6 Tips For Hiring an Accountant That Fits Perfectly With Your Company
Hiring an accountant is a process that you need to get right as a company. The person in charge of your finances should be the best fit for your organization.
Similarly, choosing the wrong accountant can be devastating to your business. We’ve written this article on exactly how to hire an accountant for your company. Here are the top 6 tips you need to know.
Tip 1: Know Your Needs
Before hiring an accountant, you need to know the state of your company’s finances. Review your financial records to determine the level of help you need.
If your finances are in good shape and you need help with tax prep or general bookkeeping, you can start with a part-time accountant who specializes in what you need. Conversely, if your company is in poor financial health, you may need a full-time accountant to help get you back on track.
Further, be aware of any industry-related financial hurdles. An accountant with relevant industry experience may be useful to help you overcome obstacles. They may also have financial insights that can help you maximize cash flow.
Tip 2: Check Qualifications & Certifications
Hiring a business accountant requires thoroughly checking their qualifications and certifications. Here are some areas to look into:
Remember how we mentioned industry experience above? Now’s the time to start looking into that.
If you’ve determined that you need an accountant with relevant industry experience, ask for recommendations from those in your industry. If that doesn’t turn anything up, a simple internet search will do. Ask the accountant about their experience in your industry and what results they’ve produced.
When hiring an accountant, you can choose between two certifications: CPA or CMA. Both must pass exams and meet educational requirements to achieve their licensing, but what they do differs. When hiring an accountant, determine which is better for you.
CPAs have extensive training and can best serve as financial advisors. They do the following:
CMAs are more experienced in actively managing your finances. They do the following:
- Strategic analysis
- Decision making
- Performance auditing
When hiring a business accountant, your company needs to know the complexity of its financial needs. This allows you to check the skills of an accountant you may employ.
Do these accountants have experience with situations as complex as yours? Or is your situation simple and doesn’t require someone with more technical expertise?
Tip 3: Come Up With Interview Questions
Hiring an accountant requires asking intelligent questions in the interviews. Your goal is to assess the skills of any potential hire and determine if they can meet your company’s needs.
Some questions to consider include:
- What accounting software have you worked with?
- How do you detect fraudulent entries in a ledger?
- How do you ensure accounting accuracy?
- What have you done to save companies money or better use available resources?
- Describe a time when you had a tight deadline for a financial report. How did you handle it? What was the result?
Here are some additional interview tips:
- Listen closely for soft skills, not just technical ones.
- Have a standardized interview schedule for each accountant
- Ask the same questions to each accountant
- Notice any non-verbal cues
Tip 4: Assess Skills & Personality Traits
During the interview stage of hiring an accountant, you want to make sure you assess a candidate’s skills and personality traits. The questions you ask will help get at this, but here are some to look out for:
Accountants must uphold the highest level of honesty and trustworthiness. Hiring accountants via referral or an accounting staffing agency is the best way to ensure that candidates are honorable.
Attention to Detail
The main job of an accountant is to pay close attention to detail and catch any errors.
Accountants must be able to disseminate information quickly. They must also juggle the needs of different businesses if they aren’t working for you full-time; similarly, any full-time accountant you hire must juggle all of your business needs.
Accounting isn’t a solitary profession like some may think. Accountants must be able to work collaboratively across your company and provide insights. When hiring an accountant, look for someone who is a proven team player.
Tip 5: Outsource When Needed
Hiring an accountant is a process that must go smoothly. Choosing the wrong candidate can be disastrous for your company. For this reason, many companies choose to outsource to an accounting staffing agency.
The benefits of working with an agency include:
- Access to a larger qualified candidate pool
- Increased retention
- Lower cost
- Time savings
- Expert guidance from the firm
If you want to save time and make the best hiring decision, consider working with an agency. Quest Financial is proud to have over 20 years of experience filling accounting roles with only the most qualified talent. We fill positions including CFO, billing specialists, bookkeepers, staff accountants, accounting managers, and more. Let us help you hire an accountant today!
Tip 6: Onboard Correctly
Hiring an accountant doesn’t stop at finding the correct one. You need to set them up for success by providing them with a stellar onboarding experience.
The exact level of onboarding can depend on your new accountant’s experience level. A more seasoned accountant may need a less involved process, whereas a newer one might need more guidance.
Regardless of experience level, make sure you:
- Have some guidelines in place. Let your accountant know how you’ll measure their performance and what they can do to succeed.
- Connect them with anyone they’ll need to work with at your company.
- Make sure your accountant is aware of your reporting preferences, although you may want to refer to their best practices since they’re the expert.
The 6 tips discussed here should help you hire the best accountant for your business. Succeeding means knowing your needs, vetting candidates’ qualifications and skills, prepping thoughtful interview questions, outsourcing when needed, and onboarding correctly.
Hiring an accountant is a process you don’t want to get wrong. If you want to outsource to the experts, we at Quest Financial would love to help!