Company culture is becoming increasingly important to job seekers. Millennials in particular feel they can afford to be meticulous when it comes to finding a new role, and are looking to join companies with great working environments. They are drawn to businesses like Google, where employees benefit from unparalleled perks such as free cafés, massages and rock climbing walls. Today we assess how important company culture is to both the business owner and employee.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture is ultimately the personality of a company. “Culture is one of those slippery things – it’s not numbers, it’s all that touchy-feely stuff,” said industry magazine Accounting Today. It’s the environment a business owner creates for their employees. AAT reports that company culture is “how people behave and communicate [in a company], it’s what they believe and value, how they celebrate successes and how they deal with problems.”
The firm’s personality should then be converted into a premeditated plan that drives organisational behaviour, such as the client service approach, business practices, the hiring process, the working environment, and marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, exceptional company culture is not easily obtained. So, if you’re a business owner, you may have to put that order for a ping pong table on hold for now. Company culture is commonly built using three elements: doctrine – a business’ mission and values, leadership – how a firm is managed, and ritual – how an organisation creates unique experiences such as the introduction of a new team member.
Is Company Culture Important?
If you’re an accountant looking to join a successful, modern accounting company, (just like any business) you’d expect to find a positive working culture (as this is often imperative to the happiness of the employees and success of the company), but this is not always the case. Accounting Today reports that “accounting firms… tend to work in silos with little to no interaction between departments,” leading us to wonder: ‘is company culture really that important in accounting firms today?’
The short answer is yes. Regardless of whether a business has two employees or 200, great company culture often leads to a healthy organisation. It can be the difference between a firm with a high staff turnover rate and a toxic work environment, and a business with keen employees and a great client list. Company culture matters to the employees in a company; they are more likely to enjoy their time at work and stay in a role if the company culture is positive.
Company Culture in Accounting Firms
Accountants have to occasionally work in isolation when completing tasks such as reviewing documents, but they will likely be working as part of a financial reporting team, and will need to work with them to produce a set of financial statements. Maintaining an open dialogue between departments is therefore a key component of a positive working environment and will make group tasks much easier to manage.
Looking to join an organisation with a great company culture? Check out The Balance’s ‘Understanding Company Culture’ article which will help you assess the culture of a business during your job hunt.
Want to add more accounting experience to your CV before you make the jump into full-time employment? Contact Aspiring Accountants for information on the qualifications that will suit you.