5 Tips to Hiring the Right Accounting Staff

November 2 2017 | by Kristi Weierbach, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Accounting/Finance responsibilities and the team who manage them are critically important to a company’s overall success. Finding the perfect combination of technical skills sets, competencies, and accounting software experience make them a challenging employee to hire. What happens when you need to replace a member of your accounting team or add a role to your growing company? Here are a few tips to hiring the right accounting staff.

Don’t Rush the Hiring Process

Rushing to fill a vacant role is undoubtedly one of the biggest mistakes. When you lose a member of your accounting staff through resignation, termination, or a leave of absence, it’s a big deal. Payroll needs to continue, bills need to be paid, and invoicing can’t stop. It’s natural for companies to panic when someone leaves, but rushing the hiring process can bring even bigger problems. Hiring the right people takes time. Bringing the wrong person on board can have consequences that linger long after you’ve let them go.

Embrace a Temporary Placement

Not being able to find the perfect fit is a tough situation, and we see this happen to many companies. One option is to rely on a temporary employee to fill the void during the hiring process. Key is finding a specialized outsourcing group who has professionals with a deep working knowledge of multiple accounting systems. This option only works well if the temporary employee can easily come in with little to no training and keep your processes and company moving forward. It provides peace of mind and the luxury of time to find that perfect fit.

Break Away from the Status Quo

Try breaking away from traditional hiring practices. For example, passive candidates, people not actively seeking a new job, often turn out to be better options than those responding to your ads. For our Staffing Solutions clients, we identify the skill sets and talents that the “right” person should possess, then we conduct a variety of targeted searches to identify potential candidates. It’s important to have a candidate pool before you even need it. That’s why we keep an active database of skilled accounting professionals and update it regularly. You never know when that perfect match will happen.

Plan for the Future

Structuring your accounting department can be tricky, it’s critically important to understand what your business will need once you have the appropriate staff on board. Sometimes it’s helpful to work with an outside staffing specialist to guide you through the process of identifying exactly what type of role(s) you require to be successful. It means thinking strategically about hiring – looking beyond what you need at the moment and thinking about the future. Sometimes it means they only need temporary support, other times they may benefit more from outsourcing than hiring an employee, or they may need someone with more or less experience or different skills than they originally thought.

Outsource for Greater Return

Filling a role that you are unfamiliar with can become challenging, as you may not be completely familiar with the area of expertise. And, because our team is comprised of accounting professionals, we are intimately familiar with the specific types of roles, responsibilities, skills sets, and strengths that will fit the needs of your organization. Thus, we can skillfully write job descriptions, advertisements, and interview questions that accurately reflect the role, help attract the best candidates and position your firm for success.

Outsourcing your staffing needs can result in better hires for many reasons. If you choose to go the outsourcing route, qualify your consultant to find out if they have expertise in hiring for your particular role(s). Experience can go a long way in identifying the specific skills and talents best suited for your new hire. A consultant can also assist in developing job descriptions and interview questions that most accurately reflect the role and ultimately help attract the best candidates for your firm.

Top Things to Consider…

Adopt a formal hiring process, without one bad candidates can creep in and dilute the pool. The process should include steps to be followed during each phase. Having structure will make the process easier and alleviate some of the stress associated with hiring.

Vet candidates early in the process using phone or video interviews. This step is critical to weeding out people who have great looking resumes, but fall short in real-life. Formal interviews should be reserved for candidates you truly see as potential employees.

Use references effectively. Employers often skip this step because it feels uncomfortable or they don’t know what questions to ask. We’ve honed our skills at asking the right questions to uncover information that you typically don’t find out during an interview.

Short on Resources?

It’s easy to become frustrated, particularly if you want to be strategic, but are too busy running your business to focus on anything else. The easiest solution is to work with someone who not only has the time, but the experience to find you the right person. SNs Staffing Solutions team lifts the burden of hiring from companies every single day to help them experience a workforce with higher morale, increased engagement, and heightened efficiency. Please reach out to us today if you have an immediate hiring need or think you may in the future.


Mark Murphy

I really appreciate your tip on trying to hire an accountant that will be able to set your financial goals. My wife and I have been experiencing some financial problems with all of our reckless spending. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should try and find an accountant who can help us stick to our financial goals.

Easton Memmott

I really loved your tip to take the experienced accountants into great consideration for hire. I am looking to get an accountant to help me with some finances and taxes. I will be sure to look for somebody who has a good amount of experience in their field of work.

Rosie Beckett

You make a great point that you should not rush in the hiring process when you are looking for a CPA firm to help your company. I also like that you say outsourcing accounting can help to save money because you are hiring a firm that has expertise in their roles. If I was a business owner, I would definitely think about hiring a CPA firm to handle the accounting to save time and money in the long run.

Bradford Snelson

Your section on planning for the future seemed very thoughtful to me, especially the part about looking beyond what your current needs are to make long-term investments in people. I feel like having a reliable accounting department would be something seemingly easy to put off, right up until tax season rolled around. Taking the time to invest in quality personnel early would probably save you lots of headache in the first quarter of the next year.

Steav Smith

I wish I read the article before as few month ago I hired an accountant and the experience was not good. Thanks for sharing the information with us. This article definitely will help people hiring the right accounting stuff.

Ashley Maxwell

Thanks for your comment about how you should hire an accountant that can you help you plan and set goals. I like how you said that they should be able to they should be able to fill their empty openings with hard-working individuals. If a company was looking to hire accountants for bookkeeping for their business, I would assume that they would keep your post in mind.

Roger Middleton

My wife and I have been wanting to prepare our taxes properly and we haven’t really been sure how to go about it. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to plan for the future to make sure you can get the help you’re needing. We’ll have to start doing some research into an accountant that can last awhile, and we’ll be making sure they’re fully qualified.

Michael James

Yes, you are right. As a business owner, you should not hurry the hiring process, as it could end up in recruiting the wrong person. Alternatively, to be on the safest side, instead of recruiting a person, you can hire a third party tax services agency and take advantage of their experienced accountants.


I’ve been looking for a good business accounting service, and I think that being able to get some tips would be good. I’m glad you talked about how you should vet candidates early who could be doing your accounting. I’m going to have to look for a business accounting service we could use, and get the best help we can!

Callum Palmer

I do like that the article gives some advice about planning for the future when choosing an accountant. This is especially important if you are a small business with plans to keep growing. Making sure that you have the right accounting services is essential for developing the money you need to fuel your business’s growth in the future.

Kyle Wayne

Wow, it’s interesting that you mentioned how important it is to take it slow when trying to hire a new accountant into the firm. My mom is looking to hire tax account services since she no longer wants to have to worry about that. I think I will talk to her about hiring a service that takes their hiring process very seriously and only hires the best.

Sam Solo

I can see how bad candidates would mess up the pool if the hiring process to too lax. It’s important to make sure that you stay organized as a business so that you can hire the best without accidentally giving the job to someone incompetent. Your business tips are so good that they apply to all fields, not just accounting.


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