Keeping your finance and accounting department well-oiled and highly functional even during peak seasons is a common challenge among organizations. In many companies, the accounting department is a lean unit whose members are subjected to constant stress and tight deadlines.
Given the importance of the accounting team in any company, it is important for accounting managers, financial controllers, and accounting supervisors to work closely together in leading the group. Knowing everything about the duties and responsibilities of an accountant is not enough.
Leaders have to empower their staff to fulfill the primary function of the accounting department: to make sure that your business’ financial condition is in top shape. As with any leadership position, managing the accounting team requires more than technical know-how; communication and managerial skills should also be included in the equation.
Here are five tips on how you can manage your accounting team effectively:
1. Hold team building activities.
As the head of the department, it is your responsibility to be on the lookout for signs of burnout among your team, especially during peak seasons. To prevent that, make sure your team functions as a cohesive unit, where one can work without too much strain.
Scheduling regular face-to-face sessions with your team will also help. Even having lunch with your finance and accounting department can work wonders to boost their morale, as this allows you to share fun moments.
2. Review your work processes and conduct employee training as needed.
Every so often, it would be good to conduct interviews with your staff and key process owners to better understand your day-to-day operations. You can take advantage of this activity to identify any inefficiencies or redundancies, as well as to gain a better handle on your team’s workflow. By doing so, you can also find any gaps in skills and learning that should be addressed by training.
3. Cultivate a culture of learning.
Keep your finance and accounting department staff up-to-date with the latest developments in accounting and finance by promoting the use of accounting best practices. By doing so, you can significantly increase accuracy, response time, data quality, and employee morale.
4. Conduct coaching sessions and promote mentorship.
Studies have shown that employee coaching and regular feedback increases employees’ level of engagement. In addition, coaching is an effective way to make your employees accountable and motivated at work.
On the other hand, inviting senior members of the accounting department to mentor newer staff is a good way to enhance your office culture, while helping promote knowledge sharing.
5. When making a decision that affects everyone, get your team’s buy-in.
When there are tough decisions that need to be made, encourage your team to pitch ideas and be involved. These conversations may include improving work processes, adapting new technologies, and so on.
Do you want to learn how you can make the most out of your finance and accounting department? Download our case study on Standard Ledger and find out how an accounting firm was able to grow with the help of a permanent and scalable outsourcing solution.