FTA Customised Solutions
Whilst Financial Training Australia runs short courses which are tried and tested, a large part of our work for clients involves designing workshops from scratch on various finance topics. In fact our instructional design skills are such that we have also been asked to design workshops on topics in which we are not subject matter experts!!! We can be engaged purely for instructional design for courses to be delivered internally by client personnel or along with our engagement as facilitators.
Examples of assignments:
Client Industry Sector: Local Council
Client Development Need: A Local Council underwent significant restructure which resulted in a need to provide formal training to managers that had budgetary responsibilities, in order to increase their skills and knowledge of general accounting theory as well as Council specific processes.
Our Solution: We designed a 2 day program which addressed both basic financial skills as well as covering budgetary theory and the Council specific obligations, processes and templates. We facilitated the program with members of their Finance team joining the program on day 2 to add support and answer specific questions. Participants brought along their own reports to the program to optimise the application of learning.
Client Industry Sector: Lawyers
Client Development Need: A national firm wanted to enhance the financial literacy skills of their junior and middle level lawyers to enable them to relate more confidently to their clients’ finances. The program was to be rolled out nationally. The client had unsuccessfully engaged 2 other finance training providers before they engaged Financial Training Australia.
Our Solution: We designed a one day program which was initially split into 3 short modules and in subsequent years reduced to 2 longer modules spread over 2 days. The first module covered the basics with the later modules addressing how to read an annual report and perform financial analysis – using the accounts of their clients. We have been engaged for 3 years to date.
Client Industry Sector: Healthcare
Client Development Need: A large hospital group based in Victoria identified a need to raise the financial skills of their Nurse Unit Managers and other managers to in particular manage their cost centre budgets more effectivley.
Our Solution: The initial engagement, in 2009, was to design a one day program to be delivered internally which would enable the managers to become more skilled in reading their cost centre activity reports and also their KPI reports. However the ED Finance decided that we should also be engaged to facilitate the program with a representative from Finance joining the course in the role of a Subject Matter Expert. The course, entitled Understanding and Working with Numbers, has been run over 30 times and continues to be run this year.
The same client has subsequently engaged us to design a one day program on Managing Labour Hours based on the materials they provided and a further program on Managing Direct Costs and Maximising Revenue. Both programs are being rolled out to Nurse Unit Managers.
Client Industry Sector: University
Client Development Need: Back in 2007 we won a tender to carry out a Training Needs Analysis and design a 2 day program on Finance Management for the top 265 senior managers, both academic and non-academic, of one of Australia’s largest Universities.
Our Solution: We interviewed and surveyed a number of key personnel as well as running focus groups to clearly identify the various financial management development needs. One of the key messages was that they wanted to understand how money flowed through the University. There was also a need for understanding of basic financial principles and language. We then designed a 2 day program for both academic and non-academic which was rated extremely highly by all participants. We are still engaged to run one day version of this program twice a year some 9 years later.
We were subsequently engaged to design the finance module of their Group of Eight University Future Leaders Research Program and for 8 years have delivered this module for 2 universities in Victoria and for 2 years in Queensland.
Client Industry Sector: Electrical Wholesaler
Client Development Need: A national company with a branch network wanted to improve the financial understanding and business planning skills of their branch managers. This program needed to be rolled out across each region in Australia.
Our Solution: Many branch managers had little or no financial literacy skills and indeed the topic was confronting from them. So the first day started very much with the basics. Our course used the BONANZA approach whereby we started with personal finance before introducing any financial jargon associated with business. On day 2 we introduced their own financial reports and KPIs, looking at practical ways that could influence profitability and cash flow. Given the travel time involved of the participants, a 5 day residential program was preferred by the client – with the Wednesday devoted to team building outdoor activities. On the Thursday we moved onto Business Planning with practical exercises around their branches and the managers presented their plans on the final day of the program together with their takeaways.
In 2010 the program was run 12 times with a further rollout in subsequent years for joiners and a version of the program was developed and run for the Commercial Managers.
We are currently discussing the needs of this client with a view to running more training as part of a management development program for their emerging leaders.
Client Industry Sector: Singaporean Telco
Client Development Need: We were initially engaged in 2006 - 2008 to design and run financial training for middle to senior managers of this client and then were re-engaged in 2014 to run training for their senior managers. The most recent brief covered providing general knowledge on Finance to increase the business savviness / acumen of their leaders and the ability to understand the financial analysis required to put up a compelling business case, understanding the financial KPIs that are linked to rewards like EVA, RSP, PCP etc. and how leaders can translate these to operational KPIs.
