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How Do Accounting and HR Professionals Intersect?

Posted by Insightlink on 11/12/21

There’s no denying human resources (HR) and accounting professionals are essential to almost every business. Without these experts taking care of company operations, things can very quickly spin out of control. It’s also clear they are two very separate disciplines. 

However, in strategizing the ongoing path of the company, there are areas in which accounting and HR intersect. This offers some exciting opportunities for members of these professions to work together to have a greater impact. As with so many other aspects of business, collaboration here is key to success.  
Let’s take a moment to examine a few of the areas this professional intersection can occur and how you can best capitalize on them.
accounting HR intersection 
Growth Strategy
Growth should ever be approached without significant planning. It’s one of the areas companies can fall down on, particularly if they have inexperienced leadership. This often takes the form of enthusiastically hiring staff members. While this might be in line with lofty ambitions, it may not be financially or practically sustainable down the road. As such, your accounting and HR professionals are key contributors to building and implementing a responsible growth strategy.
Both have a role in first establishing what the company needs to hit its various growth goals. HR professionals will be able to formulate and communicate what the ideal members of personnel in each department are likely to be. Importantly, they’ll also have the expertise to establish industry-standard compensation packages. This provides the accountant with solid numbers to assess. Your accountant will then be able to review this against the current company finances. But they'll also compare it to the projections outlined in the business plan to ensure alignment with the goals.
Together, these professionals can then develop a working growth strategy for personnel. They can establish financial milestones that need to be hit to trigger recruitment for the next stage. Whether you’re just starting out or already on the road to growth, your accountant will also be instrumental in obtaining any essential financing. This can be a complex process and requires expertise in finding the right sources of financing willing to provide capital against the risks. They’ll also help make your application attractive to investors or lenders. As growth starts to be implemented, your HR and accountancy pros will also perform assessments. These will highlight where any changes need to be made. They’ll also establish what resources need to be used or obtained.
Developing Agility
Having a strong company isn’t just about maintaining strict standards. After all, being too rigid in your approach can mean you’re unable to successfully meet and overcome challenges your business faces. Our contemporary business climate experiences frequent change from various angles. It’s best to develop a sense of agility throughout your company. This is another area accountants and HR professionals intersect.
Often, they’ll work together to predict potential problem areas. From a financial perspective, accountants’ maintenance of running balances gives them data tools to judge the direction of cash flow. Indeed, alongside their technical competencies, accountants tend to have a diverse range of soft skills. This allows them not only to tackle problem recognition and solving. They also use their commercial awareness to identify potential industry hurdles.
Skilled HR professionals, on the other hand, have an in-depth understanding of human resource information systems (HRIS) analysis. This gives them advanced warning of performance issues. Their solid communications skills and experience in nurturing interpersonal relationships can be vital in gaining a sense of internal unrest or change.
When both professions work together, this presents a solid basis to make effective preparations for change. Our recent COVID-19 crisis is a good example here. A collaborative relationship between HR and accountancy professionals would have a significant impact. Both are instrumental in making certain both the financial resources and the training would be in place for a swift and effective shift to remote operations. But it applies to day-to-day operations, too. Their continued communication can ascertain flexible options for when things get tougher. 
Affecting Positive Culture
Nurturing a positive culture in business is one of the most important influencers of success. From an internal perspective, it can reduce the costs of your turnover and improve employee productivity. It also impacts your reputation in both the industry and the overall commercial landscape. Accountants and HR professionals have key roles to play in building this culture. 
This begins with benefits and compensation packages. HR personnel know one of the key factors in attracting and keeping staff is helping them achieve a high quality of life. Talented staff both expect and deserve competitive pay, social security and health insurance contributions, paid time off, and wellness programs. These are obviously elements that come at a significant cost to the business. HR and accountancy professionals can work together to establish what packages the company can afford. They may even collaborate to establish appropriate milestones at which certain perks are unlocked. Accountants may also need to work with benefits providers to arrange deals. These can make the benefits HR personnel recommend economically viable.
Alongside pay and benefits, one of the most important elements in retaining employees is a talent development program. HR professionals need to communicate with accountants about the funding required for training. This might be formal courses, qualifications, or internal mentoring. The accountant can then collaborate on where the company can invest. They might also set up guidelines that require employees to pay back investment if they leave within a certain period of time. There may also be scope to provide cash incentives for achieving professional certifications.
Accountants and HR professionals have very different roles, but their close collaboration can be vital to a company’s success. Their professional insights and complementary skill sets can help in creating practical growth strategies. They can also impact the development of the business’ overall agility. Importantly, their expertise can influence protocols that support a positive company culture. The successful intersection of these professionals is essential to a successful upward trajectory.
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