The First 90 Days in Your New Accounting Role
Congratulations on your new accounting job! The first 90 days in a new role are critical and can determine your outcome of success. Whether you just received a promotion or are starting a new job, your friends at Accountants One want to make sure you are set up to thrive.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in your new role:
30 Days in Your New Accounting Role
The first 30 days in a new accounting role are crucial for establishing yourself and making a positive impression. Use this time to get your feet wet and put your best foot forward. Unless you’ve been hired on as a ‘hit the ground running’ contractor, a traditional direct hire / permanent position will use the first month as an introduction. You’ll get introduced to systems, processes, and people.
Here are a few best practices for the first 30 days in a new role:
1. Setting expectations: During the first 30 days, you will be setting expectations for your role and what you can contribute to the company. This is a critical time to communicate your goals, strengths, and areas of expertise.
2. Building relationships: Build relationships with your team, other departments, and external stakeholders. Creating a positive impression and building trust during this time will help you establish strong ties in your new workplace. Building positive rapport will not only set you up for long-term success but will help to boost your personal brand. Remember the quote “Branding is what other people say about you when you are not in the room” by Jeff Bezos at Amazon. How can you position yourself positively in other people’s minds?
3. Learning the company culture: Every company has its unique culture, and the first 30 days are a great time to learn about it. This includes the company’s values, communication style, and decision-making processes. Understanding the company culture will help you navigate your role more effectively.
Read and immerse yourself in training materials – Taking full advantage of the training program at your new employer is so important in setting yourself up for success. Watch training videos, read the training manual, and most importantly ask questions. Ask as many questions as your heart allows to other teams, your manager, your HR department, etc.
4. Learning the accounting processes: As an accountant, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the accounting processes and systems in place. During the first 30 days, you will have the opportunity to learn how the company’s accounting processes work and how your role fits into the bigger picture. While a role in Public Accounting may be a little more straightforward, a role in Industry accounting, may not be so learn, learn, learn!
Learn the software – You were likely hired on because of a combination of your soft skills and technical skills. You may be totally familiar with the software and technical skills needed of you to perform your job successfully or you may need training here. Take the first 30 days to ensure that you are up to speed on the software requirements and use cases.
Other Helpful Hints for the First 30 Days
Research industry topics – Find a trade publication related to your industry and read through it to keep yourself apprised of all that is going on in the industry and expand your knowledge base. Some great trade publications for Public Accounting include the Journal of Accountancy and Accounting Today.
Shadow a peer – So you’ve been doing training, learning software, performing research, and figuring out meeting styles, the next best thing to do is to shadow a peer to get a real-world example of how they work with the team, other departments, and clients.
Stay organized – Use tools such as calendars, to-do lists, and project management software to help you stay on top of your tasks and deadlines.
60 Days in Your New Accounting Role
The first 60 days in your new accounting role provide an opportunity to establish yourself as a valuable member of the team. This is the time when you’ve got the basics of the role down and are ready to expand your knowledge and grow.
Feel free to explore new avenues of your role and figure out how you can adapt your workspace to suit your specific needs.
Here are some helpful hints for the first 60 days in your role:
1. Demonstrating your value: Now that you’ve learned about communication styles, company policy, processes, and culture, the next 30 days is an ideal time to show your true value. By taking the initiative, being proactive, and contributing to the team, you can demonstrate your skills and capabilities. Don’t wait for tasks to be assigned to you. Instead, look for opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and make suggestions for improvements to processes.
2. Asking your teammates for helpful advice: Your best resource is your team. Now that you’ve developed a rapport with your team and created trust, go to your team with questions that you may have about managing through situations or a particular person on the team. There may be a similar situation that a team member has already experienced. They may be able to give you feedback about how they handled a situation at work and how it turned out for them.
3. Understanding what makes your company different: Learn more about what sets you apart from your competition. Is it CSR? Is it a special proprietary process? Is it excellent customer service? Is it your success rate in the industry? Regardless of if you are in a client-facing role or not, it is important to understand the unique branding proposition of your company. Again, clarification and understanding go back to being proactive. You will stick out as a candidate for an internal promotion once the opportunity arises.
90 Days in Your New Accounting Role
In the first 90 days of your role, you should be fully integrated into the team and have a clear schedule for your work week. Use this time to plan for your future and continue to learn as much as you can about the industry, you’re working in. Focus on your opportunities to learn and grow.
Here are some tips and tricks for the first 90 days in your role:
1. Seeking feedback: Ask for feedback from your supervisor and colleagues to understand how you can improve and continue to develop your skills. This will help you figure out what areas you should hone in your focus on. When meeting with your manager, it is important to focus on skills-based coaching. It is important to remember to be open to constructive criticism. This will help improve your performance.
2. Staying up-to-date: Keep up-to-date with accounting standards, regulations, and industry trends. Attend training courses, read relevant publications and blogs to enhance your knowledge and skills. Take advantage of any training opportunities or professional development programs available to you either inside or outside of work.
3. Joining a networking group: We’ve all heard the saying before ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’ Networking is powerful and there are many local networking groups in Atlanta that you can take full advantage of. Joining the GSCPA, 40 Under 40, AICPA, AFWA, and SHRM is a great way to meet individuals who may be able to help you expand your network and advance your opportunities.
4. Forecasting your future: Taking time for self-reflection and personal inventory is crucial to close out the first 90 days in your new role. Take time to journal or think through a series of questions:
- What do I like most about my role?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What are resources/tools I can use for improvement?
- Is this a company I want to grow my career with?
These types of questions will help you determine your satisfaction with the role and will set you up for long-term career goals.
Remember that success takes time and effort. With dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude, you can thrive in your new accounting job. We hope the first 90 days in your new accounting role go well. Good luck!