In 2016, “KPMG’s highly conventional audit division has broken a 100 year tradition and hired 42 graduates without a business or accounting degree in an attempt to enhance soft-skills and diversity in the division”.  Why would they choose to do that, you may ask?
It’s called, ‘thinking outside the square’. The ‘square’ as we once knew it, is no longer a square when it comes to many industries. Accounting is one of them.
Technology, outsourcing and automation have had a huge impact on accounting businesses. How do these impact the training on graduates? How can graduates be equipped to handle the changes in the workforce while gaining the skills and knowledge required to become a valuable member of the team and a partner of tomorrow?
Look “outside the square”;
- Recognise the qualifications of the graduates and tailor their training to suit. “KPMG had sought out graduates with stronger mathematics and information technology skills”. Where is the overlap there? Data analytics is central to audit processes.
The audit process has changed immensely over the past five years and so too has the demographic of the graduate. Each needs to be supported and trained differently.
- Improve graduate’s technology skills. In such a digital age that we are living in, computer literacy is essential. It is assumed all employees have a basic level of competency in operating systems and some software packages. With the amount of accounting software available on the market it can be difficult to become skilled in many packages. Training may be required to assist the graduates get skilled in the use of them.
“Nick Deligiannis, managing director of recruitment firm Hays, says, “there’s high demand for digitally literate, professional practice accountants and that’s expected to continue.” 
- Studies have shown that employers believe not enough emphasis is placed on “team skills, leadership potential, verbal communication and the interpersonal skills” during the accounting degree program”.  To get the best out of your graduates and raise them above the rest, emotional intelligence needs to be nurtured. We are surrounded by artificial intelligence, but emotional intelligence is going to set the graduate up for life.
- Technical skills. An accounting firm approached me to provide a program to mentor their graduate accountants in bookkeeping. No graduate accountant wants to be known as a bookkeeper but in order to be an accountant that stands out from the rest; they have to understand the fundamentals of bookkeeping. Without it, the accountants won’t completely understand how the business operates. They can find it more difficult to solve problems in the financial reports, as they don’t understand how they were prepared from the ground up.
I would be happy to discuss how this 12 week program can assist your graduates and reduce the time they spend going to senior staff asking questions by covering such subjects as;
- Setting up and updating a chart of accounts
- Allocating correct tax codes and understanding the differences between them
- BAS/IAS preparation
Call Lynne on 0402 819 611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org