Accounting is changing

How to define your needs and match talent


Having the right people on your staff can make all the difference for your company. The culture of your organization is driven by the people you have on your team; so what are the skills most important for your company, and for that position?

Let’s talk about today’s Accountant.

In the world of accounting, the work is changing. We are now using so many software tools, can your staff keep up comfortably and with confidence?  As more processes become automated, it causes two things to happen: 1) The need is shrinking for clerical data entry work, and 2) The need is expanding for people with analytic skills to verify, validate, investigate, and evaluate the data that’s now automated.

Is your staff ready for this change?  Can they keep up?  Or do you need new talent?

An important impact on your company is that new skills may cost more. Before this turns you off, let us help you understand the value for your company. People with these new skills desire to take on additional responsibilities, they get work done faster, and don’t want to be bored. Sound good? We all want these people on our team.

How can you be sure whether your candidates have the right skills? 

The interview is so important. Try asking open-ended questions, and open-ended follow up questions:

  • “Tell me about Excel.” Maybe they respond with “I love Excel, it’s a tool where I spend all my time. I’m constantly looking up new ways to improve processes, skills, etc.”  If they respond more simply with “I use it to create spreadsheets of data for the HR team,” ask them to tell you more.  See how their energy changes.   
  • “Tell me how you’ve made a process more efficient.” Is this an area where they are passionate? Does their energy change in the interview? Do they have examples of where they brought ideas to their team or their supervisors? Did they lead a project? Did they invest a new process?
  • “Tell me about a favorite app or software tool you use, or others use.” Are they comfortable in this area? Do they want to find a better way? There’s nothing wrong with pen and paper, but first tell me you’ve tried a tool and had to fall back on a list on your desk.
  • “Tell me about some reconciliations you’ve done.” You want to understand if they’ve had to learn about how two tools talk to one another. They don’t need to know code, or be able to set up these systems, but they need to not be scared of these areas.

If you are hiring junior staff, they may not have the experience to speak in tremendous detail about each and every one of these items. But you are going to get a sense of whether they are looking for innovation in your company and their opportunity to add value.

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