It may be because someone retires, or it could be the words no one wants to hear—your CFO or senior accountant is leaving. Or perhaps, she has a personal emergency, an illness, or pending surgery and must take a long leave of absence. You’re worried about your employee, but you’re also concerned with filling the open vacancy.
If someone is leaving your organization, you can begin the job search for new talent. If someone takes a leave of absence, you need a stopgap measure, a temporary senior accountant to fill in until your valued employee returns. In either situation, having strong accounting and financial software, like Sage 100 or Acumatica Cloud ERP, can help ease the transition.
How do you find someone with the knowledge, skills, and experience to fill temporary vacancies? Personnel agencies may not have people with the specific skills you need. They may not be able to find a senior accountant available on short notice to fill in for your organization.
There are ways to fill temporary vacancies with minimal disruption to your organization. Here’s how to make sure that work continues to get done smoothly when there’s a vacancy among your senior accounting staff.
Understanding the Role of Senior Accountants
Senior-level accountants fill a variety of roles in your organization. They may be responsible for many tasks, including managing the organization’s finances, directing staff, handling audits, and much more. They may also be responsible for apportioning funds, preparing budgets, and leading the end of year close or audit. These tasks are vital for the health and well-being of your organization.
The first step, when faced with the notification that your senior level accountant needs to take a leave of absence or is leaving for good, is to understand the role they play in the organization. Update their job description, especially if it’s been more than a year since it was last updated.
Next, determine the time period for which you will need an interim senior accountant. If you know someone is going to be out for a week for a medical situation, you may be able to appoint someone from within to cover the work until your senior accountant returns. Conversely, it may take many months to find a great CFO for your organization, and the position must be covered during that time period while the job search continues. Each situation dictates a different response.
There are several options available to your organization, each dependent on the time period of the pending vacancy:
- Assign someone on staff: Perhaps a senior-level accountant or manager can step into the role temporarily. If your current CFO or senior person works alongside someone on their team, that person may have the requisite knowledge to continue tasks during the interim.
- Contact a placement firm: Placement firms can be useful to help you fill vacancies. Some may be able to provide consultants or senior-level staff, especially specialist firms.
- Hire a consulting firm: There are specialized consulting firms who provide interim, CPA-level support for companies and organizations. They may have experience working with nonprofits and can provide you with a team to help your organization continue during the period when the position is vacant. They may also provide auditing support or specialized support for one-off situations.
No matter what the reason for the vacancy, it can be disruptive when someone you value leaves the organization or has to be absent for a while. But, with early notice and good planning, you should be able to find the interim help that can keep your accounting department running smoothly until your next superstar arrives.
Accounting Systems Incorporate (ASI)
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) provides ERP, accounting, and other software and systems to help your company grow. We focus on helping small to mid-sized companies improve operational efficiencies through the power of software and technology. Software such as Sage 100 and Acumatica ERP can provide the business intelligence you need to grow your company. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154.