Counting the cost of training

WE live in a complex world, technology surrounds us. It seems everything these days is controlled by a computer. Terms such as Bluetooth, Blu-Ray, High Definition, Plasma, USB, I-Pod, MP3 abound. And this is only at home.

Today's business environment is more of a battlefield, with staff expected to be competent with a wide range of business hardware and more importantly, software, says Nathan Elcoast, of Axis IT Consulting.

"Good business software is not cheap, however it is a necessity if your operation is to compete and operate in today's business arena and remain compliant," he says.

But what happens once the software is installed? Mr Elcoast says you should ensure you have delegated roles within your business to ensure your systems are up-to-date and compliant.

"Create a check-list of tasks beginning with daily back-ups, weekly bank reconciliations together with monthly profit and loss reporting and balance sheet reconciliations," he says.

"Ensure you are adequately protected from disaster with a written Disaster Recovery Statement and put it to test from time to time so that you know your backup and recovery plans do in fact work. "

To get the most out of your new softwarem Mr Elcoast says you should also ensure your staff are adequately trained in your software package.

"Investing in your business by providing employees with training can be one of the most-valuable investments you will make. By training your staff, you are not only adding to the skill level of your business, but investing in one of the most important assets of business - your people," he says.

"The benefits only continue with less staff turnover, less conflict and a higher retention of long-term customers."

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