Think of the last time you stayed up until you heard the birds singing. It might be because you had an epic night out. But the chances are higher that it was because you were working round the clock to meet a deadline.
You start off meeting Accounting and Law deadlines in university. When you’re running your own company, those deadlines don’t disappear, they just morph. Nowadays you’re staying up completing client presentations or working on reports. And in addition to that, every few months you have accounting requirements that loom over your head like a dark storm cloud.
At times like this, look for extra hands to lighten your burden. Your company can contract a short term accountant to meet your financial deadlines and help you focus on your core business activities.
Here are five tips to assist your short term accountant in helping you conquer financial deadlines:
- Calendarise important dates upfront. When your short term accountant is dealing with a complicated project such as overseeing your company’s annual financial results, there are several small deadlines to meet along the way. Put each date down on a calendar (use project management software, outlook, or a piece of paper on the wall, according to which one you are most likely to pay attention to!), and implement accountability.
- Agree on an outcome. Sit down with your short term accountant upfront, and discuss what the expected outcome is for each date that you’ve diarised. In your conversation, clarify deliverables and requirements for each step.
- Block off an adequate amount of time to meet your goals. Overcommitting is a vice that many of us are privy to. Your short term accountant needs to block out enough time in his / her schedules to meet deadlines. Don’t get angry or frustrated when he or she is not available during this time. tutsplus.com advises that this time should be viewed as sacrosanct: “Treat it like a doctor’s appointment — you can’t miss it.”
- Empower your short term accountant to ask for help. Businessman Harvey Mackay says: “No one gets extra points for trying to be a hero. It’s far better for the team if employees admit early on that they need more time or extra manpower. Check in often; your job as the leader is to help the team remove potential roadblocks before they become full-flown crises.”
As you increase accountability, empower your short term accountant to get extra hands on board as needed, and clarify deliverables along the way, you and your accountant will be able to easily handle those financial ‘storm clouds’ as they appear. Contact The Finance Team to meet someone who can assist you and cue the sunshine after the storm.