Accountability in Accounting - What It Is and How Do You Build It

January 28, 2021

Any team would work well if every member is aligned with what they plan to accomplish. The performance and expected output will be better if everyone will contribute and be mindful of how their actions and performance could affect the whole organization.
Accountability plays a huge role in making your business a success—especially for an accounting business. In a simple definition, accountability refers to taking responsibility for all actions, behaviors, performance, and even decisions.
If everyone in the team is aware of their obligations, there will be fewer distractions and unproductive behavior! Accountability also encourages your accountants to be extra careful with their job. Once you succeed in training your team in this, they will begin to see their work's value, leading to increased productivity, better skills, and heightened confidence.
If you do not know how to start building accountability with your team, then you can always begin with these simple practices:

1. Set measurable targetsOften, after signing a contract or agreeing on a meeting discussion, each goes on their own to fulfill their assigned duties and responsibilities. The lack of concrete ways to measure or track each goal's progress makes it difficult to measure accountability.
Ensure that when discussing work processes, you also come up with a method to measure each person's success or advancement. The key to achieving this is by setting measurable goals. In doing so, monitoring everyone’s progress will be a breeze—and accountability can be made evident. Moreover, ensure that everything is well-documented so everyone will have a clear reference when it comes to evaluating progress.

2. Assign tasks individuallyTeamwork is an essential component that every team should have; however, this practice does not teach accountability at all times. When working in a group, everyone relies on each other. This act does not guarantee that everyone will perform their task or help each other. If you want to teach your team the value of liability, make sure to at least assign some tasks per person. Aside from accountability, doing this practice will help teach them responsibility.

3. Actively check their progressHaving initiative is another important quality that employees must possess, but you should also make sure that you are on top of everything as a manager. That means you know what is happening to each employee and the task assigned to them. Doing so will help you prepare if things do not go as planned, making you able to assist if one member needs help.
You do not have to be hands-on and continuously monitor them all the time. A simple request for updates or the use of internal monitoring or time tracking software can help you perform your task well.

4. Be an exampleThe classic tip is to start everything within you—be a good example for your team to follow. Show your team the true meaning behind accountability and why it is crucial. Start each task by setting goals for you to fulfill and showing them how you track your progress.
If you fail in fulfilling your duty, own up to your mistakes and take accountability for your actions.

ConclusionAccountability is a soft skill that all organizations should consider training. When everyone in the team understands this word's value, your accounting firm will have better chances of success.
Accountability is especially linked to higher-quality work performance, better company commitment, and a boost in employee morale. Make sure to consider this factor an essential aspect of the business that you pay special attention to.
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