How to Hire Accountants Who Get Stuff Done


This blog topic was inspired by a conversation we had with a senior manager. We asked him what kind of employee he wanted. He thought for a moment and said, “I need to hire someone who can get stuff done.”

But what does an accountant who “gets stuff done” look like? In our opinion, there are three qualities you need to look for.

Start to Finish
As finance and accounting recruiters in the GTA, candidates will tell us that they assisted on certain projects such as a SAP implementation. And while that’s somewhat illuminating, the next set of questions we ask are designed to establish what specific duties they were responsible for in the course of the project. We want to know if they took on a leadership role and what the end result was. But really, what we’re testing for, is their grit in the face of adversity. Those who bear down and deliver and stay solutions-focused when things go sideways, are the ones who get stuff done.

A good resume should speak to both core responsibilities and achievements. Look for examples where a candidate demonstrated an ability to prioritize and deliver under tight timelines. After all, in the fast paced finance and accounting industry an inability to prioritize is a recipe for disaster.

Communication Style
Accountants who get stuff done communicate effectively with their team, key stakeholders and, if necessary, external partners. They work well cross-functionally and understand how to get everyone on the same page. Accountants who deliver are natural at creating buy-in and building consensus.

If you want a candidate who gets stuff done then look for someone who demonstrates resilience and time awareness. This applies not only to special projects, but also their core daily responsibilities. Candidates who show an ability to prioritize and communicate collaboratively are the ones you can rely on to finish what they start and meet company outcomes.