The Role of Onsite Work for Early-Career Success in Finance and Accounting

April 23, 2024 ROARK

Colleagues Sitting Around a Table

Remote work offers flexibility, but if you're starting your career in finance or accounting, onsite work can be your secret weapon for getting ahead. Here's why:

1. Mastering Technical Jargon and Nuances

Finance and accounting have their own language filled with acronyms, specialized terms, and specific reporting formats. Being in the office allows you to overhear conversations, witness how data is interpreted, and clarify terminology on the spot. This accelerates your comprehension of the technical aspects of your role.

2. Building Relationships for Collaboration and Insights

Strong relationships are crucial for success in finance and accounting. Working onsite fosters collaboration with colleagues from other departments, treasury teams, and financial analysts.  You'll build a network that translates to smoother workflows, access to insider knowledge, and potential champions for future promotions.

3. Visibility for Key Projects and Initiatives

Being physically present increases your chances of being included in high-profile projects or cross-functional initiatives. This visibility can showcase your skills and dedication to decision-makers while providing valuable learning experiences that can't be fully replicated remotely.

4. Real-Time Learning and Problem Solving

Finance and accounting often involve complex calculations, data analysis, and reconciliation tasks.  Onsite, you can get immediate assistance from more experienced colleagues. This accelerates your learning curve and helps you develop critical problem-solving skills that make you a more independent and valuable contributor.

5. Grasping Company-Specific Processes and Systems

Every company has its unique way of handling financial data, accounting software, and reporting procedures.  Being onsite allows you to see these in action, ask clarifying questions, and gain a faster, more intuitive understanding. This translates into increased efficiency and fewer errors.

Tips for Finance and Accounting Professionals

  • Seek Out In-Person Training: Volunteer for software training sessions or process walkthroughs held onsite, even if there's a remote option.
  • Shadow Experienced Colleagues: Ask if you can observe an experienced accountant prepare financial statements or a financial analyst build a model.
  • Participate in Cross-Functional Meetings: Attend budgeting meetings or project updates on-site to understand the broader context of your work.
  • Build Your Network Intentionally: Don't just wait for connections! Set up coffee chats or attend lunch-and-learns on-site to build your professional network.

Remember:  Remote work has its place in finance and accounting, especially as you gain experience. Hybrid models offer flexibility later on.  But for those at the beginning of their finance or accounting careers, strategic onsite time can be a significant investment in your long-term growth and success!

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