Small Biz Ahead

Managing Accounting Employees

What You Need to Know About Managing New Accounting Employees

By Julie Bawden-Davis

Having new employees join your accounting firm has the potential for making your life easier, and talented employees can help catapult your business to the next level. New additions to your company don’t automatically become star employees, though. First you must guide them in conquering your company’s learning curve.

Here are five tips to ease the transition for your new accounting employees that will help ensure they settle in and become successful additions to your team.

1. Prepare

Avoid waiting until new employees start working to tackle logistics such as the location of their workstations and the scope of their responsibilities. Write up job descriptions and detailed lists of duties and expectations to give employees on their first days, along with the company manual. Include in the welcome materials information such as the firm’s organizational chart and its history. This will give them some perspective and a deeper understanding of your business.

Prior to adding to your employee roster, check your accounting firm coverage to ensure that you’re adequately covered as an employer. And consult an accounting risk management list to consider the unique liabilities your company may face.

2. Immediately Give Them Real Work

Instead of handing new employees busywork that doesn’t advance the goals of your company and wastes everyone’s time, assign initial tasks that will be a part of their regular responsibilities. Doing this gets them in the right frame of mind from the start, and their performance will help you gauge their ability level. Make sure that along with their assignments you give them the necessary support and tools to perform at their optimum.

3. Be Realistic

You most likely have big plans for your new employees, but remind yourself that they are new to your company and your way of doing business. Training will take time, and they are bound to ask a lot of questions along the way. Seemingly simple tasks may take new hires a while to master, so take it slow and steady when it comes to your expectations.

4. Remember to Provide Feedback

For the first few months, new employees are likely to be unsure about whether they are hitting the mark with their performance. Although they may think or hope that they’re doing a good job, they can’t be sure unless you give them constructive feedback. Alerting them to what they’re doing right and where they need to improve allows you to steer them in your desired direction from the very beginning. This prevents new hires from developing bad habits, and it fosters a positive work environment by keeping lines of communication open.

5. Make the Experience Welcoming

Being the “new kid on the block” can be nerve-racking. Ease newbie employees into the office fold by ensuring that everyone is friendly and helpful. Giving tours of your facility soon after employees first arrive will make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. If you have several established employees in the office already, arrange for meet-and-greet time during the first few days. Consider going out for lunch or holding an informal after-hour’s event in the office. Employees who get to know you and the rest of the team are likely to assimilate more quickly.

New employees can be just what your accounting firm needs to meet growth goals. Doing whatever it takes to make new hires feel welcomed and well-equipped is your best bet for creating an office environment where they are likely to succeed.