Most people only have a limited number of different tasks to perform each day. If they are delivering work for clients, their days look fairly similar week to week.
But there are hundreds of separate tasks that need to be done in an accounts department. Most of them repeating daily, weekly, monthly or annually. Ask anyone that has documented them.
You might think that the repetitive nature of their work would be mind-numbingly dull but the truth is that there are usually so many things to do that they don’t get a chance to draw breath, let alone get bored. People that are suited to working in accounts departments usually love what they do. But that sort of person universally hates things that come out of left field; they know they have enough on their plate already.
It is difficult for accounts staff to perform both the very different, yet critical, tasks of housekeeping and strategy at the same time. The invoices need to be sent out, the bills have to be paid, and the payroll has to get done. They all have to be done right and on time. On top of hundreds of other bits of paper that cross their inbox.
In fact, there is usually a bigger crossover between accounts and administration than it has with operational tactics and strategy.
And these critical housekeeping tasks take a very different mindset from the equally important bigger questions and performance management for the organisation. To do both is like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. Bigger companies manage the problem by splitting functions under the CFO between housekeeping and strategy. You can’t do that in a medium sized business. So, what can you do?
If you employ someone in accounts senior enough to get great results with strategy, and management reporting, it’s going to cost you a bunch of cash. And they will probably get bored if there is not enough for them to do full-time. They will, more likely, get dragged down into the housekeeping tasks, and… get bored by that. You probably would as well. It would also suck cash away from the people that need to get the housekeeping done.
Or you can try to get a person that can do the strategy and be part of the operations, not accounts. They can be part of delivering results for your clients. Maybe even partly billable. Remember that just because it involves numbers, or pieces of paper, doesn’t mean it has to go to accounts.
They might need some support on the numbers side but that’s where we come in. That’s what we do. For a lot less money per month than having a senior accounts person on your payroll.
Your strategic, client facing, operations person can be paid the appropriate amount for the size of the business, and we can help them do it right.