How to Be an Effective Neophyte Accounting Manager

by Anthony Mongeluzo, president, PCS | July 31, 2019

What happens if the person reporting to you screws up? As a new accounting manager, you’ll circumvent many subordinate errors by clearly enunciating their duties. Always offer to help and do so without a critical or condescending attitude. Ensure they know what went wrong to avoid a repetition. And, stand up for the person who reports to you with your superiors.

Unsure of what to do in a situation? Meet with your boss and say, “Joan, I have this small issue and would like to get your view on it.” You’ll get direction.

Here are some tips to help in your new manager role:

  • Delegate (The “D” Rule). It’s difficult for an accountant with new managerial responsibilities to delegate because the perceived loss of control can rattle one’s self-confidence. This is particularly true if you’re meticulous, dedicated and have a strong work ethic.
  • Wear a humility necklace. Don’t assume that you can do it better than anyone else. That’s why they call it managing. I always thought I could do things better, faster and the correct way. Once I fully stepped back, it was amazing to see other peoples’ perspectives proved even more successful than my own. Prepare to wear a humility necklace when you discover that your team is as good or even better at many tasks than you are.
  • Understand the stepping stone theory. Senior level executives almost always notice successful managers (especially if they were managers, too). Your success (and failure) ultimately rests on how successful your team members become. Managers need to promote the skill set and enthusiasm level of their department. This will result in an appealing workplace culture and with it a corresponding improvement in performance.
  • Use the private and public rule. Old advice that stands tall even in the internet age: Criticize and correct in private; praise in public. Your staff will love you for it.

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