Breathing life into static accounting policies through eLearning
Maybe we are biased as “accounting nerds” but having a robust set of accounting policies in a large organization is essential to a strong set of financial statements compliant with U.S. GAAP. Our S&P 500 client noted that consistent application of its policies was a challenge due to the decentralized nature of its business and a lack of attention to these policies by its global controllers around the world. Their internal accounting policies were important as they identified ways that their company interpreted GAAP to typical transactions within the entity, materiality thresholds for applying its principles, and where to book these transactions in its general ledger.
They found, however, that controllers were either not reading these policies or were regularly misapplying them, causing additional work at the group’s financial reporting function, and risking consistency of reporting in its financial statements and a clean audit.
For a number of years, we’ve been providing this client with annual customized training focusing on new developments in financial reporting and reminders of accounting and reporting issues in areas they identified as problematic. Now they turned to us to elevate these policies to add similar relevance and awareness of their internal accounting policies.
The client already had several accounting policies that it had written and several new ones on the way; however, they did not know:
- How many of its team members who should read these policies had actually done so; and
- Whether these individuals truly understood the company-specific policies that would allow them to do their job up to the company’s expectations
We worked with our client to convert its newly issued accounting policies into eLearning courses, leveraging their insights as to the most essential and important aspects of each policy. These courses were developed quickly and efficiently, allowing us to provide a customized learning experience that focused on the application of the entity’s policies to common transactions encountered by the company. In addition, the courses were hosted on our learning management system (LMS) which allowed us to:
- Track completion by those assigned to the training
- Test learners to ensure comprehension and mastery of each policy
- Report back to client management on a regular basis about the progress of its team
While this learning solution is still in its early stages, the client has already been able to verify that its controllers and accountants around the globe are being trained on these policies and understand how to account and report for typical transactions they are faced with on a daily basis. As a result of the initial feedback from the training, our client has engaged us to expand this training solution by issuing additional accounting policy training modules in the future on a quarterly basis.
Interested in implementing this innovative solution in your organization? Let’s talk!