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5 Warning Signs Your Accountant is About to Leave

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Your accountant has a central role within your business, so the notion that they might be about to leave can be an alarming one.

But the reality is that accountants rarely stay in the same place for a long time; they are often recruited onto bigger contracts and higher salaries elsewhere – you probably won’t even know if your accountant is planning on leaving.

However, there are some signs that you can look out for.

As a recruiter, I am used to hearing the reasons that top accountants give when leaving their jobs. Starting a family is a primary example – considering leaving for a higher salary in preparation for an addition to your family, and also planning on a reduction of hours to accommodate new parental responsibilities are both reasons candidates regularly give.

Perhaps they have simply been given a better salary and compensation with a firm they have been on the radar of for a while – this article contains the signs to look out for which might indicate your accountant is about to leave.

1. Their Performance Has Dropped

A drop in performance indicates that your accountant is either less engaged with their role, which often leads to the desire for a new role, or worse still, that they are actively looking for a new job and they have mentally checked-out of your business.

Have they started giving less detail in their financial statements, making careless mistakes or missing deadlines which is out of their normal character?

Keeping regular reviews and even informal chats every couple of weeks to discuss your accountant’s projects and how they are generally feeling at work can prevent negative emotions from harbouring, and solutions can be worked out for problems before they become serious.

2. They Have Closed Themselves Off

Any good leader will be able to recognise a change in their employee’s behaviour. An unfavourable change in behaviour might mean a few different things – your accountant might be going through personal issues, they might be finding their current work too stressful, or not challenging enough; or it might mean that they have disengaged from your company.

An informal chat with your accountant who appears to have shut down might reveal that they are struggling – and this is something you can help them with. Likewise, if they tell you that everything is fine, but continue to be secretive with phone calls and checking their phone, or missing work without any good reason – more on this next - it could signal that they are about to leave.

3. They Have Begun an Irregular Working Schedule

A sudden irregular working schedule might mean that your accountant has things going on outside of work – it is not up to your employees to tell you every detail of their personal lives, but a sudden or drastic change to their once steady routine could be a sign of imminent disruption.

Working late to reconcile the accounts and coming in late regularly over consecutive weeks are two different things – the latter might mean that your accountant has been attending interviews elsewhere.

4. They’ve Got a Big Life Change Going On

If you share a great relationship with your accountant, there’s a good chance that they will divulge their personal news with you. You will probably be aware of any significant life changes your employee has going on – a house move, planning a wedding, looking after a family a member, etc.

Sometimes the personal circumstances of an employee mean that they are forced to reassess their career. Your accountant might not necessarily want to hand their notice in, but a significant change in their personal life might make it the only option.

Have they been mentioning starting a family recently, have they been decreasing their hours to take care of an elderly parent? Life comes at us all fast, but being mindful of at what stage your accountant is at in their personal life should mean that you are better equipped to predict their career movements.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes when employees leave there have been warning signs, but their employer has failed to notice them.

5. They Have Demonstrated That They are Less Fulfilled

If only every employer listened to their employees! Many times, when a great employee like your star accountant leaves, they have been exhibiting visible warning signs that their employer has overlooked.

Quite often, candidates who we work with tell us that they are planning on leaving because they have been unhappy in their accountancy role and have tried to offer solutions to the company to no avail. A recent accountancy candidate who I placed in a great new role had been vocal about their previous company updating their recording systems for over a year, and nothing was ever implemented to help her out. In the end, she left to work for a more dynamic company and her old employer was surprised to receive her notice – he simply hadn’t been paying attention to the needs of his staff!

Finally

Actively listening to your key employees can prevent a surprising notice on your desk, but unfortunately, sometimes your accountant will leave for a career move, and there is little that can be done to avoid this.

If you need help in locating talented accountants or building your talent pipeline so that you have a great candidate in mind for the future of your business, get in touch with us to discuss our recruitment solutions.

ABOUT CLAYTON RECRUITMENT

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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