In Pursuit of Profit
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If done well, your new hires will feel important, supported, and immediately motivated to do their best work for you and your organization. When left as an afterthought, however, new employees may end up feeling undervalued, unsupported, or even ostracized by the rest of your team.
Surprisingly, one of the best experiences that I’ve had with onboarding came from a backpacking trip with my daughter. These are the critical lessons I can take away from my experience.
Originally published: 7/31/2018
When we published this article originally, it was almost two years before the pandemic changed day-to-day accounting activities and the way bookkeepers and accountants work. What we have seen in the years since is an uptick in financial professionals asking questions around the timing for things like reconciliations and reporting. The monthly or quarterly schedules they once leaned on for basic accounting activities seem to have gone by the wayside in favor of more frequent, or even real-time, generation and analysis.
Bank reconciliations in particular are becoming increasingly important for organizations in today’s rapidly shifting business landscape. As financial transactions are getting more complex, cyber fraud is becoming more prevalent, compliance requirements are increasing, and timely financial decision-making is more important than ever before, bank reconciliations are at the epicenter of today’s accounting activities.
She knows the ins and outs of the company’s accounting software, which isn’t perfect, but it works well enough for ABC Company’s needs right now. Sharon really doesn’t make mistakes – she is fastidious in the work that she does and has a system for everything. But, even with the quality work that Sharon is doing, ABC Company knows it needs to bring someone else in to help her because there is simply too much work for one accountant to handle anymore. Plus, Sharon is getting close to retirement age, which means that they will need to bring someone in to replace her when she decides to retire in a few years to follow her dream of traveling around the country in an RV.
How does ABC Company bring in help for Sharon without offending her? How do they convey that while they are happy with the work Sharon is doing, they need redundancy in case Sharon gets sick or is out on disability leave? How does ABC Company put the right personnel in place now so that they have continuity when Sharon decides to retire? How do they hire a senior accountant or controller to help implement a new accounting system to grow with them as their needs change and evolve?
There may not be a Sharon at every company, but every business can benefit from learning how to tactfully bring in senior accounting staff. Taking the right approach in the hiring process is crucial because it can truly mean the difference between success and failure. When done correctly, a new hire can complement and elevate your existing team. When done incorrectly, a new hire can lead to resentment and distrust, poisoning the team culture and fueling needless turnover.
Employers need to realize that they may not find an accountant that checks every one of their “nice-to-have” boxes, but if they work with an experienced accounting recruiter, they will find someone that fits their “must-have” needs. And, the sooner they can figure this out, the better because having an open role costs an average of $98/day, and rehiring an accounting employee after letting go of a bad hire costs over $50,000 on average! Therefore, to minimize hiring costs employers need to rethink their expectations around work flexibility, compensation, accounting improvements, and training when looking to fill a role.