How Accounting Firms Can Help Staff Set New Goals


It’s almost a new year and a perfect time for a fresh start, especially after the crazy year that was 2020. This year, it’s arguably more important than ever to set strong goals and standards for your employees. So much has been shaken up in the last year, and with that can come decreased motivation and lack of accountability, not to mention broken schedules and routines.

Goals help to keep employees motivated, provide a metric for performance appraisal, and also help to identify the most promising rising talents in the company.


Setting realistic, yet challenging goals is a great way to keep employees motivated. Rather than just dragging on through an endless monotony of tasks, they are working toward a specific level of achievement. This keeps people interested and invested in what could otherwise become mundane tasks. Of course, with every achievement should come an award. Keeping goals closely tied to recognition and compensation will give weight to the goals given to employees rather than just being empty quotas.

Career Development

Everyone is different. Every employee will have different strengths and weaknesses. One CPA may be very meticulous and make errors on only the rarest occasions, but in turn work very slowly, while another CPAs may work much more quickly with more frequent errors. The goals given to each at the beginning of the year should be tailored to each one’s specific career development needs. Setting a goal for the former to be even more meticulous would only slow them down more. Setting an efficiency goal for the latter would likely lead to a higher rate of errors. These are very basic examples, but they clarify the bigger picture – each employee needs goals that are specifically tailored to their own development.

Performance Appraisal

Good goals will also give managers a more objective way to keep track of employees’ performance. Partners that consistently meet and exceed goals can be challenged more and given more responsibility. For those who tend to fall short, managers will know where more training or development is needed. Managers will also be able to more easily perceive each employee’s strengths and weaknesses and distribute responsibilities accordingly. By giving specific, realistic, and measurable goals, managers can much more effectively track, train, and redirect their employees’ performance.

Good goals encourage better performance and boosted morale. Don’t be afraid to challenge your employees, but always be realistic and willing to give them the resources they need to be successful. Make 2021 your strongest year yet simply by empowering, motivating, and providing accountability to your employees.

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