If you’re an entrepreneur, it can be hard, at times, not to feel overwhelmed by what can seem like the insurmountable number of tasks you must complete each day. There are scheduling and managing staff, coming up with ideas for new products and services, dealing with customers, ordering supplies and equipment, and all the other day-to-day chores that go into running a business. For many entrepreneurs, the prospect of handling accounting and payroll on top of all that can seem daunting, especially since it’s often not a small-business owner’s area of expertise. It may make sense to hire payroll outsourcing services, but it still helps tremendously if you understand these activities critical to the success of your business.
This is where continuing education comes in. Just because you may have finished your formal education, doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. Just as those in other professions rely on continuing education opportunities to stay sharp, keep abreast of trends in their fields, and expand their skills, entrepreneurs like yourself can use continuing education to tackle aspects of your business that you may struggle with — including accounting and payroll.
Why Try Continuing Education?
As a business owner, you may question whether you even have the time for continuing education. But a study program that helps you sharpen skills like payroll, accounting, or other human resources tasks will save you time in the long run — because once you fully understand these tasks and have the chance to practice in the comparatively low-stakes environment of the classroom, you’ll be able to carry them off with aplomb and efficiency in your business.
Learning to perform these tasks for yourself can save you money, too. Not only will you be able to deduct the cost of the continuing education course from your taxes, but you’ll also save yourself the costs associated with outsourcing these important tasks to an accountant. Even if you already have a dedicated human resources person, sharpening your accounting and payroll skills will leave you prepared if your HR staff member quits, gets fired, or must take a leave of absence due to illness or pregnancy.
Pursuing professional development opportunities in accounting and payroll is also a great way to stay on top of essential regulatory developments. The regulatory landscape is changing fast these days, and as a business owner, you need to stay on the lookout for changes that could affect the way you do business and the way you pay your employees.
Finally, investing time and money into your professional development enhances your credibility and reputation as a professional. Prospective customers and job candidates alike are researching you and your business and evaluating your expertise. These people will base their decision to buy your products or work for your company based on whether they feel they can trust you as a professional and take your business seriously. By continuing to work on your professional development, you’re showing customers, clients, and employees that you’re committed to staying at the top of your field.
Options for Continuing Education
Entrepreneurs who are interested in professional development have many options available to them. If, like many business owners, you’re short on time, the best option may be to obtain continuing education credits online. Many reputable universities offer online continuing education courses that can help you develop valuable skills in accounting and payroll, so you can run your business more efficiently. Many schools offer these kinds of courses for college credit, so they can help you work towards a degree if that’s something that interests you.
Alternatively, your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) may offer a range of seminars on topics including accounting, payroll, marketing, and other things related to your finances. Check, also, with any business incubators or entrepreneurial resource centers in your area. For basic instruction in topics like accounting and payroll, it’s not a bad idea to investigate the offerings of your local community colleges. Community colleges often offer affordable courses in accounting, payroll, and related human resources topics, and you may be able to take them at night or online.
Continuing education can be an excellent way for you, as an entrepreneur, to develop valuable new skills that can help you run your business more effectively. If you’ve been struggling with tasks such as accounting and payroll, professional development opportunities exist that can help you hone these skills so you no longer find yourself tearing out your hair over each accounting task. Enroll in a continuing education study program today, and find out what your business has been missing.
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