The Training Mindset: Mapping Firm Attitudes to Performance

Woman training man at computerWhat Corporate America knows that CPAs ignore: Training pays.

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By Michael Ramos
Michael Ramos + Associates

To maintain their licenses, professionals are required to meet annual continuing education requirements. To practice in certain areas (e.g., government audits) or maintain a designation (e.g., Certified Financial Planner, Certified Fraud Examiner) also requires continuing education. Thus was born the multibillion-dollar continuing professional education industry, to meet the needs of millions of professionals forced to comply with continuing education requirements.

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MORE:  Top CPE Trends: How Accountants Are Re-Tooling for 2017  |  CPE Survey: Why Some CPAs Are Focusing on Accounting & Financial Reporting This Year |  Ohio CPA Society Teams with CPA Trendlines to Improve CPE ROI  |   How to Choose the Right CPE  |   The Missing Link: Developing Your People to Achieve Profitability  |

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Outside of the professions, most businesses face few if any mandated training requirements. Though not required, businesses still train their employees regularly and at great cost. One study shows that the typical small business trains each employee an average of 40 hours each year – the same as a CPA.

Sadly, most CPA firms do not share this mindset. Whether it’s because of the overt regulatory nature of professional CPE requirements or for some other reason, compliance with licensing requirements continues to be a major driver for training at most CPA firms. Few firms approach training as an investment of strategic value.

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Michael Ramos


About the Author

Michael Ramos is the principal of Michael Ramos + Associates, a learning consultancy firm that works with CPA firms and organizations that provide products and services to the profession to help them develop and deploy high-impact learning programs. He has over 25 years of experience developing and delivering competency-based professional development programs and is the author of numerous auditing books and guides. He also served as the Director of CPE and Training at the AICPA.

Michael Ramos was an Audit Senior Manager with KPMG. During his nine-year career, he was selected for a two-year assignment in the firm’s National Office where he managed and developed the firm’s staff training programs.

For the past 25 years, Mike has been an author, instructor, and consultant to the accounting profession. He is a nationally recognized speaker and author on technical auditing matters. In 2001, Mike wrote the first definitive guide on implementing Sarbanes-Oxley and then worked with leading accounting firms to devise their consulting methodologies and to provide the training necessary for the firms to launch their SOX practices.

When the Auditing Standards Board developed its suite of standards that defined the risk - based audit, it chose Mike to be the primary author of its authoritative guide to implementing the standards. As an expert in risk-based auditing, Mike worked with firms to revise their audit practices and train their staffs on the new standards and develop the competencies necessary to implement them.

Mike served as the Director of the continuing education business unit of the AICPA. He led the revitalization of the business, and reorganized it to expand its on-line learning product line. After leaving the AICPA, Mike formed Michael Ramos + Associates to leverage his three decades of working with leading accounting firms, his network, and his expertise in continuing education to provide unique solutions to learning and knowledge transfer problems.

Over the years his clients have included Deloitte, McGladrey, CliftonLarsonAllen, Plante Moran, Cherry Bekaert, Dixon Hughes Goodman, Frank Rimerman, BKD, The AICPA, The Center for Audit Quality, Wolters Kluwer, and Sageworks. Mike is also an Operating Advisor to a Chicago-based private equity firm, advising them on corporate and professional education matters.

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