Teach a Man/Woman to Fish…

I have returned from an amazing 3 day tax and accounting symposium on Long Island sponsored by my professional group. Bad news – there were so many great sessions, it was hard to choose. Good news – most of the sessions were taped, giving me a chance to listen to those I may have missed during some down time in my office. No one believes that their education ends when they graduate school.  We go through the day learning from our online newsletters, our peers, and the questions our clients/patients/customers and our staff members ask and answer. We just have to be diligent in sharing those tidbits too.

 

 

My clients must be some of the most intelligent people in their industry, they very rarely make mistakes in their accounting programs and when they do, they realize it almost immediately and contacts us.  Nah- I think that they are just very well trained.

When one of our clients makes an error in the use of their accounting system, I use it as a learning experience. I build a session into the training for that software product and/or create a video on the process.  We realize that if one person has forgotten or misunderstood the proper sequence others will likely have the same problem. My team and I learn from these incidents that our instructions may not be clear, or the process is more involved than we feel it is.

We continue to train our “AI robots” as I affectionately refer to the technology in our cloud based accounting software.  We use software to fetch and record data and in turn review the postings to our client’s books.  Once we change a description so that the expense or income item goes to a different account than was posted by AI, all the entries with similar characteristics change as well.  Presto chango – it’s amazing!

We must all keep educating ourselves to continuously grow and be relevant.  We must include our clients/patients/customers as well as our staff members in this process.

Education is NOT an expense, it is an investment!

If we follow this logic, why would we deny our clients/customers/patients the opportunity to be involved with relevant training? Through transition phases their feedback can expand our knowledge and effectiveness.  We can also apply what we learn from this process to our work with other clients.  We always find that a smooth transition experience will enable a great ongoing process. When I learn something new I do the dance then share the information with my staff and I quote, Elizabeth Spradley (one of my team members) “Any day I learn something new is a good day”.

What I have found is that encouraging my staff to listen to our clients concerns and issues benefits all of us, when you teach a man/woman to fish he/she can:

-apply this lesson to other options within any of the apps or software programs they use

-teach their appropriate staff members what they have learned, or have us teach their staff new procedures

-feel empowered; gain a better self-image and confidence

– be open to tackling persistent problems, realize these issues are actually opportunities to tweak their processes

– act independently to review the pre-set reports and dashboards

– include appropriate employees in the business’ succession plan

-encourage employees to evaluate client/patient/customer feedback and improve the processes that will create a better client/patient/customer experience

In short, teach a man/woman to fish and they will never go hungry again!

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