Finance experts — be they accountants, financial advisors, or CFOs— are vital components in shaping the economic success of your business.
Let’s take financial analysts as an example. Did you know that the “overall employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations? But finding the right financial professional is much easier said than done.
From considering their credentials, and assessing their experience, to verifying their reputation in the industry — it’s a hefty selection process indeed.
Fret not; here are some essential tips that can guide you in choosing the perfect finance expert.
1. How can you gauge the proficiency of your potential finance expert? Via tests.
Accounting tests for employment are a perfect way to gauge these three:
- Financial Knowledge: This tests the candidate’s understanding of basic finance terminologies, principles, and theories.
- Critical Thinking Skills: Given a financial situation, can they articulate a well-thought-out solution?
- Problem-Solving Capability: Problem-solving ability especially when it comes to crunching numbers.
TestGorilla, for example, revolutionizes the recruiting process with its advanced online evaluation platform, designed to enable companies to select and keep top-notch candidates.
With its user-friendly interface — the platform boasts diverse tailor-made pre-employment exams, skills evaluations, and behavioral assessments enabling businesses to make informed hirings.
Thanks to their wide-ranging exams library combined with effortless syncing with common applicant tracking systems, it becomes effortless for companies, through TestGorilla, to refine their recruitment process and find top-tier talent quickly.
2. Check their relevant experience
Experience is an invaluable metric when hiring a finance expert.
Look beyond university degrees and certifications— the real-world application of knowledge is paramount.
Metrics such as years of experience, the type of industry scenarios they’ve dealt with, and intricate finance problem-solving skills will greatly affect their role’s effectiveness in your business.
Developed questions that probe into their past assignments and how they resolved requirements might offer valuable insights. Understanding their history gives you the confidence to entrust them with your financials.
Make sure to validate the accreditations they claim with the responsible organizations. Such certifications can include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
3. Soft Skills
Contrary to popular belief, finance experts need more than just numerical proficiency.
Soft skills like communication, teamwork, and emotional intelligence play a significant role.
Being good at explaining complex financial ideas in layman’s terms, or being able to withhold judgment when financial mistakes are made, are an indicator of a finance professional’s efficacy.
Empathy and negotiation skills, tact, and patience might factor into making the best financial decisions for your company.
It’s ideal to hire someone that not only fits well within your company culture but is competent enough to handle complex financial engagements.
4. Consider Industry Specialization
While it’s by far a requirement, having a finance expert who’s thoroughly familiar with your industry might be immensely beneficial.
They already comprehend the typical industry financial issues, trends, and best practices, and they’re skilled in solving them.
Think of picking a medical specialist over a general practitioner when it comes to your specific health needs – an expert specialized in your industry understands various nuances and constraints resulting in higher efficiency and effectiveness. They will be more proactive in forecasting potential financial issues and offer tailored advice for your particular industry.
5. Set Clear Expectations
Establish your business needs and expectations before gauging potential experts.
Do you need someone to handle tax prep and statutory filings? Are you in need of financial control or will investment management be a major part of their roles? Specify these details before you begin your search.
The finance professional you choose should have a clear understanding of what duties are required of them, aligning their expertise with the requirements to achieve optimal performance.
6. Budget Considerations
Engaging a financial expert comes with a cost.
Ensure that you set aside a budget for this. While it is important not to compromise on quality, finding a financial expert who provides excellent value for their cost is key. Remember, expensive doesn’t always equate to excellence. Thus it’s essential to weigh their costing against the capabilities and services offered.
Scout for competitive pricing across multiple finance experts and choose the one that offers the maximum value within your specified budget. Striking a good balance between cost and services would go a long way in meeting your specific financial needs and maintaining good financial health in your business.
7. Know their Technological Competency
Technology has simplified complex financial functions through the implementation of software and tools.
A finance expert should be adaptable and comfortable with these digital advances. From accounting software to financial forecasting and analytics tools, their tech-savviness is of utmost importance.
