University should have prepared interns and graduates for work life, right?
The reality is that new accountants are often unprepared to work in a busy public practice environment. They are not shown how to effectively manage workflow, engage with team members and communicate with clients. The responsibility for this generally rests with managers who don’t always have the time to coach.
The result is:
- Lack of workflow control and management of priorities
- Loss of time and cost with picking up and putting down work
- Not proactive in communicating workflow status and issues
- Insufficient planning for their own professional development
The proactive accountant takes on responsibility for job budgets and workflow. They strive for stronger engagement with clients. They look for opportunities to develop their communication skills. They collaborate with colleagues and know how to work closely with their manager to achieve targets. Finally, they take control of their time and adopt a proactive approach to their professional development.
6 key steps to improve workflow and relationships for young accountants:
1. Encourage autonomy and ownership
Provide your young graduate accountants with opportunities to take ownership of their tasks and projects. Encourage them to set goals, make decisions, and take initiative in their work. This sense of autonomy will empower them to be more proactive and invested in their workflow.
2. Foster a learning culture
Create an environment that promotes continuous learning and professional development. Offer training sessions, workshops, or mentorship programs to enhance their technical skills and knowledge. By investing in their growth, you will motivate them to stay updated, explore new ideas, and proactively seek solutions to challenges.
3. Set clear expectations and provide feedback
Clearly communicate your expectations regarding their proactive behaviour and workflow. Establish goals and objectives that emphasize taking initiative, anticipating needs, and seeking out opportunities. Regularly provide feedback on their performance, highlighting instances where they demonstrated proactivity, and offering constructive guidance on areas for improvement.
4. Promote collaboration and networking
Encourage your young graduate accountants to collaborate with colleagues and develop strong business relationships. Foster a culture of open communication, where they feel comfortable seeking advice and sharing ideas. Facilitate networking opportunities within and outside the organization, such as attending industry events or participating in professional associations, to help them build a broader network and expand their business relationships.
5. Recognize and reward proactive behavior
Acknowledge and reward proactive behavior and outcomes achieved by your young graduate accountants. This can be in the form of public recognition, monetary incentives, career advancement opportunities, or additional responsibilities. By recognizing their efforts, you reinforce the value of proactive behavior and motivate them to continue taking initiative in their workflow and business relationships.
6. Enrol your young accountants in the Graduate Accountant Induction eLearning Course
The Graduate Accountant Induction eLearning course is designed to provide new accountants and trainees with a practical understanding of public practice and their role in completing workflow in a timely and accurate manner.
We’ll show your young accountants how to really take control of their time, their clients and their workflow . We’ll help them to develop core skills of effective communication, workflow management, client relationship management, team collaboration and personal time and task management.
All modules are structured with specific learning objectives and assessment tasks. Learners are expected to demonstrate that they understand learning objectives and can apply concepts through completion of the assessment tasks.
Learners will develop and implement their own SMART action with feedback from our course presenters and your managers. Regular review of progress is ensured through commitment to completing the course in a timely manner.