How to Suggest Improvements to Accounting Practices

Matt Shelly
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Evolving technological advancements, shifting consumer trends and new legal regulations constantly impact how businesses operate. The accounting department is not immune to these influences, but many managers are hesitant to make sweeping changes. Employees who wish to make suggestions regarding how the accounting department functions want to do so in a tactful and respectful way. This ensures the suggestions do not feel like an attack on management styles.

Before challenging the status quo, accountants should spend some time reflecting on potential improvements in the department. While it is quite easy to make suggestions to upper management, implementing new policies takes time and workers inevitably hit speed bumps along the way. Many managers are more receptive to workers who clearly document obstacles they face on a daily basis, as this data serves as evidence in support of changes within the office.

Managers may make the final decision when an employee chooses to suggest changes, but the entire accounting department must deal with the repercussions. As a general rule, accountants who wish to make suggestions about improvements should try make an effort to determine whether other employees are open to a new way of doing things. In some cases, shaking things up in the office can cause more problems than it resolves. For this reason, workers should take the time to discuss with their accounting colleagues before launching into a conversation with a manager.

Assuming an employee ultimately decides to make suggestions, the accountant needs to find the right opportunity to speak with the manager. Many workers inadvertently make suggestions at an inopportune moment, which leads to direct rejection from management. Instead of simply launching into a long monologue when a manager appears, the worker should ask to speak with a manager at a convenient time for both parties. This helps ensure both individuals are able to articulate their viewpoints and come to a conclusion without rushing a decision.

If an employer ultimately chooses to make a shift in how the accounting department operates, workers need to exercise patience in the interim period. When employees suggest changes to how a department works and those changes are adopted, managers often need to work with a variety of different individuals to set the wheels in motion. Accountants should work to keep the dialogue going by cooperating with managers and providing feedback, but resist the urge to pepper the management team with questions about the implementation of the changes.

In a healthy workplace, employees should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and working to make adjustments to business practices when necessary. Astute accountants who make suggestions to their employer not only help the company remain efficient, but these workers also demonstrate their value to the organization. By weighing suggestions carefully beforehand and collaborating with other staff members in the accounting department, workers can improve their office while avoiding hurt feelings among coworkers.

Photo courtesy of Patpitchya at


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