What is a revolving door
Smart entrepreneurs and business owners are great at thinking of bright ideas, but they don’t pay close enough attention to what I call the “revolving door” – you know – when you hire staff who leave the business for what they perceive as bigger and brighter opportunities.
I saw it first hand during my consulting years before DeepSky. It’s amazing that most controller or accounting manager level staffs only stay about 9 to 18 months, on average, at a company – and when they leave, the business is thrown into chaos because there is no continuity. So the next person comes in and wants to do things his or her way, but then also leaves.
Rinse and repeat.
The bottom line? There IS no bottom line. This happens all the time. Clearly, we’re in a buyer’s market where there are more positions for accountants than there are to fill them. At least for the qualified candidates. Companies fight for top talent while the rest, well, just get on by every 9 to 18 months until their employer realizes that they aren’t cut out for the job. And the business is the one who foots that bill.
Keep Your people and books in order
So how can a company keep good people and ensure your books are in great order? Better yet, how can you establish this much-needed continuity so you can meet your short- and long-term business goals?
My take on it will be to start from the top down. Goals first, then strategy, followed by tactics. The owners and its key stakeholders must first understand the goals that they plan on achieving with their accounting team (be it a team of one or team of six.) This is the hard part. Once that is set – we will at least have a common goal to work towards.
Plan for success
Strategy comes next and this will usually involve identifying the type of people we need to hire, better yet, the type of things the people we hire need to accomplish. Don’t just put out a job title and call it a day, actually take the time to define what does a job well-done look like. A clear picture of success for your new hires will also help them feel more in control and enjoy working for you better.
Execute your plan
Last, take a look at execution. I’ve always found it to be easier to hire a few different people to fill the complex job of accounting. Check and balances help retain some type of consistency that is driven by me (or my top guy) in case anyone person decides to get up and leave. If the goals of the team and the basic strategy are illustrated clearly, then we will at least have some type of continuity that we are systematically working towards.
If you can do that, then you are more than 10x better than your competition whose accounting efforts are constantly being broken down and building back up depending on the “hire of the year.” It may not be obvious from the outside, but the effects of it show in their books. And accounting manager after accounting manager later, the business has nothing to show except a set of books that’s been torn apart by all the people who have gone through them.