Getting the Most out of Your Finance Consultant
Companies used to look at financial consultants as a short-term solution for specific and unexpected events and to fill gaps in skillsets within the organization. Today, it’s much more common to see fast growing finance and accounting leaders build their teams with a mix of full-time employees and financial consultants. In the rapidly changing business environment, we’re seeing today, this approach allows them to build a powerful, skilled team, with the flexibility to add highly experienced resources as needed.
If you’re in need of specific skills for a project or interim period, an accounting or finance consultant can help you meet your goals.
Here’s a look at how you can easily incorporate a consultant into your established financial team and tips to maximize their contributions.
1. Take time to onboard.
Most finance consultants come with deep expertise and experience which allows them to be flexible in new environments and hit the ground running. But they still need to understand how your team works and how to best integrate with existing employees. As you prepare for their onboarding ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Who do they need to meet first?
- What systems do they need access to?
- What insight can you share about the culture and business that will help them navigate relationships and processes?
It’s also important to ensure your new financial consultant has the information they need, like passwords to important systems, an org chart of the team and company, and access to reports and financial records. A little thought and planning upfront will help your finance consultant start adding value quickly.
2. Talk to your team
Adding new team members can sometimes bring discomfort to existing teams — especially when you bring in senior professionals who may come between a leader and a team. But most finance consultants we place are being brought in to work in collaboration with the existing team and help them get out of the weeds so they can focus on growth projects. While they might also be there to challenge and teach your existing team new things, they are there as allies, not adversaries. Before your finance consultant starts, take the time to let your team know why you’ve brought the finance consultant in, explain how they plan to help and why it’s beneficial to work collaboratively together.
3. Set clear expectations
It seems like a silly question – But have you clearly told your new finance consultant what they’re there to help with? What success looks like? How you’ll measure success? And the timeline do you expect? Make sure you take time to thoroughly discuss expectations with your accounting or finance consultant before starting a new project.
Since finance consultants bring lots of experience, it’s also okay to get them to help think through the KPIs, timelines and success metrics, but make sure there’s alignment and agreement from both sides before the project starts. Also, let your full-time team understand the scope of the work and get buy-in for support.
And don’t be afraid to challenge your finance consultant. They’re a fresh pair of experienced eyes coming into your organization to help. Most talented finance and accounting professionals choose interim work because they like to be challenged and like project diversity. They are usually professionals that thrive in ambiguity and are committed to ongoing learning. So give them a new challenge and see what they have to bring to the table.
Finally, make sure you give plenty of constructive feedback along the way. Let them know what’s working and where they can improve. You might not be their full-time leader, but everybody appreciates praise and feedback and finance consultants are no different.
Ready to add a Financial Consultant To You Team?
If you’re in need of specific skills for your next project, or to get your company to its next stage of growth, a financial consultant can be an asset. Finding skilled contractors when you need them can be a challenge. Luckily, we can help. Get started today and you could meet financial consultants in as little as 48 hours. Learn more about finding a project and interim resources.
Clarity is a recruitment agency specializing in the placement of designated Accountants and Finance professionals in the GTA and Vancouver. Our mission is to improve decision-making in hiring by investing in behavioural science and hiring technology. We specialize in Executive Search, Building Teams and Hiring Top Contractors and Interim Finance and Accounting Leaders for growth companies. We are a tenured team of successful recruiters who have worked in major industries across Toronto and Vancouver.
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