Staffing 101–Is Your Accounting Department Understaffed?

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As a business owner, your time and energy are often pulled in different directions. You hired competent people, and you are doing your part by growing the business. However, with business growth, oftentimes the need arises for you to expand your workforce. Some departments, like the accounting department, can go overlooked. If you suspect your accounting team is understaffed, here are some signs you need to know.

Your Employees are Consistently Working Overtime

One sign that your accounting department does not have enough personnel is that your employees are always putting in extra time. While the occasional overtime hours may not be a problem for your employees, consistently having to work extra hours may cause them to burn out. In addition, it’s counterproductive. In fact, there is evidence that suggests that “little productive work occurs after 50 hours per week.” In other words, after 50 hours, your employees are not providing quality work—even if they want to. This leads to a situation that neither benefits the employee nor the employer, and it may be more cost-efficient just to hire an additional person.

Employee Morale is Low

Having employees with high morale is essential to the success of any business. These employees perform better, work more effectively as a team, and take pride in their job. When an organization or department is understaffed for a long period of time, employee morale is usually one of the first things to suffer. Many times, organizations overlook departments that they don’t consider to be “money making” like the accounting department. However, this is a mistake. Having updated and accurate books is necessary for making many important business decisions, as well as ensuring your business is not operating in the red.

If an organization neglects its accounting department, the low morale of accounting employees could cause absenteeism and eventually turn over. Because these are positions that require a certain level of expertise, employers can lose even more time and money in order to hire and train new employees. If you find that employee morale is low, it may be another sign of an issue with staffing.

There are Increasingly More Errors

Anytime people are involved, you can expect the occasional error now and then. However, in accounting, those errors need to be minimized as much as possible since they can be costly. From overpaying bills to forgetting to invoice a product for a customer, these little mistakes can add up. In fact, businesses lose billions of dollars to accounting or tax errors every year, and one of the main errors include inputting data incorrectly.

In accounting departments that are understaffed, the chances of making these errors increases. Accounting employees may need to rush in order to meet deadlines, and making small mistakes is a given if your business is short-staffed. If you find that your accounting employees are making more mistakes than usual, it could be a sign that you need to hire more personnel in that department.

Final Thoughts

Being understaffed is usually a good indication that your business is growing. However, you should not let this situation go unnoticed. When you have an accounting department that is operating efficiently, you can avoid mistakes that will cost you money and you’ll be able to accurately predict the financial future of your business. If you think that your accounting department is understaffed, ask your employees for their feedback. If you find that they are struggling to keep up, then it may be time to consider hiring someone. If you’re not ready to take on another full-time employee, you can start someone off part-time or even consider hiring a temp. For more information on hiring temporary accounting employees, please contact us.