond the initial training and it is something we encourage and make room for but are not seeing.

We have an LMS (360 Learning) with courses being added on a regular basis from outside sources, internal sources (we record meetings like the ‘teachback’ you described), Power Hours, APP training, requests for training…..  The struggle is engagement with that LMS.  We have learned to keep much of the training short and very direct, we highlight the content and all managers are encouraged to direct staff there when needs are flagged.  Every new staff member is onboarded to our systems and technical content through the LMS and we encourage them to go back over concepts in the weeks/months after they are onboarded.

I have found that our team really absorbs the training when when it is an issue they are facing in the moment, mandating training is hit and miss, and it doesn’t appear that the self directed we are encouraging is gaining much ground.  To add to that when facing an issue the default is to go to a knowledgeable team member and get the hand on shoulder training Max mentioned rather than utilize the LMS.

I am curious if other are finding this and any tips on overcoming it.  

I am considering a TikTok type approach - do you think I could dance my way through how to review a balance sheet in 3 minutes or less? 🤣

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Are these accounts that they provided to you or are they accounts that you just pay for an use as sandboxes?

@max they’re additional company accounts we’re paying for, not provided by QBO/Dext/Xero. There are the test accounts that both QBO and Xero have, but the QBO resets every time you close it, and we also wanted one to be able to test apps and integrations with! The Xero one keeps your changes, but is a unique demo file for each user so makes it hard to collaborate on any testing. I have a plan for future practical activities, and for those we will likely use the Xero demos as everyone will have the same starting data, but I’m not sure what we’ll do on the QBO/Dext side at this stage!

 

I’ll take a look at the LI courses! Thanks! I imagine those types of platforms will be useful for soft skills training too.

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We’re trying to encourage our staff to set aside time for learning, and LinkedIn learning opens up the doors for all kinds of soft and hard skill learning outside of accounting, which we find valuable as well. We are not to the point with our staff where people are taking advantage of that yet, but I have been and that’s where LinkedIn really shines. 😀

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@Victoria Peters I can relate to everything you’ve written! We’re still very early days in trying to build a learning culture and I definitely see all of this.

If you get anywhere with TikTok videos let me know 🤣 I know the few videos I’ve made so far that aren’t just recording meetings are pretty banal!

Userlevel 7
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Following as I’ll be looking for some out of the box courses for bookkeeping/QBO/Xero trainings and Canadian Sales Tax.

My role is actually as Learning & Development Lead so I’m fortunate that my entire job revolves around developing and implementing training and best practices for our team of around 90. I’m going through the process of implementing a platform to manage and host all of our training and have been developing a lot of content specific to our processes.

We also have sandbox accounts for Dext, QBO and Xero which are really useful for creating generic training material (screenshot guides, videos etc.), but are also very valuable for testing features. The team have full access and I know of a few that make use of it.

Are these accounts that they provided to you or are they accounts that you just pay for an use as sandboxes?

@max how have you found the LinkedIn content so far? I searched on Udemy and a couple of similar platforms while researching LMS but they were really lacking in accounting related content!

 

There is some good bookkeeping content, and my GAAP CPA went through a GAAP training that he said was good. I’m going through other training, and it’s good stuff, but not necessarily accounting-related. For now, it’s good enough to keep moving forward past the 30-day trial, so we’ll pay for a year and continue to dig through it.

 

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following @max! We struggle in many of the same ways for sure!

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@max Following as well! 

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Here’s our current attempt to drive a culture of learning:

I’d be curious to get y’all’s feedback. We are in the process of engaging our first staff member with this style of training.

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