How Can an Accounting Coordinator Help an Organization?
The role of Accounting Coordinator is one that more and more organizations are choosing to add to their finance group or team. The Accounting Coordinator is typically a role for someone to assist the accounting group in a variety of tasks including:
- Liaising with business groups in the organization
- Providing a second level review that certain processes are being followed
- Performing general administrative duties within the accounting group
- Tracking receivables and payables in an organization
- Coordinating and communicating various timelines and manager level approvals
In many cases these activities are being performed by CPAs
and other valuable accounting resources instead of leveraging individuals with other skill sets to do much of this administrative work.
When is an Accounting Coordinator Beneficial?
There are two common situations where an accounting coordinator can be a useful asset for a finance team. First, increasingly accounting coordinators are being hired to support large audit and consulting teams to improve service delivery to their clients. Having a single point of contact for certain client groups can provide a degree of comfort to clients who are often overwhelmed by large project teams and not knowing who to reach out to. Additionally, the team can benefit from having a single person whose job it is to manage timelines and ensuring necessary reviews take place. Individuals on project teams often have varying responsibilities related to actual service delivery and as a result project management can suffer without an Accounting Coordinator type role on the team. Second, internal organization finance groups can often benefit from having an Accounting Coordinator. Similarly to external project teams the single point of contact for other business units can be greatly beneficial to ensuring a streamlined process for their interaction with finance. In many companies finance is seen, rightly or wrongly, as a necessary burden of the operational side of the business. Interacting with them as smoothly as possible can result in superior cooperation and support from the business. Another benefit is that the coordinator can assist with more admin functions of the group, like ensuring cash receipts have been made or ensuring the validity of general ledger
Risk of Using an Accounting Coordinator
When making the decision to hire an Accounting Coordinator companies need to ensure that they carefully consider the responsibilities assigned to the role. The Accounting Coordinator is supposed to take on a more administrative role and support the accounting and service delivery ones undertaken by the rest of the team. It can be easy to blur the lines a bit here, particularly when creating a new role and transitioning responsibilities from other members of the group. This would be of concern as some activities could end up being entrusted to someone who is unable to perform them appropriately. This would end up sabotaging the intention of improving the actual service delivery of the team. So while there can be a risk to integrating an Accounting Coordinator into a finance team there are a lot of potential benefits as well. Companies should carefully consider whether this role would fill some gaps for them and if hiring for it would be appropriate.
By Jeffrey Glen