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Burnout is a huge problem affecting the accounting industry. With 99% of accountants reporting they suffer from burnout and just 2% reporting they feel unaffected by work stress, mistakes are bound to happen as they work through overwhelm. That’s when accountability matters.

Even the slightest errors can create large financial discrepancies for your firm’s clients, quickly harming the reputation of your firm and the accountant. This can be detrimental to your business, considering referrals are often the primary source of accounting leads.

In this article, we discuss various ways that accounting firms can help increase accountability in the workplace and how technology can facilitate this.

What Is Shared Accountability?

Individual accountability is often based on each team member’s internal motivation and sense of value to the firm. One way to increase this kind of accountability is to focus on shared accountability instead.

Shared accountability means team members:

  • Have accepted that they are accountable to each other
  • Work in tandem to accomplish a goal or drive the firm’s mission
  • Share responsibility for the outcomes, including both wins and consequences

With shared accountability, taking responsibility is ingrained into the firm’s culture. Expectations are more transparent, and collaboration is encouraged.

Techniques to Create Shared Accountability in Your CPA Firm

To create shared accountability in your accounting firm, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recommends using the following framework that emphasizes employee engagement:

  1. Ask your employees what they would like to improve in their work environment.
  2. Ask employees what they are willing to do themselves to help improve these areas.
  3. Ask employees what support or resources they need from the firm’s leadership team or direct management to achieve these changes.
  4. Create action plans for the responsibilities each team member is willing to take on to improve their circumstances and assign timelines for the changes.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, conduct regular check-ins to communicate with the team about progress and show how everyone contributes.

Benefits of Accountability Tools for Accounting Professionals

While frameworks like the one above are great techniques for increasing accountability, culture changes can take a while to manifest. Another way to encourage accountability is through technology.

The best tools for accomplishing this include workforce management software and project management software. Here’s how these tools can improve accountability.

Increased Visibility

Technologies like workforce management software inherently create accountability by organizing responsibilities and who holds them accountable. With these tools, anyone in your accounting firm can see which team members are assigned to specific projects and tasks and better understand their progress & challenges.

Firm leaders can assign projects to individuals so they know exactly what they’re responsible for. Progress for each task is shown in real-time, so everyone in the firm can see how much progress is being made and whether any tasks have been missed or are overdue.

This encourages employees to take ownership to showcase their hard work and productivity.

Clearer Expectations

Uncertainty about tasks and deadlines can significantly elevate workplace stress. Project management tools help make this a non-issue, as all deadlines and tasks are clearly laid out and communicated, allowing each contributor, management (and, where appropriate, the end customer) to track progress & challenges.

Each task can also be linked with relevant documents and instructions to set employees up for success.

A Positive & Connected Culture

With increased transparency and communication tools, it’s easier for employees to stay connected and to create an uplifting culture. The best news? This approach works for both in-office and remote team members to avoid disconnects between physical work environments.

Workforce management software can improve culture with the following:

  • The ability to provide real-time positive feedback as project milestones are met
  • Enhanced internal alignment among employees and leaders
  • Increased collaboration with tools like employee social networks, company dashboards, and shared meeting notes
  • A reduction in micromanagement, as project statuses are available to anyone at any time
  • Increased trust between leaders and employees

In a positive workplace that trusts their expertise and work ethic, employees are more likely to feel valued and vital team members, which can lead to improved performance.

Improve Accountability in Your Accounting Firm With All the Right Tools

coAmplifi’s workforce management software for accountants comes with all the tools you need to create a culture of accountability within your firm. In addition, this software can also manage time tracking, report on real-time billable hours, and reduce errors associated with manual processes.

Other accounting firms are using coAmplifi. Find out why. Schedule your demo now!




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