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Want Great Training ROI? Take Them to AFP Annual, One Exec Says

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 8/8/2016

ThinkstockPhotos-452657941Considering sending your team to AFP Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, this October? Anthony Scaglione, CTP, EVP and CFO of ABM Industries, already has signed up several members of his team. That’s because he believes AFP Annual is a great investment on training and education.

Scaglione should know. This fall he will accompany a team of treasury and finance professionals from his company to AFP Annual for the third straight year.

“It’s unparalleled in terms of a great return on investment in educating your workforce as it relates to learning best practices, discovering new technology and putting them into practice at your company,” he said. “AFP Annual Conference provides an excellent forum in a condensed format.”

When Scaglione travels to Orlando this October, he’ll take along five colleagues—two from treasury and three from FP&A. They include ABM’s head of operational FP&A, corporate controller, corporate head of FP&A, treasurer and director of treasury.

“Historically I had encouraged this on the treasury side but two years ago I began introducing it to the FP&A side of the house,” he said. “From an education standpoint as the FP&A sessions became more robust and with our company going through a major evolution on FP&A, the timing couldn’t have aligned better and we’re utilizing Annual Conference as an extension of our FP&A training. It’s logical for me.”

Scaglione and his team will keep an eye out for new trends and, increasingly important, walk the exhibitor floor for new technology. “The vendors provide insights into new ways we can do things more efficiently,” he said. In recent AFP Annual Conferences, Scaglione and his team have found new technology offerings and approaches around escheatment, working capital acceleration and FP&A. Two out of the three are now in use at ABM and the third is currently under evaluation “What I typically do is give my team members ideas of technology to check and booths to visit,” Scaglione said. “My team members will develop their own itinerary for education sessions with some input from me. We’ll also meet with banks, especially those that aren’t located in New York, for coffee or breakfast, leveraging the conference forum for efficiencies”

Here are Anthony Scaglione’s four tips to ensure your team gets the most out of their AFP Annual Conference:

  • Calculate the ROI. You don’t have to create a complex education, but AFP Annual offers so much—educational sessions, workshops, exhibitors, thought leaders, certification—that it very likely offers better bang-for-the-buck than other training options for your treasury and finance team.
  • Divide and conquer. Each team member should have a list of topics to learn about and exhibitors to visit.
  • Give them freedom. Don’t dictate every moment of your team’s AFP Annual Conference. Let them choose specific sessions and vendors within the context of topics and technologies you’ve assigned to them, as well as open agenda for areas that might pique their interest and add value in the future.
  • Compare notes. The key is to make the most of the event and cover off on as much as you can.

Sometimes the hardest part is deciding which concurrent session to attend. Whether you are attending with one colleague or many, the key is to make sure your team members report what they learned. Then, follow up by making sure they practice what they learned at Conference, or contact that vendor they liked. This way the conference becomes a part of their and your company’s development.

Learn more about signing up your team for the AFP Annual Conference, October 23-26, in Orlando, Florida
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