Updated: Aug 12
As a CFO, it is important to be proactive about the health of your accounting team. Here are seven questions that you should ask on a regular basis to ensure that your team is functioning at its best.
1. How are things going?
This is a broad question, but it can be helpful to get a general sense of how your team is doing. If there are any areas of concern, this is a good time to bring them up. The team's morale is important to monitor as burnout can lead to mistakes. Preventing turnover amongst the accounting team is also crucial to maintaining stability and consistency of the financial reporting.
2. What do you need from me?
Your accounting team should feel comfortable coming to you with any problems or concerns. If they don't feel like they can come to you, then that is a problem. This question lets them know that you are open to hearing what they have to say and that you want to help them be successful.
This is an important question to ask regularly, not just when there is a problem. Asking for input shows that you value their opinion and want to make the team as strong as possible.
3. What processes or procedures are causing frustration?
No one likes feeling like they are stuck in a rut. If your team is frustrated with inefficiencies in the technology and processes, it can lead to a lot of wasted time and decreased productivity. Holes in processes can also mean that internal controls may be compromised. Asking about frustration lets you know where to focus your attention to make improvements.
4. What do you want to learn?
Personal and professional development is important to everyone. Asking your team what they want to learn shows that you are committed to their growth. It also gives you insight into areas where the team may be weak and need additional training. You might want to offer to pay for courses from corporate training providers such as CFI, Udemy, Udacity, and Coursera.
5. What do you see as our team’s strengths?
This question is important for a few reasons. First, it helps you understand what the team feels they do well. Second, it gives you insight into how they view themselves and their role in the organization. Finally, it allows you to identify any areas where the team may have a false sense of confidence.
6. How much money did we save this quarter as a result of our team’s work?
This question is important because it shows the direct impact that the accounting team has on the bottom line. It also puts pressure on the team to continuously find ways to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Finally, it shows the value of the accounting team to be seen as more than just a “cost center.”
7. What are our top three priorities for the next quarter?
This question allows you to stay focused on the most important tasks and objectives. It also helps to ensure that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal. This question makes progress constant and visible, helping the team identify and fix any roadblocks quickly.
Those are 7 questions every CFO should ask about their accounting team. Do you have any others to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!