How to hire ambitious accountants

November 10th 2023 | Posted by phil scott

When it comes to recruiting an accountant for a business of ANY size, it’s incredibly important to make the right hiring decision.

On-boarding a new member of staff takes time, effort and financial investment, so it’s crucial to make sure that a business hires an accountant with all the qualities needed to support the organisation to grow and succeed.

What should a business look for when hiring an accountant?

Here are 7 essential points to consider when recruiting a new accountant for your business:

1. Knowledge and experience

Managing a busy and complex day-to-day accountancy operation as well as supporting the financial goals of a business is a big job and it is fundamental to make sure that the individual has all of the knowledge and experience required.

A new accountant for a business would need knowledge and understanding of a wide range of financial areas and experience across the financial spectrum.  Experience of the particular industry or sector that your business operates in, would also be of benefit as they will already have knowledge of the context of your business.

2. Qualifications

When recruiting a new accountant, it’s important to be aware of the level of qualifications your business expects.  Make sure that the individual holds the AAT, CIMA or ACCA certificates that you feel are essential to delivering the role within your team.

3. Track record

Alongside knowledge and qualifications, a business should be looking for an accountant with a strong track record.

This track record of expertise could be in a similar industry, within a business of a similar size or in a role that was responsible for the same areas of work.  Whatever this may be, looking for demonstrative examples of excellence and delivery plus a track record of similar skills is a solid way to determine how an individual will fit in in a new role.

4. Leadership skills

As well as exceptional financial and accounting skills, a business should look for an accountant with leadership qualities.  There’s more to succeeding in an accountancy function than only financial skills – the ability to lead and motivate others is also highly valuable.

As newer, more junior people join the team, an accountant with leadership skills will be able to inspire those around them and as a result, improve the productivity and abilities of the overall team.

An accountant who can lead by example and motivate colleagues to deliver will be a huge asset to a business.

5. Adaptability & flexibility

Business strategies, goals and priorities grow and change and an ability to adapt to these changes is as essential in an accounting role as specific knowledge and experience.

Recruiting a new accountant who can be adaptable and flexible to changing priorities and new businesses requests can make a huge difference to the success of the accounting department.

6. Drive and determination

While skills and experience are important, the ability to drive this know-how forward to benefit the whole business is crucial too.

An individual with determination, drive and ambition to succeed will lift the performance of the finance operation.  They will be able to take the day-to-day accountancy responsibilities and drive the operation forward, demonstrating the essential role of an accounting team within overall business success.

7. Business acumen and commercial understanding

As well as an in-depth understanding of accountancy, it’s important when hiring a new accountant to recruit somebody with excellent business acumen who recognises the wider commercial needs and demands.  They need to understand how accounting responsibilities fit within the wider business and be able to evaluate new opportunities and projects from a financial perspective to support the business overall.

Interested in hiring the perfect accountant for your business? Contact us now.