After establishing your accounting business, you may decide it’s time to branch out. The first thing you’re probably considering is hiring more staff. Maybe you’re an independent contractor and want to take on employees to help you work with a wider range of clients. Maybe you have a small firm with a few partners and are looking for someone with a specialized skill set so you can delegate certain tasks. Either way, hiring new talent can be costly. To help lessen than cost, take some time to determine which accounting career roles are vital to helping your business thrive and which can be left on the back-burner, combined with existing positions, or outsourced.
Any good accounting firm needs someone (or a group of someones) at the helm to help streamline the decision-making process and steer the whole office in a general long-term direction. A senior manager serves as the architect and visionary of your firm. Much of the burden of coming up with ideas and positioning your firm within the overall market falls on this person or group of people.
If you’re currently a sole proprietor, you may end up taking on the role of senior manager or chief financial officer (CFO) simply because you’re the most familiar with your company’s mission. But if you’re looking to hire for this position, seek out candidates that have at least a few years of experience in accounting management, along with an up-to-date CPA certification.
Chartered Professional Accountants
It should go without saying, but what’s an accounting firm without accountants? Look for new hires who have Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification. Experience may not be necessary in this case. You can save money and inject a dose of vitality into your new firm by hiring recent graduates.
You may opt to hire several CPAs who have a different specialization, such as experience working with industrial manufacturing businesses or private clients, to diversify the range of clients you can bring into the firm. Or you might want to specialize your accounting firm and hire CPA s with experience in the same field as you.
Auditor or Legal Expert
If you’re a relatively small business or are working with small business clients or individuals, you may not need to hire a dedicated auditor. If you plan on expanding, having a CPA who knows the way around legal text or has some experience in the field of law can prove to be an advantage over competitors.
Whether you’re concerned with performing regular internal audits to maintain a transparent and profitable business practice or plan on helping clients with internal audits or assisting with preparations for government audits, someone with solid legal knowledge and auditing experience can be a major asset to your team. Legal expertise not only helps you stay in the black, but it can also increase client trust.
IT Systems Expert
An accounting firm operating in the 21st century is going to be using some software. If you’re implementing blockchain, payment applications, and security encryption software, you’re more likely to want an in-house expert who’s immediately available to assist if anything goes wrong. The search for an appropriate expert when you desperately need one may result in higher-than-necessary fees and lost days of work.
On the other hand, if you’re a burgeoning accounting practice relying mostly on accessible, user-friendly software programs, you may be able to outsource IT help or simply consult customer service for web-based software applications. It may be easier and less costly to find solutions in this case.
When you’re determining which positions to immediately hire for, you’re defining the scope of your accounting firm in its first few years. Once you’re established and have a solid client base, you can always expand and hire more specialized personnel to better serve your business and your clients.