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Onboarding Guide: How to Set Your New Accounting & Finance Staff Up for Success

Friday, 5 April 2019

Help your new Accounting staff hit the ground running with a great onboarding experiencing. Here are four top tips on how to welcome new employees the right way.

The experience your new Accountant or Accounts Payable Clerk will go through after accepting a position in your team can set an important precedent for what life at your company will be like moving forward. Harnessing the energy and enthusiasm a new hire has in the weeks leading up to their first day and beyond is an easy task but one many companies fail to do.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to onboard your Accounting & Finance staff and set them up for success, this article is here to help. Read our top four tips on how to welcome new employees the right way below.

Plan for Day One

Your onboarding process starts well before your new hire’s first day. In fact, it begins the moment they formally accept your offer of employment. Some managers may wait until their new Accounts Payable Clerk or Payroller’s first day before touching base again, but this can damage your ability to start your working relationship off on the right foot.

You should aim to keep your new hire excited to start and as informed as possible. Arrange to catch up over coffee before they start so you can go over the practical information such as dress code or what they need to bring with them on day one. You can also use this opportunity to give them something to take away, such as a welcome pack.

Providing your new candidate with a welcome pack full of helpful information on their new role and workplace can be a great way to leave a lasting impression. You can also reduce the amount of paperwork they will need to do on their first day and give them some of the important documents early. To make your welcome pack stand out, consider including branded gifts such as stationery or their own custom coffee cup for the office.

To help ensure your new hire isn’t stuck with nothing to do or no-where to sit, be sure to make the necessary arrangements for their workstation, computer or laptop and software as soon as possible. It’s a great idea to create a simple seating plan with the names of colleagues around them once you know where they will be sitting. You should also pre-arrange a welcome buddy for your new hire who can help them settle in by showing them where’s great to grab coffee, lunch or just a few quiet minutes.

Plan for Week One

Your new hire’s first week is going to be an important one. It’s going to set a lot of impressions for them and will also give you an opportunity to start setting your own expectations. Don’t expect too much though. Your new staff’s first week should be focused on making connections and learning the basics. That said, be sure to clearly set your expectations to your new hire so that they know what is expected of them.

If you have a handover with an existing employee, then be sure to create an action plan with that employee before your new starter’s first day. If possible, don’t overload them and try spread training out over the week with some networking and catch ups in-between.

Throughout their first week, start introducing your new hire to their immediate team and allow them the chance to take 15 or 20 minutes to grab a coffee and get to know each other better. Then, around the end of the week, see if your senior leadership team or important stakeholders have the time to meet your new starter too. Connecting your employee with core people within the business, who may be able to help them in their role, can break down barriers and encourage a collaborative approach to work early into their career with you.

Plan for the Future

Having a detailed 90-day plan with key milestones for each month will be the cornerstone to a successful onboarding process. Your new starter may have some ideas of their own that they want to explore so make time to sit down with them and set clear goals and milestones for their first, second and third month. Whilst this plan should address the immediate needs of the business, you should also include some developmental goals for the new employee as well. Once the 90 days is over, you can expand on these developmental goals and convert them into a full professional development plan to set your new employee up for success for the years to come.


A lot can go wrong in the first few days of a new role. That’s why it’s important to approach onboarding with a solid plan but the most important thing to take into consideration is communication. Be open with your employee and make time to catch up before and after their first day so that they feel welcomed, prepared and hyped to hit the ground running.

If you’re finding it hard to attract the right people to your business, you’re not alone. In fact, our latest market and salary research found that three out of four managers are struggling. Sign up to our newsletter (form to the right) to be the first to know when our next Market & Salary Report is launched. Also, feel free to get in touch with one of our Consultants who will be happy to help you fill a vacancy.

Looking for more recruitment advice? Check out our blog for more articles or follow us on LinkedIn.

Onboarding Guide: How to Set Your New Accounting & Finance Staff Up for Success

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