Our Solution: A 2 day course was designed to cover the identified topic areas and In order to maximise the effectiveness of the classroom time, e-learning was provided to be completed prior to attendance – a blended learning approach. Further programs were run in 2015 and 2016 with the addition of a short ‘Learning Conversation’ session run in 2015 for some 40 participants. This assignment is ongoing.
Client Industry Sector: Charity
Client Development Need: To improve the financial literacy skills of the senior management team of the Victorian part of a national charity. To further assist the CEO with coaching.
Our Solution: A half day course, based on that run for Leadership Victoria, was run for the senior management team which covered the basic financial statements and some fundamental accounting principles. We then subsequently approached to provide one on one coaching for the CEO to assist her on a monthly basis to understand her financial reports and review these prior to Board meetings. This assignment is ongoing.
Client Industry Sector: Dubai based Oil Industry
Client Development Need: To improve the financial literacy skills of the senior management team of this rapidly growing company so that they could take on more budgetary responsibility.
Our Solution: A 2 day course was designed to cover the identified topic areas and incorporating the BONANZA approach. The program needed to be adapted to align with UAE reporting requirements and focus on the specific needs of this specialist business. After the initial course follow up coaching was provided via Skype to individuals.
Client Industry Sector: National Retailer
Client Development Need: The CFO wanted his finance team to become ‘Indispensable Business Partners' to demonstrate more value add and in recognition of the changing role of Finance. The assignment was specifically about improving the quality of the monthly commercial commentary on the monthly business performance.
Our Solution: We ran a one day workshop looking at commercial thinking and awareness – what it meant and how they could improve their reports. Actions were agreed as a result of the workshop and 2 further sessions were run at 2-3 months intervals to review progress and agree further areas for improvement.
Client Industry Sector: University
Client Development Need: To partner with the University in developing materials and facilitating a new program entitled The Analytics Centre of Expertise for 12 participants selected from across the University’s various finance teams. The program covers topics ranging from acting as internal consultants, data mining, understanding the Business Intelligence landscape, Activity Based Costing and Cost Effectiveness Analysis, Visual Presentation of Analytical Data and a project running alongside the 7 modules.
Our Solution: We provided a template for documenting each module, engaged with the various Subject Matter Experts, and developed materials as well as delivering a number of the modules. The program concludes in August 2016 with the participants due to present their projects along with their learnings in front of senior personnel from the University. Given there were 30 applicants for the 2015/16 program, it is hoped that the program will be repeated.
Client Industry Sector: Queensland based Manufacturer
Client Development Need: To improve the instructional design of an Operational Finance workshop to be delivered internally.
Our Solution: We reviewed the materials and made a number of suggestions for improvements, as well as providing more explanatory content to the course notes, the visuals and in the facilitator’s guide. This assignment was performed remotely.
Client Industry Sector: Healthcare
Client Development Need: To design 4 modules on financial topics including budgeting, business cases, health funds, purchasing systems and financial reporting to be delivered internally by a number of Business Managers drawn from the clients’ finance team. Feedback on previous internal training had not been very favourable.
Our Solution: We met with various Subject Matter Experts and created Facilitators’ Guides, Course notes and PowerPoint s for each Module. The design for each module ensured that the sessions were very interactive and were not just presentations. After the materials had been signed off, we than ran Train the Trainers sessions for the Business managers who had been selected to run the sessions. The difference between facilitation and presentation was emphasised and as part of the Train the Trainers, each Business Manager was required to present part of the material. Feedback from the courses once delivered was very positive.
Client Industry Sector: Multinational ERP providerClient Development Need: Financial Acumen Training for their Sales and Pre sales teams to enable them to more confidently engage with the C Suite and fully understand the financial impact of their proposed solutions, in particular the impact of moving from On-Prem to Off- Prem.
Our Solution: Working with BONANZA who have a worldwide agreement with this client, we have been involved in the delivery of a 2 day course run in Silicon Valley, California in 2015 joining 4 other facilitators to roll out training for 99 participants. We have also been involved in the delivery of Virtual Sessions on Financial Acumen which are ongoing. In 2012 we also delivered a 2 day program in Sydney for their inside sales team using the BONANZA approach.
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