Small Biz Ahead

Accounting Hiring Indicators

When to Hire More Employees For Your Accounting Firm

By Julie Bawden-Davis

Running a successful accounting practice requires that you have the right number of employees to get the job done. How many employees you should have working for your company, if any, depends on a variety of factors unique to your accounting firm.

Choosing to hire additional employees is no small decision. Doing so requires that you weigh the benefits of having more hands on deck against the costs of staffing and the liabilities and responsibilities that come with having employees.

If you’re wondering if it’s time to add to your accounting staff, here are five signs that you should hire more employees.

1. You and Your Employees Feel Overworked and Overwhelmed

Are you and your staff running nonstop without a second to breathe? Unless it’s tax crunch time, this may be a sign that it’s time to hire additional employees.

Before making a decision, ask why your people feel overworked and weigh this information against their productivity levels. You might find that although they feel that they don’t have sufficient time, it’s a misperception. With some restructuring of roles you may be able to rectify the problems. On the other hand, you may discover that they do indeed have too much work.

2. Missed Deadlines

Chronically missing due dates is a definite red flag that your company lacks sufficient manpower. This is especially true if you find that you and your most reliable and prolific employees require extensions or routinely come in after deadline. Talk to those who have experienced tardiness on projects about why this is occurring. If you rule out personal problems, it may be time for additional help.

3. Increased Customer Complaints

An uptick in unhappy clients complaining about your company’s performance is a good indication that it’s time to post a help wanted ad. Look closely at the nature of the complaints. Are customers upset about issues that indicate a backed up workflow, such as calls returned in a tardy manner or tax returns completed too slowly? If so, it might be time to hire a few extra hands.

4. You Want to Grow the Business

If you see an opportunity for expanding your business, you may find that you don’t currently have a sufficient amount of employees with the right skill sets to handle the added workload that will come with growth. This means either training current employees to increase their knowledge and abilities or hiring people who possess the necessary skills.

Before you do any hiring to meet your growth goals, keep in mind that a boost in business brings inherent risks you’d be wise to address before hiring someone new. Therefore, prior to hiring, update your accounting firm coverage to ensure you’re protected against potential liabilities. To help guarantee you cover all of the bases, we’ve created a list of potential risks to be aware of before you expand your business.

5. Business is Booming

Perhaps your business is already growing. This is your cue to stop and think carefully about what kind of accounting practice you envision. Do you want a big business, or would you prefer a smaller boutique firm? The former will require additional employees, while the latter means that it’s time to do some refocusing and prioritizing. Whatever direction you decide to go, protect yourself and your business by reviewing your insurance coverage on a regular basis.

Your accounting business is unique and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should hire employees. These five considerations will help you determine if a larger workforce is right for you and your business.