In Pursuit of Profit
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Similarly, the recruiters at The ASP Team follow a process to help their clients find the right candidate who fits with their available accounting and finance position and culture – a work match!
Controller or CFO – Which Do You Need?
At this stage, companies are feeling the limitations of their existing accounting personnel and are evaluating what their next move should be to keep the company moving forward. But knowing whether to hire a Controller or a CFO is a big decision, because, contrary to popular opinion, the roles are distinctly different.
As Kevin Briscoe, the CEO of CFO Selections, explains in nonprofit leadership podcast, “A Controller is ‘walls-in and rear-facing’ and a CFO is ‘walls-out and forward-facing’.” He goes on to explain that a controller analyzes what the company has done already while a CFO evaluates where the company is going next.
Stop Trying to Hire Your Unicorn Candidate! How to Hire Smarter in Accounting and Finance
Why? Well, it is an irrefutable fact that there was a drop in the number of accounting degrees being obtained between 1998 and 2008, which caused a ripple that is still being felt across many organizations. On top of that, the Great Resignation made finding senior-level accounting and finance professionals more difficult because of the surge in career changes and retirements.
But what is more controversial is the possibility that employers themselves may be to blame for the tight hiring market in accounting and finance. Yes, we said it. Those of you in search of a unicorn candidate may be partially to blame for the sentiment that there is no one qualified enough for the role you are looking to fill. Let us explain…
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
There is no doubt that our work is more satisfying and fulfilling when we are experiencing joy in what we are doing. Here are a few reminders about finding the joy in your work:
We work with companies every day that are hiring mid-to-management level accounting and finance positions and one question we hear a lot is, “How much do controllers make?”
Companies asking us about controller salaries are usually trying to do accounting salary benchmarking to determine what to offer for the role. In some cases, the controller role is a new position for their organization. In other cases, they are looking to replace a long-term employee, which means they have not listed a controller opening in many years and they need timely advice on what to offer these days.
So, what is an accounting controller’s average salary? Get ready to dive into the numbers!
Do you see your accountant as a number cruncher or an advisor? In an article that we published almost two years ago, our team pointed out that,
Today’s business climate requires more skills from your accountant than ever before… Successful companies need someone that will not only manage cash flow and provide accurate forecasting and reporting, but also offer sound advice. Having an accountant that can do the job is essential but having an accountant that can act as an advisor can really give you a competitive advantage.
And if that was true back then, it is certainly still true today! The best accountants are disciplined, proactive, collaborative, and operate with high ethical standards; and aside from just executing on deliverables, they also add value to the company with the work that they do in the following ways:
What Should I Pay My Accountant?
We hear this question every day from business owners: “How much should I pay an accountant?”
Unfortunately, there is not a single right answer. Like any other occupation, an accountant’s salary is determined by a variety of factors. There are the usual variables like location and years of experience, but there are also unique determiners for accountants like professional licenses and accounting focus area. And then there is the ongoing war for talent to consider, which has made the topic of compensation even trickier!
If you want to know how much to pay your accountant, use this accountant salary guide to inform your compensation discussions and help you to make smart accounting recruiting decisions:
Want to know more about accounting recruiting? You’ve come to the right place! Our team of experienced accounting and finance recruiters is sharing some industry information to help you better understand today’s recruiting climate.
Why is this Year being Called “The Year of the Controller” by Accounting Recruiters?
Have you noticed a significant rise in controller job openings these days? We have! In fact, over the last year, we have worked with more companies looking to hire a financial controller than ever before.
But, why? Are controllers resigning en masse, leaving vacant roles in their wake?
No. despite all the publicity around “The Great Resignation,” existing controller jobs are largely not opening up due to turnover. Instead, they are mainly appearing at organizations where controller roles have not previously existed. Since the pandemic there has been an increased need for experienced financial leadership. More organizations are creating financial controller positions to meet these new needs. As a result, accounting recruiters began unofficially calling 2021 “The Year of the Controller” as it drew to a close. And by the time 2022 started, the moniker had stuck, carrying over to this year as well as the recruiting push continued strong.
Let’s look at what is driving this hiring trend, what should be included in a controller role, and how to hire a controller.
“Start with the core of the onion.” This is a mantra I use when talking to hiring managers about who they want for their job opening. This means starting with their most ideal candidate and working through different profiles. Most hiring managers are looking for either the next “up and comer” or someone who is established and has a solid 20 years left in the tank. As we work through candidate profiles, inevitably the recommendation is to always hire the person who can add the most value in the position.
In the world of non-executive accounting and finance recruiting, the ‘core of the onion’ answer is never “I’d love someone who is late in their career.” There is often a stigma attached to late-career candidates that is uneducated at best, and at worst tantamount to ageism. But late-career candidates should be considered equally with all other candidates. Understanding why first starts with thinking about a professional’s career trajectory.