Tag Archives: How to select an accountant

What to look for in an Accountant while recruiting?

Every one of us is or would have been looking out for an accountant. A person who can do billing, handle basic data entry of receipt and payment, do bank reconciliation and generate summaries for filing IT, do accounts payable and receivable Vat and TDS returns. This blog is mainly for the companies with turnover of Rs. 1Cr. to Rs. 25Cr. into a new age service enterprise, a startup or a traditional trader or a professional like an architect or a Lawyers.

This type of routine accounting talent is in real shortage. People who have been qualified as B.com, BCAF, etc are normally considered to be fit for the same. Some with higher expectations look out for CAs, ICWAs, etc. Apart from the qualification one looks for experience. Experience gives an edge technically and communication wise. Also one understands the business models quickly and takes up small financial decision making freeing up management time to an extent. One also should have knowledge of accounting software like Tally, Quickbooks, etc and also spreadsheet software. This makes accountant more accountable!!

Let’s build a talent need matrix for Finance and accounting (F & A) function. This can include talent expectation in terms of capability and salary thereof.  Download the matrix for your ready reference from here http://bit.ly/1WR4iX3.

Attributes

Knows Basic Accounting

Knows basic accounting package

Basics of VAT, TDS, Service Tax, etc.

Calculation of VAT, service tax, TDS with sections and return names.

Uploading of the returns online on the Government Websites

Passing of Depreciation entries, ledger reviews and Stock Adjustment, etc

Team Management

Effective Communication and Bargaining Power

Salary Levels for Metros

Salary Levels for Non-Metro cities

Sales and Purchase Entries Yes yes                
Bank Reconciliation, Basic Journal Entries, Jvs, etc. Yes yes       Partly        
Summaries for VAT Returns, TDS Returns, Service Tax Returns and So on Yes yes Yes Yes Yes          
supervision of timely deposit of cheques and vendor payments Yes Yes                
MIS (Management information system) generation. Monthly Budgets, Sales by Client, Aeging Reports, Profitability, Stock position, etc. Yes Yes       Yes Yes      
Cashflow projections, decisions on buying the capital assets, etc. Yes Yes       Yes        
Handling the Audit queries, Decision on Tax applicability, handling the tax notices, Structuring of the entities, etc. Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes    
Handling Banking Relationships like OD / CC / Term Loans with the banks with optimum interest rates, etc. Yes Yes         Yes Yes    
Development of Accounting Systems and Processes and implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    

The above table comprehends the attributes, skillsets and capabilities that one is looking out for into an an accountant vs what can be the salary that one should be paying for the same.

This also initiates the discussion as to whether one should do this inhouse and manage the accountants which is not his core job or outsource. What if an institution takes up the responsibility with similar cost. This calls for a decision as to whether one should be creating the ecosystem for the F & A division to be automated by investing for a while in the function or one will leverage on a ready made talent wherein we just need to set expectations and say shoot to an institution. Nowadays options are available either side. Few don’t even invest in computer systems and software licenses as they think that it’s best to use the scarce resource for the core job instead of accounting which is mundane for them and too technical to measure the performance on!!

Decision on this is a CEO’s job and he continues to be deliberating on time and again!!  All depends on how the CEO perceives his time to be spent :-)