Despite having sent our AAT qualified financial controller on many bookkeeping courses and having paid for a number of Sage courses, we didn’t seem to be making any progress in terms of drilling down into the company’s financial data.
One Sage course we sent her on was designed to enable her to create reports on subjects such as margin analysis, seasonal trends, best selling products and so on but there appears to have been no retention on her part and therefore no ROI on ours.
As making her role redundant and outsourcing the work became an increasingly attractive possibility, we made one last attempt to go back to basics and sent her to Pitman Training in Manchester to see whether she could regrasp the fundamentals of bookkeeping.
We elected to send her on a Foundation In Bookkeeping diploma course and we selected this because everyone seems to have heard of Pitman Training and their focus on practical education and also because our member of staff could study outside of office hours, so there would be no impact on her already poor productivity.
Within a matter of weeks, she became more confident in her financial terminology and we got the impression that some of the teaching must have stuck in her memory.
After a few months, she began to use Sage Line 50 much more quickly.
Not being a financial wizard myself, I can’t tell whether she was more effective but she certainly produced the monthly management accounts more quickly than we had become accustomed to.
Perhaps most surprisingly, as an Excel course was included as part of the diploma, she began to produce better cash flow projections, with a lot more “what-if’s.”
So I can’t say that we are where we wanted her to be in terms of skill, but we are much further ahead than we were previously.
It’s a pity Pitman doesn’t offer advanced Sage courses because if they worked their magic where the other training failed, we’d be very happy.
On balance though, I’d say that if you’re thinking of sending someone on a Sage course or indeed, any kind of bookkeeping course, Pitman Training’s style has worked best for our financial controller and the risk of her job being outsourced has receded for the time being.