Your FY18 Professional Development Plan


Not sure where to focus your professional development budget for this financial year? Here are some of the key industry events happening around the country – plus suggestions on how you can join the conversation without having to leave the office.

When you’re busy running an accounting business, it can be challenging enough to set aside time to focus on your own professional development. And when it comes to upskilling your staff, it can be even harder to know where best to focus their time – and your investment.

Conferences and educational seminars provide excellent opportunities to sharpen your technical skills, gain specialist knowledge and stay up to date with changing regulations. These types of events are also a great way for you and your staff to connect with like-minded peers to boost your professional networks and learn new ideas that you can implement within your own business.

By keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry through training and networking activities, you and your team members will be well placed to deliver even better outcomes for your clients.

But while the accounting industry boasts a wide range of events all year round, you’ll need to prioritise the ones that will provide the greatest value for you and your staff. This will be different for every firm – and will depend on your professional development budget, your business needs and your training priorities.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the events taking place around Australia this financial year.

Our conference picks for FY18

July 2017: SMSF Association Technical Day (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth)

This annual event takes a hands-on approach to superannuation legislation and regulations. During the day, you’ll collaborate with other SMSF professionals to devise practical solutions to real-life client scenarios.

July 2017: SMSF Professionals Day (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, live webcast)

Join some of the best minds in the SMSF industry for this inaugural event. With a range of hot reform topics up for discussion, you’ll be able to deepen your understanding of the latest round of super changes – and learn strategies to manage those changes for your clients.

August 2017: Management Accounting Conference (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne)

From Uber to Brexit, this CPA Australia conference explores major disruptions within the economic landscape. You’ll also learn how big data and technological advances can be game changers for your business.

September 2017: Xerocon South (Melbourne)

The world’s most innovative conference for cloud accounting leaders will be held in Melbourne this year. As always, it will be packed with software, strategies and insights you can apply within your business.

October 2017: Accountants Technology Showcase Australia (Sydney)

A dedicated technology event for accountants, ATSA 2017 will showcase the latest in business-enhancing software. You’ll also have the chance to compare what’s on offer from different suppliers in areas such as workflow management and cyber security.

October 2017: SMSF Adviser Summit (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth)

Build up your technical expertise and learn best-practice strategies for growing your clients’ wealth – with plenty of opportunities to network with industry colleagues.

February 2018: SMSF Association National Conference (Sydney)

Gain a professional edge and learn about key topics that are trending across the industry. The 2018 conference will feature an impressive line-up of SMSF innovators, solution providers and influential sector leaders, as well as a range of social functions to attend.

March 2018: Accounting Business Expo (Sydney)

Australia’s largest business and technology event for accountants and finance directors offers exclusive training, demo sessions and networking events. Best of all, it’s free to attend so it won’t eat into your professional development budget.

2017–2018: National events – Professional bodies

If you’re a member of other professional bodies or industry organisations, keep an eye out for events and training sessions they’ll be running throughout the financial year. These activities provide even more opportunities to connect with your colleagues and get the latest industry insights.

Can’t make it to a conference?

If your tight budget or busy schedule make it impossible for you to attend all your preferred industry events this year, don’t worry. There are plenty of online training and education options available that may even provide a more affordable and convenient solution for your business.

A quick internet search will lead you to all sorts of specialised training modules that you can take part in, many from the comfort of your own office. You can even be a virtual participant in a range of seminars and conference presentations via webinar – which means you can get your whole team involved without having to travel interstate.

e-Learning options still give you the opportunity to contribute to group discussions and online forums, so you can build your technical knowledge and stay on top of what’s happening in the industry. Plus, some providers combine online components with face-to-face workshops to give you the best of both worlds.

5 tips for building your professional development plan

1. Find the gaps within your firm, drawing on feedback from clients and staff.

2. Identify the key areas for improvement.

3. Work out how much you can afford to spend.

4. Weigh up the potential benefits of each industry event or training activity.

5. Prioritise events and activities that will boost productivity and performance.