Do Better Than a ‘Thumbs Up’ on International Accounting Day

By Robert Half November 6, 2017 at 1:00pm

International Accounting Day is a good reminder to celebrate a centuries-old profession that is vital to business success. If you supervise an accounting team, be sure to offer your appreciation with rewards and recognition.

Why? Most businesses can’t survive without a trusted accounting professional. From your staff accountant to your senior accountant, these folks keep the books balanced and taxes filed. As businesses grow, so do the rules and regulations they must follow, and their need for technical expertise multiplies.

It’s worth taking a moment on this auspicious day to learn some surprising facts about accountants and give thanks to them appropriately. (See our Slideshare, below.)

Why auspicious? International Accounting Day (or International Accountants Day) is celebrated yearly on November 10. That’s the date in 1494 when Venetian mathematician Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli published an epic tome that included an in-depth look at bookkeeping practices. This work became the foundation for more essays on accounting, eventually earning de Pacioli the title, “The Father of Accounting.”

So is this when you hand over that heavy stapler or text thumbs-up dollar signs as an incentive? Not quite.

Celebrate your accounting staff

Companies around the world have diverse ways of celebrating this special day. Afghanistan will have an international accounting case competition. In Singapore this year, they’ll have a fiesta with carnival snacks, live music and street games, such as Key Punch, where relay participants punch in the numbers on the floor in sequence from 1 to 21.

If you’re looking for a less complicated form of recognition, a thank-you card, flowers or balloons may be appropriate. But with just a little more effort, your gestures can be more thoughtful — showing your staff accountants just how much you value their work. Here are few suggestions:

1. Gift certificates

Personalizing each certificate is key, whether it’s a restaurant gift card or something more creative. Say your accounting clerk is an avid mystery novel fan. In that case, a gift card to your local independent bookstore would be a thoughtful way to say “thank you.” Or maybe your payroll manager is a football fanatic and would enjoy tickets to a local college’s game.

2. Cash and perks

A bump in the paycheck is always a nice show of appreciation. Are you up to date on the pay ranges for finance and accounting positions? Visit the 2018 Robert Half Salary Center and download the Salary Guide.

Cash isn't the only reward that carries weight. The possibilities for perks are endless, but one thing employees really like is this: Additional days off.

3. Training and development

Offer to pay for a seminar or training. Ideally, the instruction will build new skills that make your accountants’ jobs easier, e.g., learning cloud accounting or preparing for credentials such as the CPA. You might be surprised at how many of your employees are eager for accounting job training at your company. This win-win gift benefits you, your accountants and your organization.

4. Written or verbal praise

Take time to write an email or a craft a handwritten note or card to show your thanks. A way to publicly acknowledge truly outstanding performance is by writing something for your company publication.

You can also express your gratitude in person, or for larger accomplishments, give your accolades at a staff meeting. Encourage your staff to follow your lead by recognizing each other for jobs well done. Doing this will create a workplace culture of appreciation.

5. Social media tributes

Make a personal statement for your accounting staff on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or social media outlet where your organization has a presence. “Happy International Accounting Day” is a good start. But naming specific employees and highlighting their recent work only takes a minute more. This public statement will go a long way toward showing how truly grateful you are.

6. Wish list deliveries

Is the department’s copy machine constantly malfunctioning? Is there new software with a great payroll feature? Encourage your accounting staff to make a wish list of items that would make their jobs easier. Then you’ve got your International Accounting Day gift list, and all that’s left is the shopping.

A few more tips: Remember to be timely with your employee recognition. Get to know your employees so you can identify what motivates them. Reward risk taking as well as results. Develop an effective system of recognition for your staff.

While we should all give thanks regularly to our accountants, International Accounting Day has been set aside to acknowledge their skill, dedication and often super-human attention to detail. Celebrate!

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