Introduction:

Onboarding new employees is a crucial task for accountancy firms. After all, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. 

Starting the relationship well with a new hire results in higher productivity sooner, more effective work, and increased loyalty to the company.

In this checklist, we will go through the steps required to onboard an employee in a way which is effective for your organization and compliant with the law. 

The training focus is on three areas:

  • Learning internal systems and accounting software
  • Studying methodologies and approaches
  • Leveraging peer learning to apply that knowledge

As you follow the checklist, you can use the form fields provided to record pertinent information

Below is the video used by the University of Florida to help orient new hires. It is surprisingly entertaining.

New Employee Orientation - UF General Accounting

Before the first day:

Record employee details

Use this task to record the details of the employee you're onboarding in order to find this information easily in future.

Use the form fields below to record this information.

Request a letter of employment

Before you meet with your new hire, find out some more information about their previous work.

A letter of employment is a document which acts as proof of someone's previous work and details certain aspects of their previous role. 

This evidence of previous earnings can, for example, help you understand what the employee might be looking for when negotiating wages.

Use the email template below to request a letter of employment from your new hire.

Invite your new hire to a preliminary meeting

Once you've received the letter of employment and everything about their previous work has been confirmed, you can start bringing them into the company.

Arrange for them to come into the office before their official day 1 in order to complete the necessary paperwork and contracts. This allows for any negotiation to happen in person, and also gives the new employee the chance to meet the team and see the offices before they begin.

Use the email template below to invite them to a preliminary meeting.

Collect their personal information

Gather the important information needed to draw up contracts. This information will be needed for HR to make sure the new employee can be recorded within the internal systems and all payments and taxes can be paid on time.

Use the subchecklist below to check you have the essentials.

  • 1
    Employee name
  • 2
    Employee address
  • 3
    Social security number
  • 4
    Bank details
  • 5
    Emergency contact information

Prepare an employee agreement with them

The employee agreement outlines the nature of the role and the expected tasks. 

This agreement should also contain both your commitments to the employee and the employee's commitments to the company.

Use the subchecklist to check all important areas have been prepared and explained with clarity.

  • 1
    Non-disclosure agreement
  • 2
    Non-compete clause
  • 3
    Intellectual property ownership
  • 4
    Negotiate compensation
  • 5
    Explain the available benefits
  • 6
    Dispute resolution process

Double sign all documents

Finalize all contracts by double signing them and completing the hiring process.

Send all documents to HR

Make sure to deliver all signed documents to HR for their records, and so they can begin processing them. 

You can use the email widget below to do so. 

Set them up with their accounts

Introduce your new hire to the different internal systems you use. 

These should include communications systems, their specific accounting tools, and access to other resources or materials which they will need over the course of their employment to help them do their job to the best of their ability. 

Explain to them what each system is and how the company utilizes each. If you integrate different systems, guide them through the process of this integration.

Use the subchecklist below to document which areas you have provided them with logins for.

  • 1
    Email and other communication tools
  • 2
    Logins to required internal systems
  • 3
    Access to any further resources they may need

Create their bio for the company website

Show the new employee the company website and the layout of other staff profiles. 

Sit with them and work together on writing a bio for them.

Some companies use this space to write about the role the employee has, while others include personal information about hobbies and interests. 

Create a bio suitable for your company and send it to IT to input into the website.

Enter the bio in the form field below.

Take a professional photo

Take a quick photo of your new hire to be used on the website. 

This could be used as an opportunity to introduce your new employee to the marketing team or another team who are responsible for creating images or graphics. 

A high-quality image with simple lighting will create a professional looking photograph.

Upload the image below.

Remind them which day they officially start

Finally, remind the employee when they officially start. 

Employee start date: {{form.Date_they_start_work}}

Be clear with what time they are expected to arrive, what normal lunchtime practices are, and what the general dress code of the office is. 

If there is anything else you require them to bring on the first day, be sure to let them know.

First day:

Show them their workspace

On the first day in the office, show them their workspace. Explain to them where they can find the things they will need, and how they can contact the people they may need to contact. 

