In one day a small business owner can be a marketing specialist, an inventory guru and a bookkeeper. At some point, however, the needs of the business demand an investment in human capital. If you own a small business and are thinking of hiring an accountant, here are some tips to bringing the right person on board.
Why Hire an Accountant?
Let’s start with why hiring an accountant makes sense:
- You’ll save money:
- It’s likely that your skill set is better invested in connecting with customers and sourcing new business
- As businesses grow, accounting needs become more complex increasing the chances you’ll make errors
- The rate that you bill out at is likely higher than the rate you’ll pay your accountant
- You’re seeking investors or a loan to grow your business which will require financial projections
- You’re debating changing your company’s legal structure which comes with specific tax advantages/disadvantages
- The needs of the business have outgrown your existing skill set –e.g. government tax filings
- You need someone with greater knowledge of tax laws and legislation to enable you to free up cash flow or raise capital for expansion
Full Cycle Accounting
You need someone who has seen the entire accounting cycle with all its necessary filings. This includes month and year end.
Read “10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Accountant” to help with your interview process.
In larger, more corporate environments, an accountant can be responsible for only one piece of the accounting process. And while they may do that particular area quite well, they will likely be lacking the holistic view you need to drive value for your organization. Look for someone who has experience working in small business.
As a small business grows, it’s typical to see an owner hire a bookkeeper. But eventually the needs of the organization can grow beyond a bookkeeper’s capabilities. The next step is to consider hiring a Controller. A Controller adds value through strategic analysis. This is particularly important to entrepreneurs who often grow their business based on a set of assumptions. A good Controller will test assumptions, and offer actionable insights to drive decision-making.
What is the trajectory of your business? This will determine the kind of person that you add. For example, are you a fast-paced start–up? If so, you’ll need someone who can help you take your company to the next level. If, on the other hand, your business is growing steadily, look for someone who can help you automate processes and minimize errors by reducing inefficiency.
Resource: For additional tips on hiring accountants for small business read this article.
The right job description attracts the right talent. Keep in mind the following when you’re writing a job description:
- Deconstruct the job, thinking carefully about “must haves” and “nice to haves”
- Consider both short and long-term needs
- Consider personality traits i.e. soft skills needed to succeed in the role
- Understand the hiring pool and speak directly to them – great job descriptions engage and make the right candidates want to apply
Use this guide to help you write a great job description.
Hire an accountant that has full cycle experience and who meshes with the trajectory of your business. Ideally, your hire will have small business experience in a similar industry. The right person can add value by automating processes, increasing efficiency or offering strategic insight. Regardless of why you need to hire an accountant, he or she will free you up to do what you’re good at – and that’s priceless.
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.