accountant meeting with her team

How to Hire the Right Employee for Your Accountant Job

With several businesses expanding their financial departments, it means an increased need to identify candidates with accountant skills, such as auditors, analysts, bookkeepers, tax specialists, and accounts payable specialists. If you’re an organization that is expanding, or even just starting, then hiring qualified candidates to fill your accountant job openings is essential.

Below are some tips to help you hire the right employee to fill your accountant job openings from the start. Doing so will help to reduce turnover and costs associated with it.


Create a List of Required Competencies

To hire the right accountant for your opening, you need to clarify the competencies and skills you’re looking for in a candidate. Are you looking for a CPA or CPA candidate? Do you need a specialist, such as a tax accountant or accounting systems specialist? Do you need a well-rounded individual who can handle several functions, from bookkeeping and payroll to accounts payable and financial projections? Are you looking for an expert in a required technology? Based on your answers to these types of questions, you can make a list of qualifications required for the job.

Some of the general competencies that make a good accountant, regardless of function, are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Confidentiality and integrity
  • Knowledge of accounting software
  • Mathematical and analytical skills
  • Effective communication and ability to communicate the data
  • Problem solving skills

two accountants reviewing financial data together on a laptop


Create a Job Post Highlighting the Accountant Skills Required

If you have the right job post, then it makes it easier to attract the right candidates. You want your job post to clearly highlight the accountant skills and qualifications you’re seeking, as well as the essential accountant job functions required. Refer to your list of competencies and required job functions and incorporate those into your job post.

You also want to include keywords in your job description to help the Applicant Tracking Systems identify possible accountant resumes to review while also weeding out those that are not a fit. Depending on what accounting job you’re looking to fill, some examples of keywords you might choose to include in your accountant job description are:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Finance
  • Bookkeeper
  • CPA candidate
  • Accountant
  • Accounting
  • Financial analyst
  • Accounting systems analyst
  • QuickBooks

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Highlight What Stands out on the Accountant Resume

When reviewing an accountant resume, take the time to highlight the skills and competencies that stand out and meet your job requirements. This will help you compare candidates and decide who to bring in for an interview. It will also help you prep for the interview.


accountant reviewing financial data at his desk


Ask the Right Questions During the Job Interview

Working from a list of predetermined questions is a wise move when conducting your interviews. Asking similar questions of candidates will allow for easier comparison after the interviews are complete. To support you in creating your list of questions, below is a sample list of accountant-specific interview questions.

  • What accounting software platforms have you worked with?
  • Provide an example of where you helped to improve accounting processes. What worked well, and what would you do differently?
  • When you have a tight deadline to meet, how do you handle it to ensure you deliver on time?
  • What process do you use to maintain accounting data accuracy?
  • How have you helped companies create financial efficiencies?
  • What strategies do you use to identify incorrect accounting data or fraudulent activity?
  • What types of accounting workflow systems are you familiar with?
  • Give an example of a time you had to deal with a problematic client. How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?


Create a Strategic Candidate Search Process

Take the time to clarify your accounting job needs upfront, and then create a candidate search process based on those needs. Doing so will help you more easily and quickly identify an accountant resume that has potential compared to one that doesn’t. It will also support you in running a smooth interview process to help you find the right accounting candidate.

By iHire | October 30, 2019