Great post! I've never really thought about it like that , Tran . It's true that companies want you to do the tasks of many positions at times, to cut costs . It also seems to me that someone that is an accountant wouldn't want a job that it seems they are over qualified for . Thanks for bringing this up!
True. Finding skilled workers can be a challenge and you can attract hardworking employees to your business with your job posting . Therefore, job postings should be clear and engaging. With job postings, you can introduce your company to job seekers, make a good impression and convince job seekers about the uniqueness of your company. Place yourself in job seeker's place while writing compelling job postings.
I personally would not hire an accountant that does not have a secretary in the office for this same reason. How much can they actually pay attention to your paperwork when the phone is ringing? The last thing you need is the IRS to red flag you because the accountant filled something out wrong or something just didn't add up simply because they were too business doing something else.
Asking an accountant to take care of walk-in customers or attending to phone-calls is being penny-wise and pound foolish. A good accountant can add to your bottomline by analytical reviews, setting up internal control systems, reviewing costs, budgeting and the like. If you use him for other jobs, particularly jobs which can be done by non-qualified persons, you have only yourself to blame.
I am surprised to even see that companies would expect their accountants to do these tasks. I agree with you you are under utilizing your accountant's skills by asking him to perform these things. Let them do what they are good at - managing and analyzing numbers.
AngelBiz, many CPAs are self-employed and want to cut corners or can not afford help when they first start their business. They make the fatal mistake of not hiring a secretary to greet clients, answer phones, and perform clerical duties. I have seen this many times, which caused me to turn around and walk away.
I know small business owners who wind up using CPAs because their fees are less than the next accountant, not taking into consideration how good the accountant maybe. My father was a great example. I used his accountant when I was in college. He was a small, self-employed CPA who did it all himself. My parents almost always had to owe on their taxes (as did I when I used him ONCE). When I started using a different accountant for my own business, we exploded into the positive and have not owed on our taxes since hiring her. Her fees were double to triple what the other accountant charged me. But our cash back was so high that her fees where always paid for from our returns with a very good sum left in our pocket. She had not only a secretary, but another CPA in the office to help her crunch numbers. When I informed my parents, the first question was......how much does she charge? So this works both ways unfortunately.
Melinda - Couldn't agree with you more. Great example of how you can get Return on Investment by not cutting corners.
I've been seeing this a lot so I thought I share it.
A lot of companies seeking to fill an accounting or bookkeeping position are eliminating a lot of great candidates because they include things such as:
- Assist with customer inquiries
- Answering customer phone calls
- Greet walk-in customers
- Manage paper flow in office
The tasks listed above are for a Receptionist or Office Manager. While I understand the need for a person to wear multiple hats -- these hats should not be worn by anybody dealing with your financials. First, it definitely slows the pace of their work down and their awareness of your financials -- as they are consumed with other duties.
Second, good accountants & bookkeepers are normally only good at one thing -- managing financials. Asking for somebody who can perform a hosts of other functions is asking for somebody who is only an accountant/bookkeeper part-time. This means, you are already not getting the best bang for your bucks -- as messed up financials can costs you thousands (if not more) when it comes time to fix it.
Personally, I have seen this happen a lot. Almost every company that has called me in had, at one point, hired an accountant or bookkeeper who was also in charge of other duties around their store. Be it, printing t-shirts, working the register, or stocking shelves. These clients are now having to pay me twice as much to redo the work of their bookkeeper/accountant, and keep them up-to-date moving forward.
So please, do yourself a favor and do not add additional requirements when you are looking for a good, qualified, and trained accountant or bookkeeper. That is my best advice to anybody looking to hire one.