Show them where both digital and physical files are stored. Explain where toilets or kitchens are, and most importantly how to use the coffee machine

It's important to make good coffee for increased productivity!

Explain to them their training plan

Sit down with your new team member to discuss how you will approach training.

Discuss the overarching timeline over the first month or 90 days, and discuss the specific elements of training they will face week by week

This clarity of what they will be doing will help them feel comfortable with tasks, and not worry too much about things they don't yet know. 

You can automatically track training progress with our Watershed integration.

Hold an informal team welcome meeting

Gather your team for a welcome meeting. 

You can use this meeting to give everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves and to get to know their new colleague. 

Run some icebreaker games or teambuilding activities to get everyone comfortable. Let people mingle amongst themselves afterwards and encourage your existing staff to welcome the new arrival.

Creating a sense of togetherness in a company is an effective way to raise morale, boost productivity, and keep high employee retention rates. 

Begin training them on your accounting software

Introduce your new hire to the various systems you use to keep track of actions, tasks, and accounts. 

Remember that specialized accounting software can be complex if someone hasn't used it before. Go through step by step how to use the software, demonstrating the normal tasks which the employee is likely to start doing.  

Use the form field to record which platforms your new team member has been trained on.

Finish the day with a casual chat

Finish the preparatory day with a casual conversation about their impressions of the office and the nature of the job. 

Be open, ask questions, and listen. The employee may feel nervous in their first week and will likely have lots of questions. Position yourself as a point of assistance so that your new hire will feel comfortable over their first period with the company.

First week:

Have your new hire shadow team members

Choose other team members who work in the same or similar roles to your new hire. 

These team members understand your internal processes and how to complete the tasks which your new member will be undertaking. 

Through implementing a shadowing policy, you can use their knowledge as the base for peer learning. 

This also helps new employees bond faster with the rest of the team.

Record the names of employees who the new hire will shadow in the form field below.

Create mock scenario for accounting software

Create a mock scenario for the new employee to work through. 

Work through this scenario with your new hire and check that their knowledge of this system is improving. Provide guidance where necessary.

Keep the process and tasks required simple, but ensure that it covers a broad range of duties across the software. 

Question them on details of the auditing methodology

If you use an auditing methodology like Risk Based Internal Auditing (RIBA) then you need to make sure your employee understands it and can work within its parameters. 

Ask your new hire some questions about this approach or another approach you use. 

Some example questions might be:

  • How do we go about ensuring objectivity and impartiality in our audits?
  • Where in the process does responsibility lie?
  • What do we mean by the term "risk appetite"?

Let them pick their mentor

After they have completed shadowing a number of different team members, the new team member should be encouraged to pick their own mentor

This allows them to choose someone with whom they think they may be able to build a strong working relationship with.

Use the form field to identify the chosen mentor.

After the first week:

Ask them to mock audit a department's records

Assign your new hire to one of your accountancy departments. For example, the expenses department.

Have your employee act as an internal auditor and audit the records of this area. After finishing their audit they can present it back to you to show whether they have done it successfully or not. 

Check the process they have used, and assess their results.

Use the form field to record your notes.

Ensure employee is working closely with their mentor

Make sure the new employee is maintaining their mentor/mentee relationship over the course of the first month. 

Ideally, this mentor relationship will serve to provide occasional needed support beyond that first month. 

If you feel this is necessary, instruct the mentor to ensure they're providing adequate extended support.

Assign them to a project with an experienced lead

If applicable, assign the new team member to a large client project or large internal project.

This should ideally involve a small team, or have enough work to serve minimum two people.

Assign them this work with an experienced team member, like a senior accountant.

The end of the first month:

Arrange a meeting to discuss their experience

To finish off the onboarding month, arrange a meeting with your team member to go over their experiences within the company so far. 

Remember to ask questions and listen. This conversation will give you feedback on your onboarding process which you can use to optimize processes for future hires.

Use the email widget to invite them.

Use the form field to record any notes from the meeting.

Sources:

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