Small businesses, like any business, have finances that need to be kept in order. Owners can deal with these duties to a point; however, small businesses tend to grow, and hiring an employee dedicated to keeping the company’s finances in check is often a necessary next step. Luckily, many small business owners can hire someone on a part-time basis. This route carries a lot less overhead in terms of time and money compared to hiring a full-time employee, but it also comes with its own challenges. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
“What is one thing a small-business owner should do to ensure hiring a part-time employee to manage their company’s finances is a success? How does this vary from hiring someone full time?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say.
1. Start by Evaluating Your Needs
“If your monthly budget can only handle so much right now, hiring a part-time professional bookkeeper and keeping your fixed costs low may be your best, most cost-effective option. If you own a high-growth startup and could use the assistance of a strategic financial adviser who can offer more, you may need to reach out to a part-time CFO.” ~ Blair Thomas, hiring
2. Know How to Do It Yourself First
“Most small business owners don’t need full-time bookkeepers or accountants. Part-time is more than fine. But it’s important to have a thorough understanding of how to manage your own books, finances and taxes before you hire anyone to do it for you. Once you know how to do it yourself, hire someone to do it your way so there are no surprises.” ~ Han-Gwon Lung, Tailored Ink
3. Ensure You Communicate Expectations
“Ensure there is a clear process of expectations concerning their workload. Often, people who are working full time can do a little more work when needed. This is less so with part-time staff.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
4. Have Clear Reporting Processes
“One of the best ways to make sure that a part-time employee that is managing finances is a success is to put in place clear reporting processes and deadlines. Doing so will allow the employee to know what is needed from them on a monthly and quarterly basis, and will also help them manage their time efficiently.” ~ Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
5. Provide Incentives for Them
“Provide incentives for the part-time employee to optimize your finances. Many part-time employees do not qualify for health benefits, and thus have to work harder to pay out-of-pocket. Find other ways to make their job easier, from a welcoming office environment to praise when they identify an opportunity to grow profits. A happier employee is a more productive one when they have the impetus.” ~ Duran Inci, Optimum7
6. Ensure They Understand Your Business
“Make sure that the employee still stays plugged into the company. They need to understand the business just as a full-time employee would and feel part of the culture in the same way. Finances are central to business success and to get the most out of that person, despite the time commitment, is to ensure they feel looped into the business — not just tangential to it.” ~ Britt Fero, PB&
7. Consider Their Experience in Your Vertical
“After confirming your candidate meets baseline qualifications, the most important consideration is their applicable experience in your specific business vertical. If your business is a SaaS startup and you decide to work with an accountant specializing in retail, they’ll only be able to provide basic accounting support rather than being a strategic, knowledgeable partner for your business.” ~ Swapnil Shinde, Zeni Inc.
8. Be Clear in Your Job Description
“Be specific. The process of hiring a good part-time employee isn’t that different from that of a full-time employee. Want to hire a part-time employee? Then be clear in your job description and distribution. Don’t post job descriptions on platforms that only support full-time hires. Look out for the geographical laws of where your company is and those of where your potential hire resides.” ~ Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
9. Onboard Them Properly
“The onboarding process is crucial to ensure that you can trust new employees with important processes. Whether it’s part time or full time, the same rules apply in that you need to be thorough and detailed about what needs to be done. In this way, it doesn’t vary from hiring someone full time.” ~ Stephanie Wells,hiring
10. Shadow Them When They Start
“The best way to ensure your part-time financial assistant will work out is to shadow them when they start. Spend time early on showing them the right way to do things. Explain processes and ask for feedback. This differs from full-time employees because with them you can space out the shadowing sessions and learning experiences. Part-time financial assistants need to be introduced quickly and efficiently.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
11. Hire Them Through a Reputed Agency
“When hiring someone on a part-time basis, I think it’s a good idea to work through a reputed agency or similar organization that vets its members. In this way, there’s some accountability and documentation. You can also look for positive reviews and testimonials to help. This would vary from a full-time hire where you’ll have to make the decision on your own.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner