hiring in accounting
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Staff Struggles Might Be Holding Your Firm Back

accounting work life balance

Earlier this year Accounting Today published an article titled: “Your Worst Employee Defines Your Firm.” In it, the author, Edward Mendlowitz, recounts an experience consulting for a businesswoman, where he needed last year’s tax return from a larger accounting firm. The assigned manager repeatedly missed deadlines for the required information, reflecting poor communication and unfulfilled promises. As a result, even though he knew the accountant was competent, Mendlowitz didn’t view her firm in a favorable light. And  he definitely wouldn’t be sending any referrals their way.

After this experience, Mendlowitz thought about how the firm’s leadership ignoring the manager’s flaws I favor of short-term stability was hindering long-term growth. He could see why the firm had remained at the same size for decades…

We won’t keep you in suspense, we agree with Mendlowitz’s sentiments…. The firm’s unchanged size and leadership over a decade hints at a lack of strategic vision. And we’re all about strategic vision. If you’re checking all the boxes (investing in the right marketing, refining your sales process, reviewing your goals, and charging appropriate prices), the problem might be from within.

The Call Is Coming From Inside The House!

Client Satisfaction is Key 🔑

For small accounting firms, client satisfaction is an absolute game-changer. A happy client not only keeps coming back for their financial needs, but they’re also like your unofficial brand ambassadors, spreading the word to others. And you know what’s even better? A satisfied client trusts you and sees you as a reliable financial partner.

This trust is like the cornerstone of the accounting world, allowing you to transition to an advisory role. When clients stick around long-term, it’s not just good for your books, but it also means steady income. Plus with the importance of Google reviews, one unhappy client can really put a dent in your reputation. So, making sure your clients are happy isn’t just a nicety, it’s a smart strategy for small accounting firms to thrive and grow.

If you’re a one-person shop, client satisfaction starts and ends with you. If you have a team, it’s on everyone. When you don’t put an emphasis on client satisfaction, honoring commitments, and delivering value, your clients (current and prospective) will notice. Everyone contact point with clients , from marketing and sales to onboarding’s and fulfillment, should be an excellent experience.

That’s not to say that you and your team can’t have bad days or can’t make mistakes. You’re human just like everyone else. But, if you have a team member that’s repeatedly struggling to get stuff in on time, to maintain positive relationships with clients, or causing other issues, it might be time to move on. If you’re fostering a positive company culture and making your expectations clear, oftentimes you’ll see better results from your staff. If you’re not, it’s probably time to take a look at your hiring processes.

How to Hire The Best Team For Your Accounting Firm

Alright, let’s talk about how to rock the hiring game because it it can be a game-changer. First things first – you’ve got to spot candidates who aren’t just skilled but also align with your firm’s values and vibe. Finding a good cultural fight keeps your team tight-knit, makes the atmosphere positive, and cuts down on people walking out the door. Look for those candidates who are up for learning and rolling with the changes. The accounting world is a shape-shifter, so having adaptable folks is a big win.

Make sure that you’re thinking long-term, too. Go for candidates who can grow as your firm does.  Lay out the expectations, perks, and chances to climb the ladder. And keep an eye out for the obvious red flags, like being late to or unprepared for the interview. If they’re already exhibiting time management and preparation problems, that’s only going to get worse.  In nutshell, acing hiring for small to midsize accounting firms means finding the right fits, being flexible, valuing different skills, and giving your team members a roadmap to their own professional growth.

These are just best practices and some of our suggestions. If you want access to the full-fledged, tried and true hiring strategy our clients use to grow their firms with reliable team members, you’re going to have to book a discovery call for the Create Your Dream Firm Program. (It might be the best thing you do for your firm all year). The bottom line? Consistent dedication to organizational principles and nurturing engaged staff while removing those misaligned ones support customer satisfaction and growth.

Book A Call With DreamFirms Co-founder Tyler Clark NOW