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Bringing accounts in-house: a guide to picking the right Finance & Accountancy candidates

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by Kathryn Heeler | 9 April 2019

Are you a growing SME and currently outsourcing your accounts function? It may be time to change. More-and-more businesses are creating in-house finance jobs in order to streamline services and have more control, however ensuring you are ready for this step is hugely important. In this blog, specialist Finance & Accountancy Recruitment Consultant Kathryn Heeler discusses why SMEs should consider bringing their accounts function in-house, the benefits of it and when the right time to do it is.

Start-up businesses tend to outsource all accounting services, encompassing payroll, accounts payable, billing and collections, tax compliance, and strategic advice in order to manage all financial business matters.

It is vital that growing companies understand their figures and how they are impacting the day-to-day running, and outsourcing this whilst keeping abreast of key data can be a challenge. It is therefore hugely important that companies realise when it may be time to bring the accounts function in-house to ensure the business is running smooth financially. Having an efficient, committed accounting department can help the company on many levels including cost cutting, without significantly impacting day-to-day operations. This will also enable you to have an individual embedded into the business to liaise with non-finance staff and help to implement strategies which will ensure cost effective working in various departments. This individual will also be able to provide analysis on financial data to assist senior managers when making critical business decisions and control where company assets are being used.

Attract the right Finance & Accountancy candidates

When advertising for your internal accounts team you need to ensure you are attracting the right type of candidate for your business.

The most beneficial option would be an individual who can provide proficient analysis and feedback on performance. Think about bringing in a senior candidate that can advise and take control straight away. For example, many of our clients have often brought in a mid to senior level candidate such as a Financial Controller or Company Accountant that will understand the importance of culture, how the company works, and what makes the business successful in order to accelerate growth.

This is where a business like Sellick Partnership could help. We can listen to your needs and advertise for specific Finance & Accountancy candidates on your behalf.

Benefits of bringing your accounts function in-house

As your business grows, your accounting needs will become more complex and specialised and as a business owner you will have direct access to information by having a finance professional on site. This enables you to set tasks suited to your business needs whereas outsourced services usually come with a specific package that may not be bespoke to you or fit with how the business operates. The easier communication will also enable you to get the information you need, whilst moving at the pace of the business to provide a timely and comprehensive service.

There are a number of benefits to bringing your accounts function in-house which include;

  • Having an internal accounts team gives businesses full control of their accounting activities.
  • Having an internal accounts team means they are in close proximity if any questions arise or anything needs clarifying in relation to a business’s accounts.
  • Bringing an accounts team in-house means businesses can find a loyal employee who champions company growth and will keep sensitive information confidential.
How to attract the right Finance & Accountancy candidates to your business

The benefits bringing an internal team or employee to manage accounts in-house will be dependent on the level of talent you can bring in. A more senior hire will be able to make a much greater difference to your business, however sometimes budget means this is not an option. You therefore need to decide what type of candidate you are looking for and work out the way to attract them to your business!    

So how do you ensure you attract the right Finance & Accountancy candidates?

To start your search, you will need to decide what business functions will need covering in the role. Responsibilities within the role are likely to include general ledger maintenance, daily transactions, financial statement preparation and analysis, treasury and payroll. It is also important to think about what the most critical job skills are in relation to the role and your business, for example creativity, problem solving or communication. When deciding these factors it is important to think about the direction you want your business to go in.

This again is where a recruitment agency like Sellick Partnership can help. We regularly create job specifications and work with businesses of all sizes to ensure the responsibilities or the role match the candidates our clients are trying to attract.

Getting the right level of Finance & Accountancy candidate is important

Once the specification is suited to the business needs you will need to determine what qualifications the candidate should have, and this will depend on the level of work the candidate will be expected to do.

For example, if you are hiring a Finance & Accountancy candidate to handle your financial statements and carry out general analysis and bookkeeping, you could consider a non-chartered or qualified by experience candidate. It may even be beneficial to employ a candidate who is studying towards a qualification, so that they can learn and grow with the business.

If you require a candidates with a more specific skillset, a commercial mind and experience in managing tax and returns, you may need to employ a senior candidate with a qualification, for example, ACCA, ACA or CIMA.

Ensuring Finance & Accountancy candidates are the right fit

Another thing to think about is carrying out necessary due diligence on the candidate. Whilst it is important to take the time out to thoroughly interview the candidate and get to know them, it is essential that you also conduct a thorough reference check. If you would like to be extra diligent, you may also consider credit checks if relevant to your business.

There are lots of additional things to take into consideration when making any business decisions and this may be a pivotal time in the expansion of your company. Not only should you consider the above, you also need to factor in the salary and benefits package that you are offering as this will determine the type of candidate that applies. It is important to ensure you are you being competitive with other organisations so you do not miss out on the best talent.

Company culture is also important. All candidates want to work in an environment that they enjoy, so ensuring the candidate you employ gets on with current employees and fits in well with your culture is essential. I would say this is one of the most important aspects of taking on new staff. Getting this right often results in staff that are productive and happy, making it less likely that they will leave for a competitor.

Sellick Partnership could help make the process quick and easy

As a Finance & Accountancy recruitment specialist, we have a great deal of experience assisting SME businesses with finding their perfect internal accounts teams, and we would be delighted to help you. If you are thinking about bringing your accounts function in-house get in touch. You can contact me for an initial confidential discussion on 0191 261 8585, or email kathryn.heeler@sellickpartnership.co.uk

Alternatively, you can visit our employer resources section for more information on attracting the perfect candidates for your business and getting your employer brand and culture right.