Accounting Practice Department Director, BDO Unicon Outsourcing
Dmitry Kovalenko, Accounting Practice Department Director at BDO Unicon Outsourcing, shares his insights about how a new financial director or chief accountant can fine-tune efficient work of their division without causing rejection of their team.
Prepare the ground in a New Place
Review the company’s strategic plans: its current and intended position, as well as the role of the chief financial officer in this process. Examine the internal and external environment, which will help you to be more effective at work. Prior to the examination, make sure you have completed preparatory work with your team.
I Am Not The Enemy: Looking For Allies
A point to keep in mind is that people are a company’s most important resource.
Therefore, serious consideration should be given to HR management: explain that you are here not to grill about some dark secrets or make half of the department redundant.. Being honest about your plans will help you to earn your employees support and mitigate their possible resistance to change.
Meanwhile, try to assess the employees’ level and put through their paces as well as their eagerness to deliver on intended outcomes, as these people are those who will be responsible for correctness, timeliness and accuracy of your commissions execution.
Identifying Weak Spots
Estimate the amount of work and resources. If your department employs 15 people, but they still fail to pay taxes and submit reports on time due to alleged time limitations, you clearly should consider reorganization and changing business processes.
Your employees play an important role in identifying problems. Talk to them. If some processes seem strange or inefficient to you, ask them why the company works this way. If responses refer to some historical reasons, something is obviously needed to be changed. Perhaps a few years ago, any given way of working was chosen for a number of reasons: the company could not afford an expensive IT system to automate processes, or there were no enabling IT solutions on the market, or maybe it was just convenient for an employees who left the company long ago, and so on.
Time moves on; the world is changing, so does the market and the business. Perhaps, one should think about changes within the company.
Attracting Support From Outside
It might be difficult both for the experienced company’s employee or an intern to make assessment of the situation within the company in a comprehensive and objective way as they tend to lack expertise. In order to save such a valuable resource as time, avoid bias and get exhaustive information about the state of business, I recommend to look for support from outside. By engaging an external consultant, one will be able to make a sober assessment of the situation within the company and identify areas that need improvement.
The Best is Not the Enemy of the Good
If, after talking with employees and building references from an external consultant, you think that everything works pretty well, still look for what could be improved. After all, now you are paving the way for your further fruitful work. Nowadays, the market may offer you a number of tools making it possible to relieve and optimize the work of your team. These are document recognition programs for automated entering contracts into the system; HR-bots, thanks to which staff can receive pay slips and find out the amount of vacation pay without help of accountants, thereby freeing up their time for more important tasks and much more.