Anyone who's been to an AICPA conference will tell you it's an incredible learning experience. But if you're going to ask your employer to pick up the tab, you have to make a bold case for attending.
Here's a bit of tactical advice on getting your manager’s approval to attend the Corporate Finance and Controllers Conference/Global Manufacturing Conference in 2019: It's not about you. It's about how your entire team — in fact, your company — will benefit from the information and insights you'll gain.
Review the full program and map out your customized conference agenda. Choose a mix of sessions that benefit you personally and that can expand your whole team's outlook.
Prepare your case that attending the conference will make you a bigger asset to your company and your plan to bring back information to your team like how this conference will elevate your personal and professional goals.
Lay the groundwork with an email or letter, then schedule a brief meeting to state your case in person.
Explain the ROI on sending you to the event:
Tell your boss that this conference will allow you to earn 19 CPE credits and learn topics that may not be available with your in-house or in-state training capabilities.
Walk through the conference website together to review the program and speaker lineup.
Impress your boss with your communication skills by crafting a powerful campaign to win their approval.
Objection: "It's too expensive."
Your response: "This isn't just a two-day event; its benefits will carry over through the rest of the year, so it's a great value. I'll capture detailed notes from every session, so our whole team can learn along with me."
Objection: "We can't afford to have you out of the office."
Your response: "I won't be totally away from the office; with free Wi-Fi during the event, I'll be able to stay connected at the same time I'm gathering information and best practices that will take our team's work to the next level."
Your closing argument: "When I get back from the conference, I'll schedule a download session with you and the team. I'll present my notes and speaker handouts from all the sessions I attended. I'll show you all the great resource material I picked up in the Exhibit Hall from vendors who can save us money. Sending me to the conference means elevating our whole team — and shows you support women in the profession as well as diversity and inclusion at our company."