As a professional membership body, at the AAT we find much of the motivation to becoming a member is due to commitment to the profession. We strongly advocate the need to keep your skills up to date.
All aspects of career development are vital but budgets and time often dictate those priorities. It’s not always feasible to take time out of the office or spend money on a training course.
As a professional body, we aim to equip our members with the right tools and support to do their job. In addition to providing learning materials relevant to technical accountancy, we also concentrate on supporting our members in related areas.
Excel is an essential software tool that is used widely across all industries. However, the complexity of tasks range from inputting numbers into a spreadsheet to consolidating and analysing and interpreting large and disparate data sets. Most finance professionals know how to use Excel for the actions they need it for. But newer versions of the software may mean there are easier ways of carrying out the same actions.
We have always provided Excel learning opportunities for our members, but we were conscious that not everyone was able to attend or use the resources due to geographical, budgetary or time restrictions. We also knew that unless someone is a complete beginner, it can be hard to gauge which is the right skill level for them.
With that in mind, AAT teamed up with Excel with Business (EwB) to provide an online Excel tuition package. The package allows our members to study any time and anywhere. Users can take a diagnostic test to determine quickly the right skill level before prescribing a bespoke, business-focused Excel course. Users can work on the areas they need to develop rather than trudge through a prescribed, encyclopaedic course. To make the course even more user-friendly, EwB reviewed Excel's 500 functions and stripped out any business non-essentials to provide a streamlined Excel course for bookkeepers and accountants.
As consumers we are used to having choice and convenience. And there is absolutely no reason why this shouldn’t extend to training. People should be able to learn in a way that best suits them. We all have a responsibility to maintain our skills and the learning materials we choose must enable us to do this.
Paul Fulton is Benefits and Services Manager at the AAT.