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With the amount of time and money invested in recruiting accountants, you need to properly onboard them. Effective onboarding improves employee engagement and retention to maximize your return on investment.

1) Determine How Onboarding Success Will Be Measured

Communicate what target metrics will be used to determine whether your new accounting team member is successfully onboarded. For instance, does your new employee understand and demonstrate company values?  Do they understand the target metrics that you measure your company’s success by, such as profitability, month over month growth, or turn-around time for workflow? Is your new accountant’s time to productivity where it is expected to be? Are they accountant engaged in their work?

2) Discuss Communication Expectations

Share how the team communicates. For instance, would you rather they drop by your office, send an email, call, or use a chat tool? Should your team members request a meeting for a more in-depth question? Do you prefer talking or reading about something to understand it, or is a different method better? If you prefer one-on-one meetings, how often should they occur, who schedules them, what is the format, and how are topics chosen? When your team members have a suggestion to change or improve something, do you prefer an initial question, emerging idea, or detailed plan?

3) Meeting Format

Discuss with your new accountant what format your meetings have. For instance, do you prefer daily stand-ups with one- or two-minute updates? Would you rather have weekly one-on-ones where each of you gets 15 minutes to discuss what is on your minds? Are you in favor of monthly meetings focused on whether metrics and goals are being met? What about team-building meetings that encourage your accountants to work together, strengthen communication, increase trust, and resolve conflicts?

4) Education

Educate your new team member on how you conduct business. For instance, show how you answer the phone or email, connect with a client, and complete monthly working papers, reports, statements or annual returns. Then, have them help with the processes. Switch roles and have the accountant perform the task while you help. Finally, have the new accountant perform the work while you watch. Ask questions as you go to ensure the accountant understands and correctly performs the work.

5) Document Frequently Ask Questions

Create a resource for your team to access frequent questions that need answers. For instance, create a Google Doc that discusses payments and paychecks, training for common tools used, company holidays, company mission, vision and values, benefits, insurance and PTO. Mention whom to contact if there is a problem with a computer/monitor/chair/the restroom/other equipment. Share safety plans for fire evacuation, protection during earthquakes or severe weather, and other pertinent plans. Detail which social activities are mandatory, which are optional, and how long employees need to stay at them. Periodically review your question and answer list and update as needed.

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