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Accounting performance review preferences shift, research finds

A recruitment firm has indicated a change in the employer feedback preferences for accountants, in particular, showing that accountants and their managers alike would prefer to have regular catch ups instead of an annual review.

Professional Development Lara Bullock 26 June 2017
— 1 minute read

A recent survey by Hays revealed that 67 per cent of managers in Australia would like to ditch the annual performance review in favour of more regular feedback.


Susan Drew, senior regional director of Hays Accountancy & Finance, told Accountants Daily that accounting managers specifically are indicating a desire to ditch annual performance reviews.

“Accounting firms and managers are trying to focus on nurturing and developing their staff and part of this involves more regular one-on-one discussions rather than one annual appraisal,” Ms Drew said.

“They feel such regular feedback sessions are a better method for both managers and employees to gain an understanding of how they’re tracking, any development needs and any upcoming projects, stretch opportunities or courses an employee could get involved with.”

Accountants themselves also want more regular feedback, but don’t want to stop having an annual review completely, according to Ms Drew.

“Employees understand that the annual appraisal is a key part of their progression but without frequent meetings it’s hard to get a feel as to how they are performing, how their role is evolving in line with the business’ needs and what the future holds for them,” she said.

“It’s also important to touch base more regularly since the world of work changes so rapidly these days, particular in regards to technology and digital trends.”

While the annual review remains a good tool for officially projecting the year ahead and discussing successes and challenges, as well as salary increases and promotional prospects, there are many benefits of also having monthly catch ups according to Ms Drew.

“Accountancy candidates value career progression, mentorships and work/life balance. Add the unique circumstances, goals and development needs of individuals and regular feedback sessions provide an opportunity for such issues to be raised,” she said.

“Ultimately, frequent catch ups allow both parties to communicate effectively about their concerns and achievements. This transparency is beneficial to both the employer and the employee as it improves communication, creates a strong understanding of how ones actions and tasks affect the team and wider business, and addresses the changing needs of a business.”

Accounting performance review preferences shift, research finds
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