As a business owner, you depend heavily on your internal accounting staff. These are the people, after all, who keep you up to speed on the financial side of your operations—i.e., the information you need to make critical business decisions. When this team isn’t on top of its game, you feel it. Sometimes right down to your bottom line.
There are countless reasons why your accounting team may not be hitting its stride. Maybe the growth of your business is outpacing its capabilities. Perhaps key team members have retired or left, causing their responsibilities to be reshuffled amongst less experienced individuals. Or, it could be a combination of factors. Whatever the reason, you can’t afford to brush it off and hope things improve.
So, how do you ensure your internal accounting team—we’re talking bookkeepers, accounts receivable/payable, controllers, etc.—can deliver? We hope these three steps will give you a good place to start.
Assess your current staff situation
If your internal accounting department is consistently behind in providing you with information, your natural response may be “we need more boots on the ground!” But this isn’t always the case. Could roles be reshuffled to fill gaps? Would your staff benefit from general accounting and/or software-specific training? Are you using the best accounting software for your business? Asking questions like these can help you pinpoint your real needs.
Envision the position—and person—you need
If you’ve concluded that you do, in fact, need to add or replace an internal accounting team member, start with a job description—based on the needs you uncovered while assessing your current staff. This will help you hone in on the type of person you need to hire. For instance, are you looking for someone who can perform data entry for now but is willing to take on additional responsibilities in the future? If so, perhaps you should seek out a recent college grad.
If you’re looking to hire a CFO or controller, the type of person you recruit will likely depend on what you’re willing to pay. A higher pay scale will typically attract someone who is experienced and ready to take charge. If you’re paying on the lower end of the wage scale, you may want to look for someone who has been, say, a bookkeeper for a long time and is ready to take the next step.
Consult with your accounting firm
Yes, really! Your accounting firm can be a helpful resource in evaluating candidates. At JAK, we have helped clients sort through resumes and have even sat in on interviews. We speak the language, so we can ask the right questions to find the right fit for your team.
You deserve a rock-star internal accounting team!
The success of your business relies on the health of your financial information. If you’re noticing gaps in your internal accounting functions, don’t wait to address the issue. Reconfiguring or adding staff to your team is an investment your growing business won’t regret.