Red haired woman thinking classroom professional development


Want to make the most of your training budget? Here are our top picks for professional development opportunities in FY20.


Like most of today’s accounting and advisory practices, you’re probably under pressure to complete new regulatory, educational and CPD requirements, while trying to keep up with technological change.

At the same time, you need to keep giving great service to your clients, while supporting your colleagues with the training they need to succeed.

If you’re an adviser, you should already have your professional development plan in place for the next CPD year, to meet your FASEA obligations.

Your professional development plan should identify areas for improvement and development of your competence, knowledge and skills. It can also help you plan ahead, choose the right training activities, and make the most of your professional development spend.


People skills reign

LinkedIn Learning’s global 2018 Workplace Learning Report is based on a survey of talent developers, managers, executives and employees. It provides a surprising insight about current learning and development trends.

Despite rapid automation in many sectors, the report found that the top training priority wasn’t technology. Instead, it was soft skills – like leadership, communication and collaboration.1

These are skills that are particularly important in the advice sector, where people value face-to-face communication and personal attention. As such, it makes sense that they should be part of any professional development plan. The report also found that staying on top of technology and industry trends were critical training priorities.2


Identify your needs

Identifying your priorities is the first step in planning your professional development budget for your practice – to help you allocate money where it’s needed most. If you’re not sure, a needs-analysis of your staff and clients is a great way to identify gaps in expertise.

Once you’ve identified your development needs, it’s time to choose appropriate training opportunities.

So whether you want to sharpen your people skills, become more tech savvy, or get across the latest industry trends, here are some great professional development picks available in the coming year.


Our top professional development picks

July 2019: SMSF Association Technical Day (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney)
A training day featuring interactive workshops on the latest SMSF legislation and regulations, to help you meet your client’s best interests. Using case studies, participants will explore the interpretation and implications of more complex SMSF strategies.

September, October, December 2019: ASFA WA Risk & Compliance Discussion Group (Perth)
This peer group forum looks at the key compliance and risk trends, and issues within the superannuation sector.

September 2019: Xerocon South (Brisbane)
Xerocon provides insights into the latest tech opportunities for today and tomorrow – and the chance to network and learn from accountants across Australia.

September 2019: FPA Mid North Coast Chapter Economic Update and Investment Strategies (Coffs Harbour)
This event looks at post-election investment strategies for retirees, focusing on superannuation and taxation.

October, December 2019: ASFA VIC Innovation Discussion Group (Melbourne)
This peer group discussion focuses on business and IT transformation, and the technologies set to play a significant role in the future of superannuation – including NPP, blockchain and Single Touch Payroll.

Ongoing: The TAL Risk Academy FASEA Exam Masterclass (Australia-wide)
This Masterclass is designed to support advisers preparing for the Financial Adviser Examination, that all advisers need to pass before January 2021.

2019–2020: Professional Body National Conferences
Don’t forget the events that industry bodies provide throughout the year, where you can connect with industry peers, gain insight into new strategies, and develop your practical skills. These include Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s Accounting Conference, and CPA’s Congress. CPA’s Not-for-Profit Conference and Regional Convention will also return in 2020.


Learning in the office

Of course, you don’t even need to leave the office to access valuable training. According to the LinkedIn Learning’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 68% of employees said they prefer to learn at work – while 58% said they preferred to learn at their own pace.

There is a wealth of cost-effective e-learning courses available online that you can find with a simple Google search, including LinkedIn’s subscription-based learning platform. You can share these materials easily throughout the office to ensure your staff are up to date – and can learn at a pace that works best for them.


1. LinkedIn Learning, 2018 Workplace Learning Report

2. LinkedIn Learning, 2018 Workplace Learning Report