Every organization needs to manage its finances well and accurately to avoid making losses and closing shop. This explains the reason why CEOs should conduct enough research when hiring personnel to manage their finances. Accountants are responsible for managing and providing advice on the finances of a business. They are important and contribute a lot to the success of any business.
What is an Operations Accountant?
An operations accountant is an accounting professional who is tasked with the financial aspect of running an organization, measuring the impact the organization’s operations have on its finances, and sharing the reports with the organization’s management. In a nutshell, an operations accountant controls, directs, and plans the finances of an organization.
Every organization needs to focus on its primary business functions to ensure that they are generating revenue and avoiding making losses. It would be wrong to find a business spending most of its time on financial data as compared to its core business. This makes it important for businesses to have an operations accountant to take care of the financial functions of the business.
Operations accountants are tasked with several functions, key among them being;
- Financial Projections: Apart from making it possible for organizations to meet their financial objectives, operations accountants are responsible for providing financial forecasts to the organization’s managers to ensure that they plan ahead.
- Procurement and Labor Costs: Operations accountants ensure that all costs associated with supplies, raw materials, and labor are tracked. They prepare reports based on material costs and employee hours in the organization. They also ensure that labor reports are generated and every employee understands all their deductions from their salaries. Technology has made this easy with a check stub maker that allows them to automatically generate salary stabs for the organization’s employees.
- Operational Budgets: Successful businesses operate under budget. They task their operations accountants with operational budget preparation for every project that they undertake.
- Expense and Revenue Reports: A business needs to know if they are making losses or profits. Operations accountants prepare reports based on the previous performance of the organization to come up with expense and revenue reports.
- Financial Accounts Management: In some organizations, operations accountants oversee the management of the organization’s entire financial accounts.
Hiring Your First Operations Accountant
As an organization’s CEO, you will be tasked with hiring some of your colleagues, especially those in critical departments such as the financial department. One of the professionals you need to be careful about is the operations accountant due to the role they play in the organization.
When hiring your first operations accountant, you need to make sure that the right candidate has several skills that will make their work in your organization easy. These skills include;
- Auditing Skills: When auditing an organization’s financial records, operations accountants are required to work with auditors and provide them with everything that they need. They, therefore, need auditing skills.
- Certifications and Licenses: You need an operations accountant who has attained the right certifications and licenses from a reputable organization. Even though this might be optional, some countries require that accountants must have attained CPA licenses for them to work with other professional bodies.
- Accounting Principles: Operations accountants, just like every other accountant, share certain accounting principles that they must understand for them to work well in their field.
- Accounting Technologies: Finally, with advancements in technology, multiple accounting tools have grown popular over the years. Operations accountants should be conversant with these tools for them to work efficiently.
What to Expect from an Operations Accountant
After hiring an operations accountant, you should expect them to plan, direct, and control the financial operations of your organization. This involves;
You should expect your operations accountant to review how a certain project performed in the past and provide a forecast of how it is supposed to perform in the future. This helps an organization when planning ahead.
This involves checking the activities of employees in the company in relation to the revenue generated from the projects that they handle. This helps operations accountants in gaining access to the financial data required when making operational decisions.
The operations accountant is expected to compare the actual revenue generated from projects with the planned revenue. Working with other managers, they can make decisions on the sustainability of the projects.
Hiring The Wrong Person Can Be Costly
Hiring the wrong person in an organization can lead to serious consequences. The first thing that hiring managers tend to do with a wrong hire is trying to make a replacement. According to research, it costs around 30% of an employee’s annual salary to get them replaced.
Apart from the cost of replacement, a wrong hire will hurt work productivity, the organization’s culture, and might lead to loss of revenue and customers. This means that as the CEO in an organization, you need to be very careful when recruiting operations accountants and make sure that you get the right person for the job.