Accounting Management Promotion: The Buck Stops Here
Gone are the days of completing your work or project and passing it on to your boss; without much hesitation. You knew it was probably correct and anyway; it would be checked.
But now you are the manager; the buck stops here. Now the work you pass on must be picture perfect, there are no errors and there are no questions that you cannot answer about the work. If your manager does not have 100% faith on you, how can he or she support you in running your group.
I had dinner with one of my associates who is the Vice President of Finance for a large organization. One of his direct reports had expressed an interest in the Controller position; who had just retired. The Vice President let him know that not only did he lack the skills and knowledge to do the Controller position, but he was also not operating at the Senior Accountant level that he held. The discussion continued that the Senior Accountant would be mentored to be able to operate at the Senior Accountant level and that the Controller position was clearly not in site for him for quite a while.
Note: that the Senior Accountant did partake of the sessions but with little cooperation and enthusiasm. What he didn’t realize was that his job was on the line if he wasn’t able to get up to speed quickly on his current position, he would no longer be there never mind not being able to apply for the Controller position.
I do not believe I am going overboard here. If people do not have the confidence in your work, how can they have confidence in the work your group is preparing. You would be in an endless loop of having to justify your work and their work as well. No one has that kind of time and eventually this extra drain on your time and that of your team would impact on their time and see them and you falling farther and farther behind, or worse yet you or them hurrying to get caught up and make further errors just spiralling the problem worse and worse.
The solution; if you have not already thought of it; speak with your group and let them know that because you want the group to work effectively and efficiently that everything that leaves this department, must be correct, have them(and you) implement the checks and balances to accomplish this. Make yourself available and review anything you believe a separate set of eyes(especially those belonging to a more senior person) is required. A careful review of your teams skills and knowledge and their work performance to date can help you decide the types of reports and information that should come to you before being published or distributed.
Please note: I am not advocating that you review everyone’s work; quite opposite. I am saying that everyone should do their work correctly the first time, however further checks should be done until you are satisfied that the work is being done correctly and on time; once you achieve this the extra reviews should be stopped; unless the task is of such importance that it justifies the time spent to review it.
Excerpt from Paul J. Calleri’s up and coming book on Management Excellence.
Paul J. Calleri, FCPA, FCMA has over 25 years; experience in Management Accounting and provides Management Consulting and Accounting services to his clients. He has provided these services to some of Canada’s largest and best recognized companies. Paul is also a Financial Management Coach with BDC.
Paul serves on the Executive of the Knights of Columbus Council 16989. He has also achieved the PM5 Certificate in Toastmasters and President of the Toastmasters Speakers Club. Paul also serves as the President of the Toronto East CPA association and founder of TheGAAP.net and The CPA Toronto Accounting Group.
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