How to Hire a Senior Accountant
May 3, 2021

How to Hire a Senior Accountant

Job hunting for the perfect candidate is probably one of the most complex and difficult parts of running a business. Having the right talent can make or break your company, with dividends that can pay off far beyond the sum you’re investing in their salary and training.

However, it’s not easy, particularly when it comes to higher-up positions like that of the senior accountant. In such cases, you need someone who brings a lot to the table, from expertise to the ability to work collaboratively and take feedback well. Just because it’s difficult, though, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

In fact, this should serve as even more impetus and motivation to do all you can to find the perfect hire for your company. That’s where this article comes in. We’ll walk you through how to hire a senior accountant and why you need one to join your team and help your business immediately.

Write an Amazing Job Description

This is the first taste that prospective employees will be getting of your company, so you want to make sure to set off on the right foot. There’s a careful balance to be struck here between being as specific as possible without alienating potential hires who, with the right training and support, could become valuable long-term assets.

So, you want to make sure to aim for a perfect balance in the information you present in the description. This means you’ll almost certainly want to note that you’re looking for a professional with at least three years of experience and some form of degree in accounting or a related field.

That base starting point is a minimum for what you want from a senior accountant, but you might also want to keep an eye out for accreditations like a CPA or a certified management accountant designation.

Another important factor is to outline the salary you’ll be providing this position. The 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals identifies a midpoint salary for senior accountants at $77,750, so you should try to fall within that ballpark if possible in order to attract people with valuable talent.

Beyond this baseline information, you’ll want to do the essentials of outlining job responsibilities and necessary qualifications. This means doing some soul-searching and asking yourself what exactly you need. Do you need someone who is a professional with accounting principles and technology, or with financial statements, or even with risk assessments and budgets? Make this crystal clear. Also, try to be specific about the skills and knowledge that will likely be needed to succeed in the role, so that you attract the right experts to your company.

One important thing to note is that you should have some flexibility here. Try to delineate what are the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. You want to be realistic about who you can get, but that doesn’t mean you should shoot for the moon.

What Traits You Should Look For

Now that the job description is out of the way and you’re on to interviewing and talking through with your talent pool, keep an eye out for certain characteristics.

You want someone who is able to follow group consensus and can work with others, but you don’t want them to be too extraverted, as this might get in the way of them accomplishing their mostly solitary duties.

Look for someone who’s highly conscientious, meaning they’ll strive for perfection and performance. You want someone who can plan and ensure that initiatives come together in their ideal state. Stability is another important factor to look for. You need someone who can weather the storms of tax season and who can make careful decisions even under high pressure.

You also want someone who is open, willing to try new things, and innovate when necessary. Of course, you need someone with strong passion and resolve who enjoys their work and will go the extra mile.

Logical thinking is another must-have quality. You need people who will base their decisions on facts and hard data, not their intuition. Surprisingly, you might also want to screen for creativity, as the more new and unique methods they can come up with, the better your company can innovate in processes and performance.

Try Working With a Recruiter

Another step that can really help streamline the process while also greatly expanding your candidate pool is using an outside staffing agency. Well-connected recruiters will know the marketplace very well, especially in your industry and geographic area, meaning they know where to target.

Even more importantly, they can make all the other steps easier. They can chime in to help you craft the perfect job description, while also helping to stand in for you and evaluate the candidate’s relevant skills, traits, and experience.

Most vital, however, is their network. They have so much more reach and can even help head hunt for people who aren’t currently looking for a job. This means that you can snatch up senior accountants who aren’t necessarily actively searching, but who would be willing to move if the right opportunity presents itself.

Why You Need a Senior Accountant

All this being said, why exactly do you need a senior accountant? Well, primarily because they’ll be able to provide deep financial analysis, identify inefficiencies, and bolster spending. A senior accountant takes ownership of reporting costs, productivity, margins and expenditures for organizations. They are expected to demonstrate critical thinking, make strategic recommendations, problem solve and have high attention to detail. Senior accountants typically report to a controller or accounting manager.

Closing Thoughts

There’s a lot that goes into finding a senior accountant who fits your company profile, but if you follow all the previous steps and try your best, then you’re sure to reap rewards that will likely make all the effort more than worth it.

For more help in finding the perfect senior accountant, and if you need help with accounting job listings in Toronto, reach out to us at AHK Accounting Recruiters. We’ll find the right fit for you. You can call us at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.