Even though it usually doesn’t get as much attention as some other business components, accounting makes the backbone of any successful company. Without a detailed insight into the business’s finances and the dedicated work of the accounting staff, the business owners could never ensure legal compliance, engage in budgeting or perform any kind of effective decision-making.
So, if you want to ensure your organization’s future you should take this issue very seriously. Especially in countries like Australia where failure to comply with tax and financial policies can cause very serious deprecations.
So, no matter whether you are expanding Down Under or already have a company there, let us take a look at a couple of tips that should help you find the best accountant possible.
Set the goals
Bringing any job to the finish line is far easier if you actually know what to accomplish. So, before setting out to fill in your accounting ranks, be sure to get a good understanding of how many people you want, whether are you looking for full-time hires or third-party help, and, finally what type of services should be your focus. Accounting is a very broad term that covers the activities like:
- Filing taxes
- Providing financial advice
Knowing which of these services you need will definitely help you narrow down the list of candidates or companies.
Check the previous experience
Professional credentials are great, but keeping in mind how sensitive and time-constrained accounting can be, you need to find people who are able to work under pressure and perform their duties with optimal efficiency. That requires a lot of real-life experience so be sure to check how well the people you are going to hire have performed in the past. Australia is a busy market so professional accountants from Sydney or any other business hub should have no problem providing a list of previous projects. Ideally, you should come into contact with the previous employers and ask for their observations.
Pay attention to non-accounting-related competencies
Sure, the people you are going to hire need to have a pitch-perfect understanding of all things related to accounting. But, in order to perform their job efficiently and make fit into your corporate structure, these professionals also need to possess other important competencies and soft skills. Here is a short list that should make it to the very top of your priorities:
- Technical competencies and previous experience with cloud-based software
- Communication skills
- Commercial awareness
Look for referrals
Referrals were always one of the most efficient and reliable ways of getting the best possible service. In this regard, looking for an accountant is really no different. So, if you are operating on a tight schedule use your professional acquaintances for some good recommendations, provided they are backed up by tangible proof. Alternatively, you can look for advice from a team you are, for some reason, unable to hire. These professionals you are going to talk to won’t risk their credibility by sending you knocking at the wrong doors and will probably use this chance to strengthen their professional network instead.
Use the interviews to ask the right questions
Interviews are those brief occasions when you will have an opportunity to sit face-to-face with your future hires and properly assess whether are they the right pick for your organization before making a final decision.
Use these opportunities wisely, and be sure to move away from dry questions regarding previous work experience and professional credentials (you get that in biographies). Instead, try to learn more about their work habits, communication skills, off-work availability, and personal rapport. All these things will have a tremendous impact on your future cooperation, and, accordingly, accounting results.
Check the fees, availability, and terms of engagement
Last but not least, we would like to remind you that your choice of future accountant shouldn’t be based exclusively on business requirements and wishful thinking. There are a lot of practical considerations to take into account as well. Start by checking every little detail about the fees, availability, location, and terms of engagement.
Any kind of scheduling conflict, exceeding costs, inability to keep up with the workload, or fine print that is considered unfavorable for your organization can seriously undermine the accounting goals you are trying to accomplish. In this case, the more meticulous you are, the better.
We hope these few tips will help you assemble the accounting team that will be able to keep up with all the challenges awaiting ahead and help your company grow, expand and thrive. As we mentioned in the introduction, effective accounting is the glue keeping your company together. Do your best then to prevent your accounting team from becoming a liability and turn it into one of your greatest assets.