In Pursuit of Profit
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Many business owners worry that their accountant may not be up to par. This is especially true when business owners do not have strong financial acumen themselves.
They wonder if their accountant is truly acting with the company’s best interests in mind and whether they have the skillset needed to do the job well. But without significant financial expertise, business owners often do not know what to look for to quell their concerns. Instead, many just focus on the day-to-day needs of the business and hope the financial leadership of their company is being handled effectively. This is a big mistake.
A lack of connection to the company’s financial operations can land a business owner in trouble quickly if an accountant has misrepresented their experience or lacks key financial knowledge. In other instances, an accountant may have all the requisite qualifications, but lacks the work ethic or integrity to do excellent work for their employer. So, how does a business owner know if their accountant is doing a good job?
Rate your accountant’s performance using the assessment below.
Understanding the Role
Before you appraise your accountant, it is helpful to look at what they should be doing so that you can accurately evaluate whether they are measuring up to their peers.
In the most basic of terms, accountants and auditors have the following responsibilities:
Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks for corporations or individuals. They work with financial documents that clients are required by law to disclose, including tax forms and balance sheets.
Many public accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) as well. Publicly traded companies are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For private companies, however, a CPA license may not be required or even necessary to excel at the role.
Management accountants (also called cost accountants or managerial accountants) perform cost analyses for the organizations that employ them to drive financially-based decisions. The information they prepare is intended for internal use by business managers.
Corporate accountants (also known as industry accountants) often work on budgeting and performance evaluation. Some may work with financial managers on asset management as well, planning and selecting financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Grading your Accountant
Answer the following yes/no questions to assess your accountant.
The best accountants should score mostly “yes” responses. While some of these questions may simply address whether your accountant is easy to reach and talk to, others hint at more serious issues like your accountant’s competency or performance.
If your accountant scored poorly on this assessment, it may be time to start looking for a better fit for your business. Whether you are looking to hire a staff accountant, senior accountant, accounting manager, or senior accounting manager, entrust a financial recruiting company with your search to ensure the best results for your search.