Make sure they’re familiar with frameworks like QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Microsoft Excel, or other industry-specific software. These platforms greatly optimize finance operations, and their proficiency in utilizing such tools denotes their efficiency.
8. Assessing Track Record
It’s essential to trace their employment history and gauge their previous projects’ outcomes. This would substantiate their capability in managing diverse financial scenarios.
An expert with demonstrably effective impact in similar companies, job roles, or problems exhibits a higher risk management prowess. This could imply better forecasting, strategizing, and problem-solving capability, and in turn, result in securing your company’s financial health drastically.
For example, if the finance expert previously played a crucial role in steering a company out of a financial crisis or was instrumental in establishing robust financial processes that led to significant growth, such achievements underscore their adeptness at managing their finances effectively.
Understanding their track record will also help you discern their ability to handle challenges, measure risks, and make informed decisions that would significantly impact your business’s trajectory.
9. Personality Fit
Personality fit matters when hiring a finance expert — do they display integrity, discipline, or show dedication toward their responsibility?
Each role within a company integrates into the overarching goal of the business and ensures that the sense of cohesion isn’t compromised through grave conflicts in personalities.
While one standalone trait is hardly determinative, try to ascertain if the finance professional’s values align well with your company’s mission, culture, and core values. Is there an alignment between your company’s professional ethos and its work philosophy? Do they possess attributes like adaptability and consistency that could contribute positively toward your business culture?
Sensitive or finicky matters require a high level of trust. For instance, businesses need to trust their finance staff to handle confidential information appropriately or trust them to manage company funds responsibly. A finance expert with strong integrity is indeed a valuable asset to your company.
10. Contract Terms and Compensation
Ensure you read and understand the contract terms before agreeing upon a working relationship with the finance expert.
Contracts can relate to confidentiality, remuneration for services offered, expectations in terms of time and effort commitment, consequences or penalties for unsatisfactory performance, dispute resolution methodology, and termination clauses.
The amount and type of compensation should be fixed beforehand. It can be a regular salary, hourly pay, a one-time contract-based payout, or a combination of these. Bear in mind that compensation cost doesn’t merely involve the direct cost of services but also related overhead costs, tax implications, and other additional charges.
Moreover, cater for contingencies: if there are changes in work conditions that necessitate altering the contract, be sure it’s clear to both parties how contract amendments will be administered to avoid future disputes.
11. Look into their Network
The finance world is interconnected and works best with a combination of good teamwork and competent partnerships.
Quite often, the reputation and affiliations of a finance professional provide an overview of their credibility and command in the industry.
Scan through their business associations, affiliations, and networking groups. These can give you hints about their resourcefulness, credibility, and influence in financial circles.
In addition, professionals with good relationships with banking institutions, regulatory bodies, auditors, or even competitors can sometimes expedite crucial financial processes or solve intricate financial issues more quickly due to these partnerships.
12. Sieve through Potential Biases
Bias in financial management may have momentous implications on business performance.
Identifying any likely prejudice in the choices or workings of a finance specialist is paramount.
Keep an eye out for repeated patterns in the strategies they propose, preference toward certain investments or industries, or reluctance to adapt when necessitated. These traits could indicate biases that might not align with the best interest of your company.
The primary aim of your financial expert should be an uncompromised pecuniary gain for your organization- putting your company’s needs before personal inclinations or profitable affiliations.
13. Get Feedback and Testimonials
It’s essential to check out reviews or testimonials from their previous employers or clients.
Their past experiences and service reviews might uncover facts about their reliability, capability, and the level of satisfaction they have provided in the past.
Looking through their LinkedIn recommendations or other online reviews can aid in this process.
Don’t shy away from directly asking them for references.
Speaking with former clients or associates can also provide valuable insights into their strategies and responsiveness during critical situations.
Ultimately, choosing the right finance professional involves a combination of various factors. By making thorough considerations, you not only increase the probability of your business landing a worthy finance expert but also mitigates risks and promote company-wide financial health and stability.
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